Sunday, May 17, 2015

When You Have a Great Product but a Failed Crowdfunding Campaign

Why Some Great Products Are Not Successful in Getting the Required Crowd funding

Crowdfunding success stories get all the attention, and for good reason. Somebody somewhere thought up something amazing and worked on turning it into a marketable product. They then shared their vision with the masses and got some much deserved financial backing to get the wheels turning. The thing is, not all brilliant ideas can turn into crowdfunding superstars. Even if you have an amazing product, your crowdfunding campaign could still go very wrong. Although there could be many reasons, two of the most common problems are: the campaign is not hitting the right spot, or the product is great, but just not at the cutting edge of innovation -- like these two clever products that very nearly did not fly.

Crowd fouding

Campfire in a Can 

Although this portable propane fire pit is a great product, it initially failed to ignite the passions of the crowdfunding community. Inventor Leo Knight launched his ambitious campaign at the beginning of June 2014 with a goal of US$80,000. Knight cancelled it in late July, after a mere 297 backers pledged only 30-something thousand. Beaten but not discouraged, the inventor spent the rest of the year plotting his comeback. After looking into other campaigns Knight introduced his product yet again, this time with an improved promotional video, more in-depth descriptions and a more conservative funding goal of US$48,000. His efforts were rewarded with a whopping pledge amount of nearly US$125,000.

BeActive Brace

Akiva Shmidman is a physical therapist who invented a pressure brace that helps relieve back pain. He made a prototype in 2008, tested it with great success and called it BeActive Brace. For the next five years Shmidman spent time refining his product, until he felt ready to start promoting it. In May 2013 he launched his crowdfunding campaign. Unfortunately he raised a mere two percent of his US$50,000 goal. Shmidman realised that the crowdfunding community is more interested in innovative products than solving an old problem, like aching backs, and decided to ditch crowdfunding altogether. He took his life-changing device to an inventor's speed pitch event, where he impressed the audience with a live demonstration on one of the judges. In a matter of months, well over one million units were sold and in 2014 BeActive Brace became the most successful product sold under the 'As Seen on TV' category.

Not All Losers Are Losers

What we can learn from this is that even though a failed crowdfunding campaign can be disheartening, it does not mean it's the end of the road. The trick is to do some research, make some changes and try again, or try a different route.