Our Kickstarter Campaign!
As you probably know, we recently completed our Kickstarter campaign. Here are some thoughts and reflections:
- First, I’d like to say a big “Thank You!” To everyone who supported us. We got a wonderful array of advice, suggestions, ideas, and inquiries from everyone in our Kickstarter community. The Kickstarter process is a great way for a young company to get recognized and get some initial attention, but it is also a great way to learn. We already have some great new ideas for enhancements and improvements to our product line.
- As you may know, Kickstarter is “all or nothing” funding. This means that if you don’t hit your target, you get no funding at all. With the help of our initial backers, we were able to achieve over 700% of our target. This gave us confidence that we are on to something with our ideas of making One Bag Travel accessible to everyone!
- We ended up with just over 200 backers. These people are now using our product and giving us invaluable feedback. We appreciate the feedback, and the way it confirmed our value proposition. There really is a market for people who want a high quality, good looking bag designed so you never have to check it!
- A Kickstarter campaign is also useful for getting press for a young company. We had several articles written about us, and several bloggers did reviews of our bag. That’s really helpful for a young company. Links to many of these articles or reviews can be found in the “Press” section of our website.
- A Kickstarter campaign is a LOT of work! Responding to the inquiries of over 200 backers is challenging. And managing the shipment of over 200 orders, right at the start of our life as a company, was challenging.
- We made some mistakes. We didn’t realize early enough that there was genuine international interest in our products. We added an international pledge level on Kickstarter midway through the campaign, but we probably should have had it ready to go at the beginning.
- A subtle challenge is that the Kickstarter process is so all-encompassing that it does, for a while, take away from the basics of building your business. The “opportunity cost” of not working on other important things is significant.
- Overall, on balance, however, the pros outweigh the cons. Kickstarter connects you with a host of people interested in innovative products, and the word spreads. A young company can honestly present it’s products and it’s story, and interest people in it’s ideas. This kind of help wasn’t available to entrepreneurs 20 years ago. So, I’d recommend that any entrepreneur consider Kickstarter if they think they have a compatible product. Just be aware of the workload, and the opportunity costs. The long term value is in the ideas, people, and visibility... more so than the amount of money raised.
Dave and the Onli Travel team