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How to prep efficiently for a kickstarter campaign?

Hello all, I just joined the team of Snoobe, a mobile app startup that analyses the phone usage history, compares it to the current plan and gives better alternatives if necessary .
The product is soon to be patented and a Kickstarter campaign will start September 23. The challenge to prep for the campaign is to manage to get people interested while we are not yet abled to show the app working without an NDA.
Did you experienced a similar situation ? Any tips, do's and don'ts ?
Thank you!

10 Replies

Michael Barnathan
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Michael Barnathan Entrepreneur • Advisor
Co-Founder of The Mountaintop Program, Google Alum
You have a one year grace period (at least in the United States) after disclosure during which you can still file a patent. Or file a provisional before your kickstarter and follow up with the full patent by the end of the year. Not being able to show the app will hurt your ability to fundraise.
Maïté Grisard
0
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Maïté Grisard Entrepreneur
Field marketing expert
Great thank you very much for the tip! I'll tell the team, let's hope Canada is the same as the US regarding patents..
Maïté Grisard
0
0
Maïté Grisard Entrepreneur
Field marketing expert
Apparently it only works in the US. And if you voluntarily disclose in other countries there is no protection.
We should get the patent next week so good news is, we are only handicapped before the kickstarter, not during. Thanks again
Scott Sanchez
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Scott Sanchez Entrepreneur • Advisor
Director & Lead Cloud Evangelist at Rackspace // Business Strategy // Product // Marketing // OpenStack
Hopefully you've figured out what the problem is you're trying to solve, and who you are trying to solve it for... e.g. is it for enterprises to reduce corporate mobile spend? is it for individuals to get the best blend of features? etc... then, create a good message around the outcome you hope to create for customers to generate early interest without giving up the details of "how" you do it. You can sell the 'what' (value) without giving away details on the 'how' (tech). Happy to brainstorm on a message/story with you if you can narrow down your market/outcome for us here... Good luck! -Scott
Maïté Grisard
0
0
Maïté Grisard Entrepreneur
Field marketing expert
The app is BtoC oriented. It helps people get the best mobile plan based on their actual needs.
We are doing testing events where people need to sign an NDA prior to testing.

Other that that we participate to event and go meet people on the street (with the founder dressed as Robin Hood as per our pitch: Snoobe, the Robin hood of the wireless industry)
We explain them what the app will do we just don't show print screens.

I know we are in the right direction but new advise are always welcome !

Thank you!
Brian McConnell
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Brian McConnell Entrepreneur
Head of Localization at Medium.com
Hi, you do realize that no investor in Silicon Valley will sign an NDA? Requiring early users to sign an NDA basically insures that people with the type of useful feedback you need will not look at your product, which means the risk that you will launch something that users don't like is high. Also you seem to be patenting an idea that has already been done before. Several companies prior to yours ran analytics on your phone usage. (I've worked in telecom for 20 years). The idea sounds interesting, but you should focus on creating a good experience for your customers rather than patents, unless your intent is to become a patent troll, the main determinant in whether you are successful or not is whether customers like and recommend your service. My two cents (sorry if this is a bit harsh, but I see entrepreneurs make the mistake of getting too paranoid about people stealing their idea, to the point that it undermines their product). -B
Maïté Grisard
0
0
Maïté Grisard Entrepreneur
Field marketing expert
Indeed Brian patent can be dangerous, let hope we do get it soon and it stops being en issue for the Kickstarter.
But as you say, I think if we are still waiting when we kickstart, we ll have to show the app anyway!
Thank you for your comment !
Scott Sanchez
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Scott Sanchez Entrepreneur • Advisor
Director & Lead Cloud Evangelist at Rackspace // Business Strategy // Product // Marketing // OpenStack
Totally agree with Brian on NDA's -- I get asked to sign probably a hundred NDA's a year, and maybe sign 3 of them. Unless you're doing something REALLY novel that is going to revolutionize the market, getting real feedback from a large group of engaged users trumps protecting a small tweak that you're making to an existing "invention". Making the user experience amazing and having people feel like they absolutely need to use your product and talk about it to their friends is what will make you successful, not the patent. Having a great message, especially one that tugs at the strings of peoples emotional attachments to their phones these days, will help propel you there.
Derek Dukes
3
0
Derek Dukes Entrepreneur • Advisor
Business Development, Startups at Amazon Web Services
While I agree with many of the above comments WRT your product development process, if you're just looking for pre-buzz and post launch pr there are some easy things you can do.

I've done 2 kickstarter campaigns now and the process of 'getting ready for one aside from getting the video and page built can be pretty daunting. I'd recommend starting with a good solid social media + pr plan that will support the KS campaign. While you might get some organic lift from the campaign within the kickstarter community, that really requires the project to be featured in the newsletter, as a staff pick or through other editorial channels. There's limited lift / network effect from the 'friends who backed' email that gets sent out by KS.


It's basically a playbook for how to think about how you promote your campaign.

On the social media front, you can always start interacting with people around the problem you're trying to solve, without showing the product until it's ready or you're able too. Social media isn't about promotion, it's about a dialog. Start the dialog now and build start finding your first 1000 customers.
Maïté Grisard
0
0
Maïté Grisard Entrepreneur
Field marketing expert
Exactly what we needed ! Thank you very much for this Derek !
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