Project image
)}
$275,478
pledged of $700,000pledged of $700,000 goal
1,949
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, December 21 2012 9:25 AM UTC +00:00
Moore’sCloudBy Moore’sCloud
First created
Moore’sCloudBy Moore’sCloud
First created
$275,478
pledged of $700,000pledged of $700,000 goal
1,949
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, December 21 2012 9:25 AM UTC +00:00

Update 15: Mistakes & Apologies

Posted by Moore’sCloud (Creator)

Hello and a big thank you to the 1,950 of you who pledged over $275,000 to make the Light by Moore'sCloud a reality. 

As you may already know, we did not reach our Kickstarter funding goal. Disappointing, but hardly unexpected. That final total is still astounding -- and entirely due to your generosity.

More thanks are due to more than 300 of you who have already converted your pledges into pre-orders at store.moorescloud.com. We’ve reached nearly $50,000 in the first 24 hours! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Why the changes?

Several of you have asked us two questions:

  • Why has the pre-order price gone from $99 to $149?
  • Why do you only need to raise $500,000?

In brief: we killed the $99 mains-only Light; by charging 15% more for the battery-powered Light we need fewer pre-sales to generate enough revenue to enter production.

A more detailed answer to the first question can be found below, while a detailed answer to the second question was published on our blog this morning.

While we continue to be focused on our opportunities ahead, it’s time to have a look at what went wrong, and why.

We Priced Incorrectly

We’ve had some time to reflect on the mistakes in our execution. First among these was an error in pricing the Light. Although we very much wanted to offer it for $99, the cost of the Light - greater than $50 - plus the cost of funding on Kickstarter (nearly 10%) - meant that there was precious little left over to fund the development of the mass-production for the Light itself. This meant we had to get a lot of backers - around 6000 - in order to provide sufficient development funds.

If we’d made the price just a little higher - $149 - we would have needed only about half as many backers. Applying that pricing to our current backing, we’d be much nearer to the goal - around 65%.

We Set The Funding Bar Too High

Crowdfunding is a discipline that mixes individual and mass psychology - people back you because they like you, but they also back you because everyone likes to back a winner. The more you look like a winner, the more backers you’re likely to get. That’s the virtuous cycle at the heart of crowdfunding, and it’s the reason why the CEO of a crowdfunding site advised us to set our goal a lot lower - $200K.

We chose not to do that. If we had, and had funded to the level we have now, we’d be getting your $270,000, but would lack sufficient resources to design and ship all the Lights people had asked for. That was too big a risk to assume, although it would have made us look like a winner, would have attracted additional backers, and might even have put us up over our actual $700K funding requirement. Was that a mistake? Hard to say. Either choice is problematic, though it is obviously more problematic to have no funding at all than to be underfunded.

We Went To Market Too Early

We probably launched our Kickstarter too soon. We had the prototype of the Light ready, but we didn’t have a lot software or demos to show. Those came along much later, possibly too late to make much of an impression on a world busy preparing for the holidays. We did not want to run a campaign through the holidays (that would have been wasted time), and we did not want to wait until 2013 to launch the Light. This space is already becoming quite crowded, and we felt a real need to get out there and make a mark.

We launched before we had a clear marketing or messaging strategy. To secure our 6000 backers, we needed to get consistent media attention and we needed to reach key markets with our message. We were so busy getting ready to launch the Kickstarter we didn’t begin to develop this until late October, and by the time we were ready to lead with it in mid-November, the holidays made coordination and planning very difficult. We should have had a complete marketing strategy in place before we launched the Kickstarter.

Kickstarter versus Multiple Sales

In September Kickstarter issued a directive in the ‘Kickstarter is not a store’ blog post, which informed projects that they could not offer multiple units as rewards. Many of you asked us - repeatedly - to create reward levels for 2 or 3 or more Lights, but we had been specifically forbidden by Kickstarter from doing that. That likely slowed progress toward our funding goal.

We could have chosen to use a different crowdfunding platform, but we wanted to take a chance on the big name in crowdfunding. This meant we had to play by Kickstarter’s rules.

We believe this policy is poorly thought out and essentially unenforceable. Plenty of you pledged for multiple of Lights - knowing we would do the rest. It’s all nudge-nudge-wink-wink, which is ridiculous, and the sign of a policy that is at best ineffective, and, at worst, punitive.

Nonetheless, the decision to go with Kickstarter - and accept their rules - was ours. And that, too, may have been a mistake.

Our Apologies

Finally, many of you were offended by the tone in update 12. There’s a thin line between salesmanship and pushiness, and we clearly crossed it. For that - and everything else we did wrong - we are deeply sorry. We promise we will do better.

Onward

We’re going to get some badly-needed rest over the holidays, and we will be back in 2013 with more updates. In the meantime, we hope for your continued support, and we hope you turn your pledges into pre-orders at store.moorescloud.com.

It’s been an amazing journey -- because of you.  We hope you'll remain with us as it continues.

The MooresCloud Team

Comments

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    1. Moore’sCloud Creator on

      @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? ;)

    2. Missing avatar

      Loic on

      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 :-))

    3. Moore’sCloud Creator on

      @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.

    4. Moore’sCloud Creator on

      @Sean - Sorry that you don't like our musical selections! Might we recommend turning down the soundtrack as you watch the demo video?

    5. Moore’sCloud Creator on

      @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.

    6. Laird Popkin
      Superbacker
      on

      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?

    7. John Haugeland on

      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.

    8. Sean Houlihane on

      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.

    9. Missing avatar

      Pauline K on

      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!"

    10. Missing avatar

      Gareth M on

      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.

    11. Hans Scharler
      Superbacker
      on

      I wish the project well - we will back on your website. And, thanks for writing code that makes @CheerLights work with Light.

    12. Missing avatar

      Daniel Carosone on

      "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.

    13. R on

      New Backer #10 hoping to get this next summer... ;)

    14. Rom on

      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!