Aaron Schwartz | March 28, 2014 | FOXBusiness – Running a crowdfunding campaign is like living one year of a startup on steroids. You need to create a concise story for why folks should support you. Your team must execute a video (not an easy task). And most importantly, you have to hustle every day to get in front of new audiences; unfortunately, people won’t just show up, no matter how amazing your product is.
After going through the experience myself, I am starting to believe that all entrepreneurs should do a campaign as well. Whether you use a major site like Indiegogo or Kickstarter, or even some of the awesome up-and-comers like Teespring and Crowdtilt, executing a crowdfunding campaign will put your team and business through the fire and back.
Here’s why we decided to bite the bullet — and some advice for other entrepreneurs who might be considering a campaign of their own.
Modify Watches just launched our first-ever Kickstarter campaign in February to produce something we have titled “Mod-to-Order.” At 4-year-old Modify, we design interchangeable wristwatches, and our vision has always been to allow people to wear their passion on their wrist. If you want a photo of your kid or an image that represents your wedding or a gift for your employees, we want to provide it to you. But to date, it’s been too costly to offer.
After a few years of crowdsourcing products from our fans — “Which of these 10 designs should we produce?” — we’re now using crowdfunding to validate that fans actually want to produce genuine, one-off custom products. We’ve been ignoring Steve Blank’s mantra to get outside of the building, so we figured we would go all-in and choose a make-or-break path; we’ll only be able to offer this IF our Kickstarter campaign is successful.
I truly believe that there is no better way to validate that you have a market than by releasing your product and saying “buy now.”
In crowdfunding, you are telling folks, “We want this thing to exist, but it can only happen if you fund our vision.” If early adopters won’t fund you, either your idea isn’t all the way there, or you’re not ready to execute.
One week into our own campaign, and we’re 30 percent of the way to our goal. Our team is staying up late every night to do all of the “real” work we have after spending the 9-to-5 emailing everyone we know asking them to share our campaign.