Lifting the lid: From disaster to Kickstarter

Richard North

By Richard North

April 9th 2015 at 12:20PM
UPDATED April 9th 2015 at 12:21PM
Lifting the lid: From disaster to Kickstarter

Despite a slow start to Richard North's call out to inventor companies, one firm with a very successful Kickstarter project has been in touch...

The headline is right. Disaster is the only way to describe my call to design houses in the UK to bear all and showcase the journey from concept to prototype through this series of inventor bulletins.

Sad to say we got no takers!

I suppose that's not as big a disaster as my house burning down last September -  the night before the Inventors Workshop where I was due to open the event - but a pain in the ass for wondering what the heck do I say to ToyNews readers.

I suppose it was the 'warts and all' approach that could have been its downfall. After all, what if the journey turns out like a blogging bulletin equivalent of car crash TV.

The fact is that I had a couple of telephone calls and a couple of emails but all wanted to remain anonymous, thus rendering the objective completely and utterly defeated.

Well, I suppose I still hold out one hope. A company with a very successful Kickstarter project who have reached nearly a quarter million dollars in pre-sales has contacted us and wants to meet up and discuss an opportunity to take their product to market.

It appears we may have had a similar journey they are about to embark upon when our start-up company Wow! Labs decided to spin out from Wow! Stuff with Real FX Racing last year.

Kickstarter proved a wonderful platform for Real FX but it's not without its risks.

Fail on Kickstarter and a) you and your team are going to be pretty damn demotivated and b) failures get remembered by your key target market. I may surprise you on who I think is Kickstarter's key target market: the online media.

I wouldn't have worried about failing on Kickstarter when it was still in its infancy in Europe but nowadays it has become almost the go to place to launch any cool new consumer product. And the people who go to it for consumer products are not just the perceived early adopter geeks, tech savvy and internet shoppers but the online media sites who want to, neigh specialise in, breaking stories on exciting products ahead of the traditional offline media.

This target market of online press has to be nurtured carefully as they can make or break your Kickstarter launch. So I'm going to see this new Kickstarter product and work out if I can add any value, match it with a brand in our portfolio that fits, or throw it across to anyone else who might be a better home for it.

I'll let you know how I get on.