Around 10 months ago, I was golfing, and I faced a common problem. I wanted to film myself so I could practice more effectively. As I was looking for a product that would help, I realized that most solutions were either too small to really get the job done, or they would work well, but were big, expensive, and designed for professional cameras. I thought it would be great if there was a product that could fit in a golf or gym bag, and could expand to take-hands free photos and videos with your smartphone, on any surface. So, I created the MonoShot, a portable iPhone tripod and selfie stick. I originally thought this product would only be useful for golf, but the more people I talked to, the more I realized it could be used for just about anything.
- The big trend I see is is that smartphone camera technology has been outpacing DSLR technology for some time. We want to provide tools that will help your average consumer take professional quality photos with quality tools built for smartphones.
After I got home from the driving range, I began sketching down some ideas for what the prototype could look like. Originally the plan was to use something that looked like a cane, but we decided that was not a good option. Also, I wanted to be able to clip your phone to different parts of the MonoPod, which would have been a stupid design decision. We settled on a variety of parts and custom tooling that led us to the complete monoshot package of today. It's essentially a monopod with a spike attachment and a removable tripod stand. I'm not going to act like we're reinventing the wheel here, because we're not. We've simply found a new way of manufacturing and combining existing parts to create a product that I believe is
Our initial search for manufacturers began with companies that have experiencing designing and producing expensive AV equipment. Think camera rigs and booms and jibs that are designed for multi thousand dollar cameras. We wanted a factory that was used to producing high quality accessories that were being used on film sets, not just a factory making cheap selfie sticks. We went through a couple prototypes before we found something that I could actually imagine using on a daily basis.
We settled on a barrel style locking mechanism because it was a lot faster to set up, and added a ridge in the aluminum siding for increased stablity.
Packaging Design And Setting Up Supply Chain:
After we found the design we wanted, we needed to figure out packaging. We paid to open the mold for packaging, and the final design was able to fit in a box that was around 19 x 5.5 x 3 inches. Were saving for the artwork for when we can take professional quality product photos with a production quality sample, not just a prototype.
(post funding) Obviously our primary goal is to fund the project, but in addition to setting up an ecommerce outlet, we will partner with a distributor so we can get on the shelves of some brick and mortar stores. If the MonoShot is successful, it will give us some freedom to create more products geared towards maximizing the potential of your smartphone to capture lifes moments.
- I decided to be pretty transparent in this section so you can get an idea of the costs associated with this project. Luckily, some of the parts for the MonoShot were off the shelf, and only need to be retooled, not built from the ground up. Mold costs for the initial order are comparatively low. We have a MOQ ( Minimum order qty) of 500 units, and that will eat up the bulk of the costs.
- The larger the order, the cheaper the eventual landed cost, but right now we are looking at 16.30 for the complete product in retail packaging. Shipping will vary wildly based on the eventual number of units, but assuming it’s 1000 units, were factoring in 2-3 dollars for ocean freight to get these products into the Port Of Long Beach. Add another dollar for customs and also the cost of shipping these products to consumers, and were budgeting around 26-28 dollars for domestic shipping and 33-34 dollars for international shipping.
Overall, we're really excited to get this thing out there! We've been working really hard for months and were so close we can taste it! Thanks for your help and thanks for checking out our project.
Risks and challenges
Supply chain issues: Delays delays delays. We all know the tale of the kickstarter projects that are a year late, and usually it’s out of creators control. In my experience, factories are notoriously optimistic when quoting you from lead time on a shipment in an effort to win your business. I have factored in the estimates the factory gave me and added 6 weeks of cushion for any problems that arise. Balooning costs are also an issue. I had to cancel a previous crowdfunding project because costs skyrocketed after production, and we would have lost money on the project. I ended up refunding everyone their money, but it was definitely a learning experience. A challenge will be to keep overall costs down low enough to have a chance at retail. The benchmark goal for retail is 4x costs at a minimum. In other words, if you make something for ten dollars, you can sell it at wholesale for 20, and it should retail for 40. I would like for the MonoShot to retail for $59 (or lower). We still have some work to do but hopefully with volume that number is attainable and we can build out a distribution program.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)