Kickstarter Lessons Learned

April 30th, 2013 No comments »

Just as a follow up to the previous post and to get back into the swing of things. So a couple of obvious confirmation of other tips that have already be given by other experts. You’ve got 2 weeks. If you can’t get a significant portion of your goal funded then any future onlookers pass the project over assuming that it is unlikely that they will get the rewards promised or that it isn’t worth it. On a related note make sure you set realistic goals-not realistic to you but to others. Social media is a great avenue to generate buzz as are ask emails.

Other things I had never before supposed include bad metrics, market test, alpha or beta customer identification. So I was using this as a market-product fit largely and was unimpressed by Kickstarters back-end metrics dashboard. I could basically see how many started to watch the video and how many watched the whole thing (so does that mean if they stop with 10 seconds to go it doesn’t count as the whole thing?). I wanted to know about who was interested and if they watched the video before the chose to donate or not. A word to the wise try to use a bit.ly or run it through your own website to get better numbers. I was able to interact with those 1st customers pretty well and I did end up running a few ads on Facebook and Google Adwords to get an idea for how much a customer acquisition might run and also use LinkedIn to target potential future acquirers or distribution partners. Facebook was cheaper but didn’t drive as much traffic as Google Adwords.

Things I wish I would have done: A better job on the video. Better prep work-meaning create some press releases for local media and related bloggers. The feedback I received was that people knew of others that had the problem I was solving but just didn’t hear about it or because of the fashion-nature of the sandals people wanted custom colors. I should have perhaps used the project as a forum for color preferences as well. I don’t think I’ll continue this particular project but a great learning experience.

Crowdfunding Project

February 6th, 2013 No comments »

Well I finally thought I’d give crowdfunding a try while helping my kids get a feel for some entrepreneurial activities. Here’s the video my 11 year old helped produce for a kickstarter project:

KBeaners

Utah Startup Map

August 23rd, 2012 No comments »

I’ve begun a new project of mapping the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the state of Utah. Similar projects are going on in various parts of the country as part of initiative like Startup America or the Startup Genome. This map may eventually move to its own site or become part of a Startup Utah launch but for now we’ll house it here on Brain Huddle. We’ve added a link above to make it easier to access. The map is based off of an open-source code provide by Represent LA who did a great job documenting and doing the hard work. I’ll be seeding the map with a few items to get started but will largely rely on the entrepreneurial community to fill in the blanks. Just click on the “Add Something” button and select from the drop down menu one of the following roles in the ecosystem:

Startup: While some may argue this is a mindset thing I’m going to place a few parameters to avoid turning this into a yellow pages map for the business community. Your company can’t be older than 5 years old max-that should give you enough time to figure out the business model even for those that are funded. You may not have more than 150 employees because this is when you cognitively stop knowing who works for you (though I’m tempted to say 100). On the flip side, I will be excluding any that are obvious service sole proprietors (e.g. Your Own Name Consulting, LLC) or franchised product distributors (e.g. Avon, doTerra Essential oils, etc.) as startups. You stop being a startup when you are recognized as legitimate by the majority of stakeholders though your customers’ opinions matter most and trigger the rest. If there is a threat or risk that you aren’t likely to be around within a year’s time or when funding runs out then you’re probably a startup.

Accelerator: These are programs that provide structured training designed to accelerate the business development of a startup and are for a set time usually a matter of months. Often there is an application process and some cost associated either in the form of equity exchange or fee.

Incubator: These programs are designed to support the successful development of startups by primarily providing space at a reduced rental rate and sometimes a variety of support resources and services. The lack of a finite training program is the main difference between an incubator and accelerator.

Co-working: These are locations where entrepreneurs can work in a shared environment. Unfortunately, there haven’t been a lot of these dedicated spaces that have lasted very long so for the purposes of this map it can also be any public place where you’re likely to find others working, can get decent wifi and some work done (i.e. they won’t kick you out for lounging).

VC/Angels: These are individuals, groups, and organizations that are involved in speculative investing providing capital for startups usually in the form of convertible debt or in exchange for equity. This item can also be used for any traditional loan or microfinancing entities. Any competition or awards that have cash rewards should be listed in events.

Consulting Firm: This category is any individual or organization that provides education or assistance to startup companies or entrepreneurs either for free (e.g. SBDC) or for a fee (e.g. attorneys).

Events: The events are actually not submitted by the form but are pulled from eventbrite.com from results that show up under a search for the keyword entrepreneurial. If the event does not use eventbrite such as a meetup or a competition then email the details to brainhuddle@gmail.com and it will be added to BrainHuddle’s proxy page for Utah Entrepreneurial Events so that it will show on the map. So some events that are regular like LaunchUp won’t show up until they put up their usual eventbrite page

Please help us fill up the map and make entrepreneurship in Utah easy!

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