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Crowdfunding Uncut | Kickstarter| Indiegogo | Where Entrepreneurs Get Funded

Why should you listen to Crowdfunding Uncut? Because I’m asking the same questions you want to know. I know what it feels like to fail at crowdfunding. I also know what questions to ask, and what to do to raise over half a million dollars on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. As I’m also advising Crowdfunding campaigns, I need to keep up to date with what’s working and what isn’t. Questions that will get answered on this show: what crowdfunding platform is right for me? What can I do to have a successful product launch? How can I get 1000 backers for my project? What really matters? What if I have a small budget? What happens after crowdfunding? I will share with our best interviews showcasing the campaigns processes, failures, critical lessons learnt and actionable strategies showing YOU how to get your project funded. This is where project creators get funded.
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Now displaying: January, 2017
Jan 25, 2017

Cheat Sheet

  • Some people close their eyes, swing their hardest, and hit a home run their first time at the plate.
  • The danger is that if you become jaded and overconfident, the inevitable crash is usually harder and faster than the initial rise to the top.
  • But if you pay attention, and do the inner work there are rich lessons to be learned that can apply to your next venture, or to teaching others.
  • Or, you can simply learn the tactics and strategies that someone who has been through the meat grinder of early success and epic failure in order to avoid a good portion of the pain and suffering that comes along with it… and make a lot more money, sustainably, in the process.
  • Today’s guest, Mike Michalowicz, is one of those people who has been through the ringer and is someone that I have learned from. I have implemented many of his lessons in my own business with huge success and I recommend his work highly.

 

About This Episode

Have you been struggling to get your business off the ground or to get things done?

Wish you had just nailed it from the get-go?

Mike Michalowicz would beg to differ.

When he was 22 years old he started a computer networking business that he quickly grew and sold when it was reaching $2 million a year in revenue.

He then started a computer crime investigation company at the right time (helping take down Enron) and sold it when it was generating $7 million a year in revenue.

“I thought I was God’s gift to entrepreneurship… turns out I was just a guy.”

He then proceeded to blow all his earnings on trophy items like cars, an expensive apartment in an expensive city, and silly Angel investments.

One day he had to come home to his wife and kids and tell them they had to sell everything and start from scratch.

Fast forward to today, Mike has risen from the ashes to write four entrepreneurial cult classics, including “Profit First” and his latest book, “Surge”, where he teaches the strategies that made him successful originally and the mistakes he made to lose it all so you can avoid them.

He is also back into Angel investing, with a stake in a manufacturing company, but this time operating with a strict “No Dicks Allowed” partnership policy that is serving him well.

Having had early success, and then losing it all, and then rising like a Phoenix from the ashes, Mike has a unique and valuable perspective on how to launch and grown successful businesses.

In this episode, we talk about how to avoid a cash flow crunch with proper budgeting, why you should do a small batch run of manufacturing even before your campaign to prove the process…

...but most importantly for Crowdfunding, he reminds us that your backers can’t see behind the curtain and see how hard you are working to deliver unless you let them.

And how to set expectations properly so you can wow your backers and make them raving fans, even if it feels like your world is crashing down around you.

 

Resources Mentioned

www.MikeMichalowicz.com/

The Surge

Profit First

The Pumpkin Plan

Toilet Paper Entrepreneur

Hedgehog Leatherworks

Augmentecture

Jan 18, 2017

Cheat Sheet

  • The more work you do on your campaign before you launch the more success you will have. But no matter how much you plan, Global Politics (and other factors 100% out of your control) get a vote.
  • Today’s guest, Ed Barton of Virtuali-Tee, saw his production costs go up 33% overnight after the UK voted for Brexit and the Pound collapsed.
  • Setting up plans for likely contingencies is a great start. But when things break down (and they will) or a blind spot is revealed, that is when the real work begins!
  • Communication is the key to weathering the inevitable storm of backer emails asking when their product is supposed to arrive.
  • With the media surrounding Crowdfunding beginning to sour on projects not delivering, you have to do everything you can to not be lumped into that narrative.

 

About This Episode

Imagine being able to look at your body, and see your heart beat, lungs breathe, liver processing, stomach churning, and intestines digesting,

That is what you can now do with Virtuali-Tee, a new product from Curiscope that Founder and CEO, Ed Barton, hopes will help kids learn to love biology.

The Virtuali-Tee uses your smartphone and a funky tee-shirt that looks like it is out of the 1980’s hit game, Space Invaders.

The shirt is essentially an advanced QR-Code that, when you combine it with your smartphone or VR device, lets you look at a virtual representation of your anatomy ON your body.

You can literally dive into your blood vessels and learn how the heart delivers oxygen to muscles and tissues.

Crowdfunding is MADE for cool projects and creators like Ed and his team.

For their successful launch, Ed was extremely well prepared by most standards:

He had an email list

He had a working prototype

He lined up a manufacturer in the United States that could meet the high printing quality standards required to make the magic happen.

He and his co-founder went to conferences, demoed their product and signed people up to their email list IN PERSON!

Even then, Ed delivered the Virtuali-Tee to all backers about 6 weeks late, (“early” by Crowdfunding standards) and he wasn’t happy about it.

Why’s that? As Ed puts it…

“Business is a string of problems that you solve to get the successes along the way.”

Some of these problems are foreseeable and contingencies can be planned.

After Brexit, the Pound dropped 25% overnight.

This caused his production costs go up 33% as a result (the maths, as the Brits say, works I swear) and meant that he had start from square one to source a new manufacturer able to meet the high standards required to make the magic happen.

Communication is what saved his company’s reputation.

Ed made it his policy to respond personally to all emails and Backer comments within 24 hours.

The results of being on top of his communication, and ultimately delivering a great product, has meant hundreds of repeat orders from teachers all over the world and the beginning of what Ed hopes will revolutionise how kids are taught and engage in school.
 

Resources Mentioned

Virtuali-Tee Kickstarter Campaign

Curiscope.com

The VR Great White Shark Video

Curiscope Facebook Page

Curiscope on Twitter

Startup Podcast

Jan 10, 2017

Cheat Sheet

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Crowdfunding is a LONG TERM STRATEGY. It is not a cash grab. It is merely the beginning...
  • Even if your campaign doesn’t become legendary, you should be able to learn enough about your market and your customers to make your BUSINESS legendary.
  • I know you are heads down and planning your first campaign… but why not keep an eye on your SECOND campaign?
  • Today’s guest took a successful campaign and 10x’ed their second. I took a failed campaign (that I ran) to $594k on our second attempt. The Cards Against Humanity guys raised only $10k in their Kickstarter campaign.

About This Episode

I am super excited about today’s guest!

Savannah Turk is the Communications Director of Purple, makers of The Purple Pillow and The Purple Mattress.

The Purple Pillow is probably my favorite Kickstarter Campaign that I have seen to date.

What blows me away about what The Purple Team were able to do is take a “successful” campaign, The Purple Mattress, learn from it, iterate, and then...

BLOW IT OUT OF THE WATER

Their first campaign, The Purple Mattress, raised $171k and they were really happy about it.

They custom built their own machine designed to make 20 mattresses a day.

After the first campaign, the demand spiked and they had to get it ramped up to 200 mattresses a day.

So what did they do? Did they rest on their laurels and newfound success?

NOPE!

They took what they learned, leveraged their new, super passionate audience of existing customers, and crushed it with The Purple Pillow.

Exactly one year to the day later they raised over $2.6 MILLION.

Crowdfunding is just the START of something amazing.

Whatever your level of “success” (however you define that), if you are paying attention, you will learn enough to crush it in Round Two.

 

Resources Mentioned

Purple Pillow Kickstarter

Purple Mattress Kickstarter

Purple Brand Website

Backerkit - No really! These guys used and loved Backerkit!

Jan 3, 2017

75 - Finding a Balance of Entrepreneurial Superpowers | feat. Alex Fine

 

Cheat Sheet

  • Designing a product for a customer and designing a product for a manufacturer to create are two different things.
  • Customers want features and benefits and manufacturers want it to be made of only one part.
  • Designing and building a prototype is equally different from designing a product to be made thousands of times.
  • Some contract manufacturers will take your prototype design and translate it into something they can use for mass production, but that is not ideal. You will want an industrial design engineer in your corner.
  • If industrial engineering is not your forte, you can partner with a firm, or find a kickass cofounder. If you do, your chances of delivering on time go through the roof.

 

About this episode

Most of the people that call me for advice or to hire me to run their campaigns are visionaries.

They have big hearts and bigger dreams.

But oftentimes they lack the skills in another area of business that is crucial to the success in the market they have chosen to tackle.

In consumer technology crowdfunding, the skills deficit I most often see is in the nitty gritty detail work of industrial design and engineering.

You can have a great idea, execute a crowdfunding campaign on it perfectly, raise a ton of money, and then be screwed trying to manufacture.

What is the solution? Partner with people who have the skills you need.

Chris Prendergast partnered with an industrial design firm for JamStack.

Today’s guest, Alex Fine, is a sex therapist with a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University.

Alex brought her passion for human sexuality and partnered with an MIT mechanical engineering grad, Janet Lieberman, who brought extensive product design experience.

Together they cofounded Dame Products and have raised over $1.2 million dollars over two campaigns for two different, cutting edge, sex toys.

The original, Eva, raised $575,000 in 45 days on IndieGoGo in 2014.

Their latest, Fin, raised $394,000 in 30 days on Kickstarter in late 2016.

The balance they raise with IndieGoGo's InDemand service.

In this episode, you will get some hints on what makes their partnership work well.

When you are done listening, ask yourself, “do I have all of the skills necessary to pull off my vision?”. If not, then get to work finding partners.

 

Resources Mentioned

Dame Products

Eva on Indiegogo (includes InDemand earnings)

Fin on Kickstarter

Survey Monkey

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