Lessons learned and re-organizing for a re-launch
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Thanks for your interest in PodKit Watch + ClipClok. We are coming to a close on an unsuccessful first attempt at crowdfunding on Kickstarter. If you are a backer, or have liked, tweeted, or otherwise shared our story with others, thank you for being a supporter!
As this was my first ever attempt at crowdfunding, there were some things that didn't go as well as planned, and some things that should have been done but weren't. Let me share with you some of what I've learned...
1) Social Media and Marketing are really important! It may sound like a 'duh' moment, but can you believe I didn't even have a Twitter account before I launched PodKit Watch + ClipClok on Kickstarter? Yeah... duh! I built the proverbial tree in the forrest that was falling but not enough people were around to see it happen. If you build it, they won't come, unless you tell them about it. I didn't know how to tell people whom I didn't already know about it. Over a decade of experience as a product developer means that all the designing, prototyping, sourcing, and back end operational stuff is pretty clear and relatively straightforward for me. Marketing, however, is like an alien language. SEO? SEM? Back links? Search Engine Crawlers? Hash Tags? What the what? LOL... well, now that my eyes are fully opened, I'm working on building a social rep and connecting with lots more people. I'm also hiring an SEO / social media firm to educate me and help me optimize my next crowdfunding attempt.
2) My funding goal was way too ambitious. I should have stuck with developing a single, focused product rather than attempting to launch two mechanically complex and tooling intensive designs AND a lower priced reward that also required tools and some machine fabrication. I also added in too much fat to cover unforeseen circumstances. In the end, if I had pared down and really had a more laser like focus, I could have had a substantially lower funding goal, and may have ended up with a successful campaign that ultimately could have netted far more funding than I had asked for in my current goal.
3) Bad timing: I launched a campaign in a downturn economy, in the middle of everyone's summer vacations, in the middle of the Olympics, in an election year. I can't really fall back on this excuse, however, as there have been other really successful campaigns launched during the same time. This brings me to the realization that...
4) PodKit Watch + ClipClok are very niche products. While my designs do address a number of issues with iPod nano watches, these issues aren't a big deal for most people, and consumers seem to be happy with the existing wristwatch paradigm. I think there are enough people who PodKit Watch can appeal to, but not enough to set fire to a campaign with all the other issues I've mentioned above.
In the past month, I have received a lot of compliments, kind words, helpful criticism, and great advice. It's been an incredible learning experience that, if nothing else, reinforced my belief in crowdfunding. As I have learned from the experience of another Kickstarter, Jake Jacobi, creator of V-ZA-V Watch, canceling an unsuccessful campaign before it ends, re-organizing, and re-launching can be a smart strategy that can ultimately turn an unsuccessful campaign into a successful one.
If you like PodKit Watch and want to see it brought to market, please click on the "Contact Us" button on the upper right corner of the main page of http://www.podkitwatch.com and send me your contact information so that we can keep in touch and I can let you know when I re-launch on Kickstarter. I promise I will NOT spam your email, nor will I provide your information to anyone else. This is just a way for me to stay in touch with PodKit Watch supporters because when the PodKit Watch + ClipClok project on Kickstarter is cancelled, I won't be able to communicate with you through Kickstarter.
Existing backers and those who keep in touch with me through PodKitWatch.com will be given first shots at loyalty rewards exclusive to those on the PodKitWatch mailing list :-)
So, please stay in touch and watch this space for news in the future as I regroup and prepare to relaunch PodKit Watch as a much slimmer, smarter, and better Kickstarter campaign!