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When would you run Hardware Technology Kickstarter campaigns (e.g. Pebble, Oculus Rift, Kano,etc.)?

I have been reading online about the various most successful Kickstarter hardware campaigns for instance some of the better articles here:
  • Wikipedia on top projects
  • Business Insider on the 13 highest funded projects
  • Business Insider on:The most successful Kickstarter projects of all time and where they are today
  • Inc on 9 on the highest funded Kickstarters
  • PC Worldon6 things almost every viral Kickstarter has in common

When would you recommend going the Kickstarter route given a strong team, solid idea but it seems the successful Kickstarters use a seed round to create very polished campaigns (in terms of websites, videos, press outreach and it seems even Google adwords campaigns).

We're concerned about the need of making it obvious to potential competitors what we are planning to do before we've already done it giving them more time to respond.

Thoughts?

3 Replies

Anton Yakovlev
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Anton Yakovlev Entrepreneur
Founder of four successful businesses on two continents who can help you do the same
The average Kikstarter round is now $684. About seven hundred US dollars. It means, that on average there are 1463 of those who got nothing to one who got a million. How do you stand out out of the line of 1464 competitors? Answer this question, and pre-Kikstarter campaing would probably make more sense to you.
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There are several discussions on crowdfunding that could be helpful that you should check out.Also, take a look here >>crowdfunding blog. Hope that helps!
Steve Everhard
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Steve Everhard Advisor
All Things Startup
Tal the time to do Kickstarter is really when you are at pre-production for your development. Kickstarter policy is very clear on physical product and that is that if you are offering product as a reward you should have a demonstrable working prototype. This is in response to a number of high profile raises where the funds evaporated and the product never appeared.

I wouldn't worry so much about the average Kickstarter raise as there are a broad range of products/projects and media events promoted. If $684 was really the average raise then nothing would be funded as they would fail their minimum target. The good projects get funded. I helped fund a couple of hardware projects and a graphic novel and all exceeded their targets.

The onus is on you to connect with your audience, get PR at the right time (just as your Kickstarter launches) and engage viewers with your project. The parameters are very simple. Explain what you are doing and why, who you are and why this project changes the game in some way. The effort you put into social media marketing ahead of the Kickstarter launch will pay dividends in the end.

If you try and raise for an idea you will fail, assuming your project gets accepted at all. De minimum is a working prototype and an idea of what it will look like. Craft your offerings to make sense, with limited version options if you can so that you can cap the number of backers. Keep your project updated and use video as much as you can. Good luck!
Dina Destreza
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Dina Destreza Entrepreneur
Digital Content Manager at Keyideas Infotech
Tal, before your product is ready for the market, you should start using facebook for promotion. Please note the below details:- 1. Social networking sites and email marketing are the most delicate marketing tools in which, if misused; it could hamper the image of your product. 2. If you have a budget, do buy an email database of large volumes because if you can drive CTC or conversion through emailers, it would increase your ranking on google as well as it can bring in more users of your product. In this scenario, you need to be careful with the "Sender name" and "Subject Line" of your mailer so that it passed the spam score test. 3. The content of your e-mailer shouldn't be more than 40KB. It should be a mixture of image and text. You "Subject Line" would increase the open rate and your "email content" would increase the CTR or conversion rate. Good Luck Tal.
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