Honestly a $99 would a fair impulse buy on my part, but I'm not too keen on shelling out $149.. That said, I wish Light and Moore's Cloud all the best!
New Backer #10 hoping to get this next summer... ;)
"obviously more problematic to have no funding at all than to be underfunded"
Um, no, not when you factor in the obligations that come with underfunding. I think you chose well, and explained your choice well. There's no easy or obvious choice, but given where it ended up, this was a good choice.
In fact, I'll go further: I was much happier to back this project given this choice, since it represented lower risk of non-delivery once funding was successful.
I think your approach, and in particular the openness of your approach, has been exemplary. I hope it advances the art of crowdfunding for future projects. Thankyou.
I wish the project well - we will back on your website. And, thanks for writing code that makes @CheerLights work with Light.
This is interesting to read.
I did think when seeing the funding point that it was set high, but also understood your reasons, but also couldn't help but wonder if you'd set it lower you might have got more people *and* gone over that and then set the goal you actually wanted.
Kickstarter's thing against multiples is, well it's kinda understandable and kinda not. It depends, for arts related things and specialty things then it makes sense, but for bringing businesses out of the darkness and literally helping them to kickstart their business, if it's a business producing stuff than that stuff is going to be more than one. And multiple orders mean success. But multiples also mean you're handling a lot more money and if things go pear shaped then that's a lot more money you're standing to lose and with Kickstarter it's more a promise that you'll try your hardest to deliver rather than a guarantee that things will be delivered.
I think it's great that you were prepared for this not to succeed and had things in place to try again with a similar yet different funding model. I will be supporting it, as while I did support LIFX, "Light" appealed to me a little bit more because of its differences, because I can prod it if I want and I don't need to find a bayonet cap/screw/halogen socket to plug it into.
Thank you for the self reflection. The analysis you put in shows an obvious respect for doing things the right way; doing right by customers, but also doing right by your product.
I would like to thank you. I've already registered a preorder on your site, but also wanted to say:
"Shut up and take my money!"
I tried to find a video that showed why this was different to what already exists on the market - and all I got was some loud music. I think you really need to think more about understanding your potential market a bit more.
I wonder why you think you set your price too low.
Higher price means fewer backers.
More likely, you set your price much too high.
Good update, thanks! The tone was much better.
As for your plans, some thoughts.
First, Kickstarter need not be 100% of your funding. If you need more than a reasonable number of pre-orders via Kickstarter could cover, you can use the successful Kickstarter to demonstrate market demand that gets you press coverage, other investors, a bank loan, or non-Kickstarter sales going. And for a product like yours, with tooling, setup, etc., and a fairly low per-unit profit margin (compared to software) it may be unrealistic to try to cover all of your startup costs in one round of Kickstarter sales.
Second, it's a big jump in psychology from $99 to $149. I'm wondering whether there are choices that can drive the price down to make it an easier impulse (or multiple unit) sale? Or if that's the price point you need to be at, perhaps you can spend more time communicating the value of what you're doing over, say, a $10 lamp on an X10 controller?
@John - Typically, the difference between the bill-of-materials cost of a device and it's retail price is 3.5x to 4x. We went for something closer to 2x. It's now up to 2.5x -- still low, but manageable.
We have to make sufficient margin to fund development -- no margin, no development, no Lights. Investment will help, too.
If you have suggestions which could help us get our costs down so we can lower the price of the Light, we'd be very interested to hear them.
@Sean - Sorry that you don't like our musical selections! Might we recommend turning down the soundtrack as you watch the demo video?
@Laird - Indeed, we are now aiming for a mixed model of crowdfunded pre-sales and investment. Now that we have almost $60,000 in pre-orders, we will hopefully look quite attractive to investment.
We still need to get to the 1000 order minimum, though.
Much of our work from here forward will be about communicating 'points of difference', so people understand what makes the Light unique.
Thanks for this wonderful last update. I think that you are too hard to yourself. There are no easy choices when dealing with a startup and even less if you go for selling hardware. You learned a lot and you are now ready for the next stage. I am sure the light will come out of the tunnel in 2013 :-)
All the best !
Ps: you should fix this funny backer number 10 bug in your new sales platform :-))
@Loic - We're working hard on quashing that #10 bug. (Tho, it does make everyone feel special, hee!)
It's not about being too hard on ourselves, it's about understanding our mistakes so we don't repeat them. Fail fast, and feed what you've from those failures learned into your efforts.
If we knew then what we know now, we would have done things differently. But when is that not true? ;)