Coolest Coolers are one of Kickstarter’s greatest successes, but it didn’t start out that way. Their first campaign failed, although it was able to raise six figures while active. Six figures is good, but the 2014 version brought in $13 million. What happened? Coolest Coolers discovered that with the right tools in place, a successful crowdfunding experience was easier to find.
It’s had copycats that have followed the same template. The Cool Box had a $50,000 goal that was met in the first 36 hours. It’s a product that will help to better organize all of the many tools, gadgets, and hardware that can be found in the average garage. Just like Coolest Coolers, the Cool Box is designed to be an all-in-one problem solving solution.
This template for success can work for your next campaign as well. Here are the tools that you’ll need for your campaign running toolbox so backers will see your product as the coolest one in your niche.
1. Your Customers Are Your Greatest Tool.
Many products are designed because of negative personal experiences, but it can’t just stop there. With the Cool Box, the developers recognized that there was a need to integrate some of the various tools that they brought with them to every job site. They had good ideas, but they went to talk with professionals in their niche to talk about what they’d like to see in a new tool box. Then they combined their experiences with the feedback they got to create a winning project.
2. Every Opportunity Has Multiple Sub-Opportunities.
Many entrepreneurs are looking for the perfect combination of timing and product innovation, but you can make your own perfection. All you’ve got to do is look for opportunities that exist within your own scope of relevance. Then look at that opportunity to see how you can solve problems for people who think just like you think. Pretty soon you’ll discover that there are multiple ways to solve multiple problems.
3. You Need to Prove Your Concept.
This is the one lesson that took Coolest Collers from six figures to eight figures. Their first campaign didn’t have a fully working prototype. They went back to the drawing board, used the rest of their tools, and developed an even better product. Then they invested in a prototype that could be put on film so people could see it in action. The results speak for themselves. That’s why the Cool Box developed a prototype. That’s why your campaign needs a prototype too. It’s the best way to accurately test the market.
Proving your concept means more that having someone say “Hey! I think that’s a great idea.” They need to say “Hey! I’d use that. Take my money.” For the Cool Box, they had the feedback that their idea was a good one. They launched a crowdfunding campaign with their prototype to see if people would vote with their words or with their cash.
4. Accurate Metrics Lead to Confirmed Success.
Success from crowdfunding ultimately comes from the work that happens before a campaign ever goes live. It takes a lot of sweat equity to design a product, prepare a prototype, speak with customer segments, and do early marketing for the campaign. It takes thousands of hours of work, which means your metrics for success must be accurate. You won’t have a guarantee of success from your idea, but you can maximize your chances of success by hitting all of your targets along the way.
5. Accept Any Feedback You Get.
It’s tough to get bad news. To be told your idea that you’ve loved and slaved over for years isn’t any good breaks the heart. It also makes the average entrepreneur very defensive. It isn’t uncommon to see that anger come out in comments, message boards, and forums. Is negative information tough to hear? Sure it is. That is also feedback that could save your project. The Cool Box realized that they weren’t including things that the industry wanted to see in their product. Instead of holding the line and telling people “You’re wrong,” they made immediate changes and told everyone “You’re right.”
Not everyone is going to give you accurate feedback. Sometimes a good idea can have such a small niche that it isn’t profitable to develop it. What you can do is take these tools that the crowdfunding world has learned from Coolest Coolers and their success and copy it. Maybe you won’t make $13 million, but what could you do with $50k? Or $100k? These tools make it possible to make that a reality.
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