Tag Archives: kickstarter

Being a College Student and Achieving Kickstarter Success – What we learned from Clipboard+ [Before Launch]

8 Dec Clipboard+ Successfully Funded on Kickstarter

For the past few months, we at Clipboard+ have worked very hard to fulfill the orders of our faithful Kickstarter backers.

Side note to Kickstarter backers: Thank you so much for your feedback and support. We couldn’t have done it without you. Since the success of our Kickstarter project, we have learned quite a bit and would like to share the resources we used and strategies developed along this fantastic journey.

Kickstarter Logo

Is this Kickstarter advice for me?

Since the other three co-founders are still in college and I am a recent graduate, we had to be quite creative in the implementation of our Kickstarter strategy. After many mistakes and a lot of research, we came up with some awesome guidelines that will help any project in any category. With our Kickstarter success and recent fulfillment, we thought it would be helpful to openly discuss the tactics we used.

You will benefit from this series of posts if:

  • You have no money/ no time, but still want to launch a Kickstarter project.
  • You are currently in over your head and a part of a launched Kickstarter project.
  • You are knee deep in customer orders from a recently funded Kickstarter project.

Clipboard+ & Kickstarter

Below, Clipboard+‘s efforts are divided into three different sections: Before Launch, During Launch, and Post Launch. In this post, we will exclusively discuss how to prepare Before the Launch of your Kickstarter project.

Part 1: Before Launch (The 3 R’s)

  • Research.

    Questions to ask: What is the scope of my project? How long will it take? What competing products have been successful/failed in the Kickstarter space? How much money do I need to complete this project? What content will be in my video? What will my project page look like? Who will support my idea? How will I reward my supporters? How will I get the internet’s eyes on my project? (*Adapted from 9 Essential Steps for a Killer Kickstarter Campaign by Mashable’s Stephanie Buck.) 

Here are screen shots of information you need to know, straight from the stats page on Kickstarter:

Kickstarter Statistics Projects & Dollars (Dec. 5, 2012)

Kickstarter statistics (Projects & Dollars)

(Related: check out the comprehensive 2011 statistics report published by Kickstarter.)

Below are excerpts from an infographic published by Apps Blogger titled “The Untold Story Behind Kickstarter Success.”

Kickstarter Margins of Failure & Success

The Untold Story of Kickstarter Stats

Chance of Success on Large Kickstarter Projects

Chance of Success on Large Kickstarter Projects

What Variables Matter?

Effect of Variables on Chance of Kickstarter Success

*Important Final Research Step:

Vet Your Idea. Stop talking about your new project! Step back and consider the possibility that it is a bad idea. Be critical. Step into a nay-sayers shoes and ask the hard questions. Also keep in mind, if your idea doesn’t create polarity, it also might not be a good idea. (It is a good thing if not everyone likes your idea.) If you can’t/ don’t now how to develop your own ideas, please refer to The Founder Institute’s Idea Development Guide.

  • Read.

    This should be thought of as an extension of your research. It includes blogs that could be interested in your project, other projects’ pages and social copy, news sources about Kickstarter and any recently successful Kickstarter projects. Reading to benefit your project is something that should be enjoyed. Kickstarter is meant to help fund a passion project, if you are not enjoying the necessary reading it might be worth reconsidering launching your project all together.

Tools to help you read more, faster:

RSS Feed (ex: Google Reader ) – aggregate content send to Instapaper.

Instapaper – Organize & read content.

Google Alerts – Track specific keywords and stay on top of your areas of interest.

Evernote – Write notes about impactful content and save url for future use.

  • Reach Out.

    Once you have read and researched, it is time to take your cool new idea and reach out to people that matter. Use the time you have spent reading and connect with the bloggers whose content you have genuinely enjoyed. At first, don’t even mention your project. Focus on making a real human connection and success will follow. If you want to make a genuine connection we highly suggest “the Impact Equation” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. It is a great read that is well worth your time and money.

Use these steps when contacting a blogger/ news outlet:

  1. Introduce yourself, your product, and the launch date.
  2. What the news is about.
  3. Why is it a big deal?
  4. Website access or screenshot of what you are launching.
  5. Your name, your telephone number & meaningful social network.
  6. P.S. – something meaningful, memorable

(Sales tip: Always remember a “no” is just one step closer to a “yes.”)

Final Thoughts

One of the most common Kickstarter slip-ups is not properly planning ahead. Make sure you have a clear idea of your timeline going forward. Keep your date of delivery always on top of mind. Additionally, make use of your networks. We had some great support from friends like, Roger Osorio, but failed to fully tap into our networks until mid way through launch. Our biggest misstep was not connecting with bloggers early enough. This early connection to people (bloggers), who can get your project noticed, requires time invested months before launch. Make it your goal to stay connected to at least five bloggers. This will make your path going forward much easier.

We would love to hear from you! Please comment if you have any additional information about how to prepare for Kickstarter pre-launch.

Thanks for reading. We will be back next week with “Being a College Student and Achieving Kickstarter Success” (Part 2 – During Launch)

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Clipboard+ Progress and Purchasing Information

22 Oct

I’d like to thank everyone for their patience as we near completion of our initial manufacturing run.

Right now we are finishing up and anticipate being able to ship ideally within the next week. If you went to our website looking to purchase a Clipboard+ but were disappointed when you couldn’t figure out how to buy one, I apologize. The reason that we don’t have a store up on our current website is that we still haven’t fully completed manufacturing and are therefore would be unable to fulfill orders. However we’ve built an online store and plan to launch it in place of the current website once we have fulfilled all of the Kickstarter orders.

We plan to sell the Clipboard+ iPad for $50 and the Clipboard+ Smartphone for $25. Once the new site is online you will be able to place your orders through our store at http://www.clipboard-plus.com. In the meantime, please direct any questions you might have to me personally at kevin@clipboard-plus.com or our customer service address at info@clipboard-plus.com

Our Favorite Kickstarter Projects (August 2012)

6 Aug

Kickstarter was a tremendous way to get the word out about Clipboard+ Going forward, we would like to contribute back to this fantastic community by staying involved through contributing to projects and providing simple monthly updates of our favorite Kickstarter projects. Please share your favorite Kickstarter projects for August in the comments section!

Art

Pixel Portrait Poster Project

This project is about creating 8-bit pixel portraits for up to 800 kickstarter backers, and bringing them all together into a beautiful limited edition art print!

Comics

The Mighty Titanby Joe Martino

5 Issue Miniseries that wraps Joe Martino’s cancer in a superhero shell. Who will protect The Mighty Titan’s alter ego from cancer?

Dance

And lose the name of action

An evening-length dance by Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People exploring embodied philosophy, neurology, improvisation and ghosts.

Design

Build Your Dreams

The PLY90 is a connector to build and bring your ideas to life. It’s like Legos for adults.

Fashion

Ahoy! Pirate shirts! by ManaTee Shirts

We love making funny shirts, and we love pirates. We decided to combine the two with these awesome new designs.

Film & Video

Behind the Diamond Curtain MineCon 2012

See everything that happens Behind the Diamond Curtain during MineCon 2012 at Disneyland Paris. Own a piece of the MineCon experience.

Food

The Boxcar Grocer

The Boxcar Grocer is making fresh food accessible to all communities.

Games

Castle Story

Castle Story is a voxel-based creative strategy game about building castles brick by brick and defending them against enemies.

Music

Flourishby Katie McNally

A debut album of original and traditional Scottish fiddle music!

Photography

The American (Photo) Road Trip

Join photog Kathryn Allen Hurni as she hops into the driver’s seat & shoots American homes: from NYC to the OC & everything in between.

Publishing

A How-To Guide for Freelance Video Game Journalists

Make a living by writing about video games? Hell yes! Break into the gaming industry with this detailed how-to guide for freelancers.

Technology

Oculus Rift: Step Into the Game

Developer kit for the Oculus Rift – the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.

Theatre

Twainfest

TwainFest 2012 – San Diego’s biggest FREE theatrical event celebrates Mark Twain and his contemporary writers on August 18, 2012.

 

We hope you enjoyed our review of our favorite Kickstarter projects from August 2012. Please comment below or on twitter @changeyourwork about some of your favorite Kickstarter projects from August.

We’re Funded! Thank You!

18 Jul

Well, it took a strong finish thanks to the help of friends, family, and individuals from around the world, but we have successfully surpassed our $10,000 goal and the 30-day Kickstarter campaign has finally come to an end! We could not have done this without all of your help and support, it has served as both encouragement and inspiration throughout the process. Your optimism emboldens us to continue working hard at providing products that can truly change the way you work.

We’d also like to thank Kickstarter for providing us with the platform to expose our product to a wide audience, get the ball rolling with our company, and to receive diverse feedback on our ideas. We are so pleased to have been able to participate and succeed with this project. We look forward to hitting the ground running now that Clipboard+ has been successfully funded! Image

Supporters, backers, friends, Romans: we thank you for all of your feedback and suggestions thus far, know that we value each and every comment we receive. This next part is where the true work begins, the Kickstarter campaign is through and we have our work cut out for us. In addition to fulfilling the rewards, we will be spending the next few months looking into implementing design improvements, marketing plans and much more. We will keep you posted on major developments as you are all valued members of the Clipboard+ story.

Again, thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts, we are so happy to have completed this campaign successfully and we know it wouldn’t have been possible without you. Don’t forget to keep an eye on this blog, Changing the Way You Work, and our website for updates!

Sincerely,

The Clipboard+ Team

10 Jul

A wonderful post by Roger Osorio about success. It features an interview with Kevin Merlini, founder of Clipboard+ about the struggles of starting a company. Check out Roger’s blog and make sure to back Clipboard+ on Kickstarter and share this link on your social media networks!

Roger Osorio

In my last few posts, I’ve spent time focusing on learning, mistakes, and failure and how they relate to success.  Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with a young entrepreneur from Penn State University, Kevin Merlini, to discuss his new company Clipboard +.  I came to know Kevin via one of his co-founders, Patrick Ryan, whom I have been advising for over a year now.  Patrick connected us so that we could talk about the new startup and some of the lessons he learned along the way.

According to Kevin, Clipboard + “value(s) simplicity and functionality to help make your life easier. Since technology changes faster than your habits, we help you keep pace.”  Their product is a “personal mobile workstation, and there really isn’t anything else quite like it.  A must have for any smartphone power user.” 

In short, it’s clipboard meets mobile device…

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Leadership Lessons From Game of Thrones

9 Jul

It took almost a year of my friends telling me how much I would love the HBO series Game of Thrones for me to get around to watching it. Truth be told I didn’t have the time, but when I found myself with some free time earlier this summer I tore through the first two seasons on HBO GO. After I finished the TV series I still wanted more Game of Thrones, so last week I began reading the books on which the series is based. I’m about half way through the first book right now and it’s awesome. George R.R. Martin is a master of his craft. The books are a wonderful supplement to the TV series providing a wealth of detail and background unavailable in the show, and it does so in a beautiful and enthralling manner. The books revolve around the lives of leaders and it is only natural that they should espouse leadership lessons left and right. Even though I’m only half way through the first book I wanted to highlight a few quotes from the book I think impart valuable leadership wisdom.

Know Your Men

“Her father used to say that a lord needed to eat with his men, if he hoped to keep them. ‘Know the men who follow you,’ she heard him tell Robb once, ‘and let them know you. Don’t ask your men to die for a stranger.’ At Winterfell he always had an extra seat at his own table, and everyday a different man would be asked to join him.” 

This passage is about Eddard Stark and his thoughts on a Lord’s relationship with his people, but it is relevant for any leader. Having a pulse on the life of one’s organization is vital, and what better way than to interact with those you lead first hand. There are handfuls of CEOs famous for following this principle. From simply walking the office floor and chatting with workers to having formal programs in place, communication throughout an organization is a quality embodied by many successful companies.

The Man Who Passes Sentence Should Swing the Sword

“…the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die. … A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is,”

While this maxim of House Stark obviously doesn’t relate to today’s leaders in a literal sense, it still has value in its overall message. A leader should be fully and personally committed to any undertaking that he or she is planning. Without being personally involved in project implementation a leader loses sight of operations and loses touch with what it takes to carry out their plans.

The Lone Wolf Dies While the Pack Survives

“Let me tell you something about wolves, child. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths.”

This quote, spoken by Septa Mordane to Arya should be readily apparent to any leader, however I liked the manner in which Martin packages the message. While arguments are okay, and in some cases they can be constructive, the team must also be supportive of all members if it hopes to survive. In times when your team is under a lot of pressure keeping a positive atmosphere amongst members is key to maintaining morale and productivity.

You Must Be Afraid In Order To Be Brave

“Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid? He heard his own voice saying, small and far away. And his father’s voice replied to him. ‘That is the only time a man can be brave.’”

I particularly enjoyed this quote, and to me it means it says two things. First, that it is okay to be afraid. Second, that in order to be brave you must first be willing to take the risks necessary to put you into the situation where you must confront your fear. Leaving your comfort zone requires a certain amount of bravery, but it is not until you are faced with fear that you may prove your courage.

These quotes are only a small sampling of the leadership lessons that can be found within A Game of Thrones, and adequately doing the subject of GOT leadership lessons justice would require many pages. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed my selections and please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or some of your own takeaways at kevin@clipboard-plus.com

Also please check out the Kickstarter campaign that we are running for our line of smartphone and tablet integrated clipboards, only one week left!

Related Posts:

Why is Clipboard+ Changing the Way You Work?

6 Jul

If you are like me and work on a computer, I am sure there are times when you want to get away from the desk. Since people who work on the go use a smartphone or iPad, the only thing that is missing is a flat surface.While coffee shops and libraries can be great places to burn the midnight oil, here at Changing the Way You Work, we would much rather operate from a comfy LuvSac. Clipboard+ finally solves this problem and makes working from a couch, the floor or even outside in the grass a simply effortless experience.

Mobile Professional

As a mobile professional, my life is run by apps like TweetBot, Sparrow, Zite, Instapaper, Tapatalk, Analytiks, and Launch Center Pro. I can know Clipboard+ will infuse new energy into your routine and completely change the way you work. The above apps are the cornerstone of my digital presence, but I find that paper is still an essential tool for making lists, outlines, and quick sketches. By combining the power of paper and your favorite apps, you will get more done in less time. Many technology blogs feel the same way and written about Clipboard+ on Kickstarter. Check them out below.

What People are Saying:

App Advice:

“A functional, yet inexpensive solution for anyone that needs an iDevice and a clipboard to get their job done.”

Business Insider:

“Analog meets digital in this redesigned clipboard that can hold your smartphone or your iPad.”

Unleash the Phones:

 “While smartphones and tablets have definitely changed the way we work today, the Paper hasn’t really been replaced entirely just yet. And if you cant beat ‘em, join ‘em which is where the Clipboard+ comes in.”

Gear Diary:

 “Let’s face it: you cart around your mobile phone with you everywhere. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could somehow attach your phone to a clipboard, so that you can also scribble down handwritten notes? Clipboardify Your Smartphone or iPad with Clipboard+”

#ChangeYourWork

If these reviews don’t convince you think about the direction of mobile devices. iPads are becoming integrated into many levels of enterprise from hospitals to education to construction. With this impending explosion of iPads in business comes an opportunity to become more efficient with our current technology. According to this infographic from Column Five media, 72% of US enterprises are using tablets and by 2014 1 in 5 consumers will own one.

With this massive tablet expansion it is time we become more efficient with our technology! In line with this theme we would like to share another very cool Kickstarter project. Robert Stoeber’s mission is to build an app called, Work Smarter and Save Trees with iPads and WordPress, that will enable anyone to do serious programming work! Check out their video and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

By supporting Clipboard+ you are investing in a better future for all mobile professionals. Back the Clipboard+ project today and Change the Way You Work!