What does it take to launch a successful crowdfunded project? We talked with Jamie Siminoff (also the founder of the new crowdfunding site Christie Street) about his latest project, the Doorbot and what process he went through to launch his campaign.
SS: Tell us a little bit about Edison Jr and your background in product development?
JS: I’ve always been someone who’s interested in how things work and how I could tweak products or hack together stuff to make them even better. For the last 10 years I’ve kept a notepad with ideas and most of those were physical products, which is exactly why I decided to start Edison Junior – to turn those ideas into a reality.
SS: How long did the process take from initial sketch to working prototype?
JS: A little less than 6 months. We benefited from leveraging a Wi-Fi board that has already been developed by our manufacturer.
SS: What sort of software packages did use in the development of the product?
JS: SolidWorks, and then for the chipboard we’re not sure what specific software our manufacturer used.
SS: How many people were on your team and how did you divide up responsibilities? How would you do it differently next time if at all?
JS: We had 2 designers who worked together to design the housing based on the internal components, 2 engineers, and 2 people focused on the marketing/messaging of the DoorBot brand.
SS: For the campaign, did you guys outsource the development of the video or did you guys do it yourself (including branding/marketing and editing)?
JS: Living in LA we benefited from having close friends in the film industry, so we hired a friend who is a director and brought him in-house to make the video.
SS: What length of time did you choose for your campaign and why? How soon did the project become successfully funded?
JS: We chose 45 days for two reasons: the first is that we wanted to give ourselves a little more time because of the holidays. The other reason was that we wanted to make sure the campaign would extend through CES, which should hopefully attract some good attention.
SS: What advice would you give for somebody pursuing a product design-based crowd funding campaign?
JS: Know your costs and make sure that you’re capable of manufacturing the product you’re raising funds for. The biggest risk in preselling products is that you are successful, but then down the line realize you miscalculated your cost and/or abilities.
To help launch Jamie’s product, be sure to head over to the Doorbot Campaign.