I have been muddling through some eternally long days and equally long lists of tasks waiting to be ticked off. But actually, the hot phase has begun. I’d like to take a moment to keep you up to date, and explain to you why that is, and give you an overview of what I’ve been up to the past few weeks.
myPowerMate went crowdfunding
On 20th of April we introduced myPowerMate to the world in the form of a crowdfunding campaign. It’s difficult to imagine how much work this had necessitated beforehand. It was my first crowdfunding campaign and a lot of new tasks and skills had to be considered, I can tell you. I have many years of experience in metallurgy and engineering, but when it came to video production, homepage building or campaign management I was in need of professional help, because I can’t just be an expert in those things at the drop of a hat.
The crowdfunding campaign started surprisingly well. The product was very well received by the supporters, which allowed me to reach over 20% of my funding goal within the first two days. But then things got stuck and just 5% of the goal was raised over the following 28 days. The total funding goal was €73000 and I was far away from reaching my goal. Phew… What happened, you ask? Many things. First of all the funding goal was set too high. I had first thought it should be the amount of money which I need for the complete production in Germany but I was since proved wrong.
Algorithms, funding goals and the crowd
Then, after the first two days the project was swallowed by the Kickstarter algorithm. Every day several hundred projects are launched on this website. In the product design category alone, there are more than 450 projects online. Hence, myPowerMate became untraceable and got lost under heaps of new projects. Lesson learned! As such, I was a bit naive and relied solely on the Kickstarter crowd, which was already present. Which presumably is where the first 20% came from, meaning the other 80% should have been sourced from elsewhere. Indeed a lot of marketing is necessary, more than I admitted to myself at the beginning.
Very often there are specialized marketing companies in the background of big tech campaigns, which ensure the necessary attention from outside the platform. This is the reason why I will work with Backercamp for my next campaign. For the next attempt, Markus, a guy from Backercamp will help me with international press contact and Facebook ads.
myPowerMate will become even better
Furthermore I was able to win over a freelance graphic designer from Passau for the overall design of the next campaign. myPowerMate is a cool product by itself, but nowadays a cool product on its own is not good enough. Awesome presentation and appealing marketing is (unfortunately) key. With Chris I found a promising partner so that the future campaign will go through the roof. He will make it fancy for you.
At the same time I kept on developing and improving the Mate. Meetings with developers and toolmakers have shown that the upper part of the Mate is spacious enough for a multi inlet. This means that I do not have to produce four versions for different plug shapes, as there will only be one type for all common plugs. For this reason production will be a little bit more expensive, however I will be able to save money for the working tools in a high range production. The result is a better price for all of you: the supporters and ultimate users.
Developing and quality controls stay in Germany, production won’t
A personally difficult, but necessary step was the discovery that production in Bavaria will not be possible on the first go. There are the necessary companies in my region, but none of them were able to take over the whole production process. So I was faced with the facts, that I will never be able to acquire the money to have production in Germany and my idealism was thwarted. On the other hand I had researched the conditions and regulations for production overseas and found them very acceptable where production will now take place. I know I am not the first guy who realized this while crowdfunding and I am sure I will not be the last. Development is still based in Germany and the quality controls will take place here as well, but production will be outsourced elsewhere.
All these reasons have led me to the decision to cancel the crowdfunding campaign two days before it would have ended. With all the knowledge from the first try I am now working full speed to realize a Kickstarter re-launch at the beginning of June. For the reasons I’ve mentioned above the funding goal will be much lower, at just €14000. And there will be some small changes in design. Both, in the appearance of myPowerMate (keyword multi inlet) and in the layout of the campaign. Stay tuned. It will be awesome! The video is under construction at the moment as it will be adapted to changes made to the design and Chris is busy as a bee with the graphics.
Furthermore I had the chance last week to show myPowerMate at the #StartupDemoNight organized by Baystartup in Nuremberg. 350 guests met 35 exhibitors (including myself). My unique selling point was the colorful presentation of the prototypes on my exhibition table. It made the visitors curious and led to many interesting chats. For me it was an inspiring night with a lot of good talks and valuable new contacts. And so I thank you, Baystartup for the invitation.
I continue to keep you up to date (there’s also a newsletter if you want!). And if you haven’t done it yet leave me a like on my Facebook page. You are also very welcome to send me your questions, suggestions and requests via email. I am looking forward to hearing from you. Among all my current tasks, contact with real people is one I really like! Thank you for being part of the myPowerMate community.