As those of you on my mailing list are well aware, today is the day for a BIG announcement here on Decoding Startups.
Let me give you a little background info before hopping into the nitty gritty:
Ever noticed how most entrepreneurship articles are really, really useless?
Take this lovely article from Entrepreneur.com for example; the “25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs”.
Included amongst these so-called traits of successful entrepreneurs are pearly gems like “project a positive business image” and “become known as an expert”.
And think of other hackneyed, oft-repeated startup advice: “entrepreneurs are brave and strong! Persistent through the most trying of times, an entrepreneur will not take “no” for an answer!”
If you needed to read this article to know “hey, I should really make it a point to project a positive image of myself”…if this article is what it took for you to figure that out, you are probably a lost cause to humanity, and have a million issues to deal with that are far more fundamental to life than starting a company.
No shit you need to project a positive image, or be persistent, or become well regarded. Anyone except for someone who spent most of their life living in trees and swinging on vines in the jungle knows that.
The real question is how do you accomplish these things?
How do you build credibility?
How do you become an expert?
How do you remain persistent, even when things are going poorly?
And I’m not talking about some platitude one-liners like “if you just try harder…” (we all “try hard”, so if that’s all it took to be successful, why are so many of us still falling short?).
While others are satisfied to tell you things you already know (while, of course, pretending that their advice is unique), I come to you with a different proposition: to teach you the how. After what seemed like an infinite amount of failure (and continued failure) on my part, I realized that successful entrepreneurship is a skillset: a learnable system that can be taught to others.
And the best way to teach others is to do, and to have others follow along, and learn from my failures and success.
That leads up to my big announcement:
I will be launching a Kickstarter campaign for a new product, and I want you to learn from my experience as I do it.
Kickstarter is an awesome opportunity to test new products before a huge marketplace with a minimal capital investment (remember how I talked about testing your idea with potential customers?). Million-dollar products have been successfully launched on Kickstarter. Countless more products have failed to gain any traction at all. Statistically speaking, I have a 56% chance of failure.
Watch me (and my business partner) as we go from raw idea, a few CAD models, and a dinky protoype made in a 3D printer, to (hopefully!) a successful and plentiful launch, coupled with immense public enthusiasm for our product.
What’s the product?
We are developing an innovative case for the iPhone 5 (we plan to extend into other cases in the future). Our market research has shown that there’s no other cases on the market like the one we are designing. Initial interactions with customers have been rave.
No, I mean specifically, what is the product?
Hold your horses! We’ll get those details out Monday when the marketing campaign lanches (see below).
When will the product launch?
The Kickstarter itself will launch on January 30, and go for 30 days after that. But our marketing campaign launches on Monday, December 17 (45 days before the Kickstarter launch). Success with Kickstarter isn’t simply a matter of throwing a project on the site and watching the big bucks glide in: it takes countless hours of intense promotion before launch to even have a chance of success.
I invite my readers to follow along, day-by-day, to learn from my progress
More than 100 hours of careful planning have already gone into this product launch, starting with a brainstorming session back in late September. More late-night meetings than I care to admit later, we’re ready to show our work to the world.
This Kickstarter account could no-doubt make a great paid course…but not for my readers; I want you to have it for nothing.
Think about it:
Do you know how many people have written extensively about their Kickstarter campaign? Basically zero.
Think of all of the great opportunities to learn from others squandered (believe me, I searched high and low, and only found 1 or 2 other instances of folks who did Kickstarter campaigns writing extensively about their efforts).
In other words, what you will read here on Decoding Startups about our Kickstarter will be, literally, unlike something you can find anywhere else.
A few months later, we’ll look back and know if the campaign was a success. If it is, that means I’m on to something, and the steps I will write about here in excruciating detail will be a “proven” way to monetize a product on Kickstarter. That’s worth money, and could reasonably command a pricetag.
Even if I’m not successful, my in-depth analysis will clearly boast all of the things I did wrong, and will serve as an excellent “watch out!” for the countless other people who will do Kickstarter after me.
I just want you to follow along with me and learn. I want your feedback on my tactical decisions. And I want you to learn from my screw-ups and my successes.
Want to follow along? Here’s your 2 options:
1. Read the blog posts.
I’ll update the blog every Friday with a “recap” article talking about what went well this week, and what’s coming up next week. I’ll touch on our strategic discussions, decisions, pivots, etc. It’s a great overview, but it’s just the basics. ”So RC, what do I do if I want more juicy details?”
2. Join the Kickstarter Insider’s Club.
Want to see copies of our marketing plan? In-depth tactical planning, ROI analysis, and daily commentary? Want me to sit down with a beer and opine on-camera about our successes and woes? Do you want to see, step-by-step, what we did, how we did it, and what the results were?
Then join the Kickstarter Insider’s Club, where I will pour every bit of my big, giving heart into sharing every last detail with you. That means you learn more, have more fun, and as a bonus, leave each Insider’s session with a minty, refreshing feeling after each rinse.
Even if you’re already a Decoding Startups subscribed reader, you’re not automatically a member of the Insider’s Club!
So be sure to sign up again.
The Insider’s Club is my gift to you, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t join.
Unless you would rather not learn how to launch a company?
What info do you want me to focus on during the Kickstarter campaign?
Leave some comments below to help me help you. For example, I can focus on engineering, marketing, how we wrote our content, how we got people to review and promote our product, how we organized our time, how we chose the content to put on Kickstarter.
Thanks, and I’m really looking forward to this.
And yes, please remember:Insider’s Club Sign Up