Happy New Year to the Antsy Labs community!
We wanted to thank you all again for your support in bringing Fidget Cube to life and to show you what we’ve been up to lately (see below).
But first, let’s talk about some other things (you are certainly welcome to skip to the new product announcement at the bottom of the update).
As we all reflect on the previous year, we might find ourselves looking to improve the upcoming year, learning from what went well and what could have gone better. We at Antsy Labs are no different. So with that, let’s jump into some of the lessons learned from the Fidget Cube launch.
Underpromise and Overdeliver: Though this phrase is an often used cliché in business, we found it echoing around in our heads frequently. When we launched Fidget Cube, we had a goal of $15,000. We had certainly hoped for more than that, but had not remotely expected or planned for what happened, which was a blessing and unfortunately a bit of a curse. Manufacturing and shipping logistics went from a level we had experience with to a level that was a stretch. We never lost our ambition and our lofty goals of being able to fulfill orders on time, which unfortunately set us (as well as the community) up for disappointment in the form of delayed shipments. Moving forward, this will be etched into our decision making, especially when it comes to launching new products.
Intellectual Property: This is a touchy subject for us. We are currently litigating and enforcing Fidget Cube IP globally so we can’t go into too many details on this, but we could write a book! The lesson we do want to share is that in our experience, one of the strongest forces against knockoffs is the community that supports the original and the brand. Thank you for being that community! Please know that your support on this matter hasn’t gone unnoticed.
In manufacturing, even the smallest issue can cause a big delay: As you all know, we had a “hiccup” that basically threw our shipping timeline out the window. We didn’t share the specifics of what it was at the time but it was a reminder of how important every small component and decision is. Under the ball is a dome that clicks when it’s pushed. Well, one thing we discovered was that if Fidget Cube was dropped and landed on a hard surface, it would break the dome, making it not click anymore. This happened test after test. Without a shipping deadline, this realization wouldn’t have been too big of an issue. But because we were racing the clock, the news was devastating. It involved ordering new parts, reworking product to replace old domes, and basically a lot of sleepless nights. We have heard many people speculating that these defective products were sold to infringing companies as knockoffs. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Neither Antsy Labs nor our manufacturer sold Fidget Cubes as knockoffs, as the knockoffs ultimately have been very harmful. Additionally, our manufacturer is trusted by us as well as many other top Kickstarter projects and wouldn’t do something that would jeopardize their reputation in this space.
Communication: We expect this to be near and dear to most of your hearts as we heard the community demanding more communication from us. When we launched Fidget Cube, we had every intention of personally replying to most comments on the page and having very consistent updates. However, as the project went on and the community grew exponentially we found ourselves struggling to stay afloat on a day-to-day basis. We believe this is in large part due to the sudden need we faced to scale so rapidly. We’ve had many days where we were getting an average of 2 emails a minute. What we eventually ended up doing is using a service to help with this workload. In the future, we will most likely be using an outside group to handle our PR and customer service as it’s an EXTREMELY important aspect of any business, let alone a company that is using crowdfunding. Paradoxically, we see communication as a top priority, but we prioritized the logistics, manufacturing, legal, and overall scaling over it (in order to ship the best possible version of Fidget Cube as early on as possible). For that, we apologize to those who felt left in the dark.
So… What have you been up to?
We get this question a lot. Up until recently, we had been focusing our days on the less fun things. On our daily chores list, we work with the legal aspects of the business, we manage current sales and distribution, we… blah blah blah. You get the point; we really have been spending a majority of our time on the things that don’t get us out of bed in the morning. New Year’s resolution: Get passionate about your day! For us, this has meant designing and prototyping our next ideas as well as deciding on the launch schedule for each of those. We are very excited to show you what’s next, later in 2018.
For now, let’s talk about our most immediate release.
Fidget Cube Collectibles.
Ever since we designed Fidget Cube, we thought it had some anthropomorphic character features to it. From that point on, we have dreamed of working with studios to create licensed Fidget Cubes in the form of some of our favorite characters. Thanks to a lot of work and the team at Zuru, we are excited to announce our collectible series.
We wanted to let our Kickstarter community know first. We won’t be publicizing this through our newsletter just yet as quantities in the initial shipments are very limited and we want to give you a head start if you want it.
Please be aware that this is saving your place in line in the form of a pre-order. Your order will ship in the order it was placed. The first orders are expected to ship out to you in the beginning of February. If you don’t make the first batch of orders, yours is still expected to ship in late February. We are trying to stay true to underpromising here so hopefully it’s sooner. ;) Be sure to also check out the other new additions we welcomed in 2017 to our product catalog!
As an additional thank you to our Kickstarter backers, here’s a 10% off code that can be used site-wide on antsylabs.com for the next 48 hours: NEWYEAR10 (enter at checkout).
Happy New Year everyone! Let’s make 2018 the best yet.
Until next time,
Team Antsy Labs (The McLachlan Brothers)