Kickstarter: crowdfunding the 2012 way
It was recently alleged that crowdfunding website, Kickstarter.com has fudged their reporting to make the site look like a more successful tool for crowdfunding than it actually is, to which we asserted that other peoples’ success does not necessarily encourage or discourage entrepreneurs, who typically have an attitude that they can do anything, no matter the past failure rate.
With all of the hoopla surrounding the Kickstarter success rates, we thought we would take a look back at the Kickstarter projects we have shared with you, the reader. Our data is not indicative of how the site works in full, as we do not cover any of the creative projects like movies or albums, nor do we cover art installations, mission trips, group gardens, but we do share technology tools, which for the most part have performed quite well on Kickstarter, many of which have raised nearly ten times what their original fundraising goal was.
Kickstarter entrepreneurs must declare the dollar amount they are raising, and if they do not raise that amount through the site, no money exchanges hands, but for projects that meet their goal, perks are offered to people who pledged funds, and the entrepreneur has to deliver a product along with the promised perks.
Below are the ten projects written about on AG that succeeded in meeting their fundraising goals, along with one that is still fundraising, and five projects that failed.
1. Curly Cable: 1,814% funded
Curly Cable for iPad and iPhone adds a curly cable to iPads and iPhones. Simple. Genius.
- Fundraising goal: $1,500 / Fundraised $27,216 / Funded on January 28, 2012
- AG story on Curly Cable
- Kickstarter page for Curly Cable
2. Trigger Happy: 887% funded
Trigger Happy app controls your digital camera via smartphone. Innovative photo tools that automate photography seem to do well on Kickstarter.
- Fundraising goal: $25,000 / Fundraised $221,739 / Funded on May 5, 2012
- AG story on Trigger Happy
- Kickstarter page for Trigger Happy
3. Brydge iPad case: 887% funded (fundraised $797,979!)
The Brydge is hellbent on adhering to Apple design standards, and it turns an iPad into a laptop, adding speakers, a keyboard, and even when shaken roughly, it stays put. Nice.
- Fundraising goal: $90,000 / Fundraised $797,979 / Funded on June 4, 2012
- AG story on Brydge
- Kickstarter page for
4. GoPano: 846% funded
GoPano is a lens that snaps on to an iPhone 4 to steady your camera to film a 360º video, getting rid of the need to have a steady hand when filming panoramic videos. Dummy proof.
- Fundraising goal: $20,000 / Fundraised $169,209 / Funded on May 14, 2012
- AG story on GoPano
- Kickstarter page for GoPano
5. Timelapse+: 829% funded
The Timelapse+ is an intervalometer, aka timer device, for automatically triggering SLR cameras, built with bluetooth for connecting accessories, including smartphones, created (among other things) for long-term timelapse projects.
- Fundraising goal: $20,000 / Fundraised $165,730 / Funded on February 19, 2012
- AG story on Timelapse+
- Kickstarter page for Timelapse+
6. Galileo: 702% funded
This clever iPhone device gives video 360 degree tilting and panning and solves a real world problem. Fabulous!
- Fundraising goal: $100,000 / Fundraised $702,427 / Funded on April 21, 2012
- AG story on Galileo
- Kickstarter page for Galileo
7. Tiltpod: 637% funded
Tiltpod for iPhones is an articulating iPhone base which solves the balancing act of trying to get yourself in iPhone pictures before your smartphone falls off of a rock or table, or worse, chops your head off in pictures.
- Fundraising goal: $10,000 / Fundraised $63,745 / Funded on April 1, 2012
- AG story on Tiltpod
- Kickstarter page for Tiltpod
8. Romo: 359% funded
Romo turns your smartphone into a functioning robot for under $100 – this is easily the most fun Kickstarter project we’ve ever written about.
- Fundraising goal: $32,000 / Fundraised $114,796 / Funded on November 21, 2011
- AG story on Romo
- Kickstarter page for Romo
9. Glass: 287% funded
With this glass multi-touch keyboard and mouse that uses smartphone-like technology and open source software to track your fingers when you tap on the glass, germophobes will rejoice at no longer scraping out the crevices of their keyboard with rubbing alcohol and q-tips.
- Fundraising goal: $50,000 / Fundraised $143,538 / Funded on January 1, 2012
- AG story on Glass
- Kickstarter page for Glass
10. Last Alert: 124% funded
Find your missing iPhone even if it’s dead with the Last Alert app. Nice!
- Fundraising goal: $3,500 / Fundraised $4,334 / Funded on March 8, 2012
- AG story on Last Alert
- Kickstarter page for Last Alert
Spike: 94% fundraised, still fundraising
Spike gives your iPhone a real keyboard and is built to improve typing accuracy and make using an iPhone feel more natural.
- Fundraising goal: $75,000 / Fundraised $70,153* / Fundraising ends on August 11, 2012
- AG story on Spike
- Kickstarter page for Spike
*as of publication
The not so lucky projects
Obviously, not all fundraising goals are met, and while we enjoyed the following five projects, no money changed hands with these crowdfunding projects:
- 1. UPPRcase, lowrcase: beautiful, durable iPad cases
- Fundraising goal: $20,000 / Fundraised $10,400 / earned 52 percent of their funding goal
- AG story on UPPRcase, lowrcase
- Kickstarter page for UPPRcase, lowrcase
- 2. Cord-on-Board: stores iPhone charger in phone
- Fundraising goal: $20,000 / Fundraised $7,263 / hit 36 percent of their goal
- AG story on Cord-on-Board
- Kickstarter page for Cord-on-Board
- 3. Acoustic kickstand for Kindle Fire
- Fundraising goal: $12,000 / Fundraised $3,259 / earned 27 percent of their goal
- AG story on Acoustic kickstands
- Kickstarter page for Acoustic kickstands
- 4. 17″ tablet PC
- Fundraising goal: $50,000 / Fundraised $6,719 / met 13 percent of their fundraising goals
- AG story on the 17″ tablet PC
- Kickstarter page for the 17″ tablet PC
Choose your startup business partner wisely
(ENTREPRENEUR) Creating a startup business with a friend sounds amazing, but consider carefully if you may be better off as friends.
So, you want to be your own boss? Maybe get out and into a new career to crawl out from under the corporate drone motif? What better way to do it than to go into a startup business for yourself?
Hundreds of Americans have ideas that could turn into a new career. But not as many have the support structure, either financial or social, to make these dreams become a reality. A few of these people might look for someone to go into business with to help with the financial burden.
Can you think of a better way to start off a new business than with your best friend by your side? I sure as hell can.
My best friend and I get along great in our personal time. We’re both zombie horror nerds. He’s straight, I’m gay. He’s a cop, I’m an out-of-work geophysicist/bartender/writer – the jokes don’t quit with us. Our typical nights together include drinking at bars and smacking the other one upside the head as deemed necessary. We’re both slightly better than Neanderthals some days. And most importantly, neither of us should be trusted to work together.
Now of course that’s probably more specific to my situation, but let’s just realize that finding two people who can be the closest of friends and business partners is pretty rare.
There are a few people who have figured it out though and you can find a number of pointers online for new/established startup companies. A few of these tips include lots of structure to try and keep the fun at home and the business in the office, clearly defining roles, honest open communication, and strictly defining fiscal expectations.
So basically, it’s like committing to another marriage, which is what another set of people do for their startup business as well. Numerous married couples have put together careers and their relationships, and a great many of them are very successful.
So, if you have someone who you can commit to another potentially lifelong relationship with, and you trust to follow all of these rules, then go for it.
4 easy ways to keep track of inventory this holiday season
(BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR) Feeling overwhelmed by your inventory this year? Use these three simple tips to keep your stock managed for the end of the year.
2021’s retail holiday season is in full swing. With it comes waves of purchases and shipments, both in stores and online. Holiday inventory management is essential to get the best handle on the continuous rushes. Organization, strategy, and automation are the 3 main steps to stay on top of inventory this year. Deliberate use of these will create a better setup for the coming months.
Organization takes many forms. In the stockroom, a messy workspace will slow down sales and shipments, making the entire store inefficient. However, with the right classifications, labeling, and management, the stockroom can become the leanest place in the store.
First, stores must have a point-of-sale system that can cleanly organize everything into actionable data, according to Software Advice. When a transaction occurs, the system logs it and, from there, employees can get a better understanding of what inventory is selling fastest.
In the back, employees can change the inventory layout to prioritize items that are selling well. Keeping that area fully staffed at all times may be the best move during the retail holiday season rush. For instance, employees can categorize clothing by material, size, and color.
The store will need to use a full-featured inventory management system. With it, employees can accurately track what goes in and out of the store through scanning barcodes and logging shipments. With a better handle on what consumers need, its location in the stockroom and better tracking, backorders, and sellouts can decrease.
Retailers must have a clear strategy for holiday inventory. Otherwise, the rushes and high demands and orders can easily overwhelm employees and result in lost revenue. We are already seeing orders falling behind due to multiple shortages, including chips and even, employees themselves. Combined with organization, a plan should involve prioritizing customers’ needs and interests and increasing item accessibility.
Just as employees can organize the stockroom based on what consumers will be buying the most, they can also rearrange the store to put those items toward the front. That way, people can get what they’re looking for right away. This strategy will work online as well — where the site advertises the popular items on the main page.
Then, based on what POS and inventory management systems report, managers can order more sought-after items ahead of time. At home or in person, consumers get what they want without frustration, while retailers know the exact numbers in their inventory.
Another crucial area to focus on is in-store pickup. Some consumers don’t want to pay for shipping. Instead, in-store pickup ships their order to the nearest retail location, where they can quickly claim it. Especially during the holiday rush, designating a separate section for these items will be essential for a strategic inventory.
Automation is a broad topic when it comes to holiday inventory. With this wide scope, though, retailers can integrate countless systems to conquer the rushes more effectively. Helpful gadgets and organization equipment include Internet of Things sensors and big data. They will go a long way in monitoring inventory at all times.
IoT sensors are small and practical. While they can attach to any items in the stockroom, they’ll be invaluable for everyone along the supply chain to use. The sensors show merchandise’s exact location and specifications, which an inventory management system will automatically present in actionable ways.
When retailers use the information from sales and inventory, it falls under the category of big data. With the right analytics and prediction software, employees can use this data to understand coming trends and better understand what they’ll need to order and when.
If businesses — retail and warehouses alike — are looking for an efficient way to find stock without wasting time, they can use robots to retrieve it. These autonomous robots cut down on search times when they know the exact location based on IoT sensors or barcode scanning.
4. Make Post-Holiday Changes
The work continues even after the retail holiday season ends. However, businesses can take steps to optimize their setups for months afterward to keep drawing people in through next year’s holiday season.
The first step is to declutter. Get rid of things that will no longer be a priority to most consumers. A sale or clearance section is an efficient way to profit from obsolete inventory.
Then, it’s time to step back and reevaluate the landscape. What has changed for consumers? What new trends are emerging? Social media will be invaluable to track how customers want to spend their money in the coming year. It’s also a critical place to build an e-commerce presence for the future.
A Lasting Central Inventory
Year-round, but especially during the holiday season, inventory must be a critical factor for any retailer or warehouse. With better organization, strategy, and automation, the workplace can run more smoothly. These factors will also improve communication across the supply chain, making the holidays a profitable breeze for all retailers.
Maintenance costs add up: How to decrease expenses to increase revenue
(ENTREPRENEUR) When it comes to managing your business cost-effectively, you have to be mindful of your balance sheet. It’s not all about revenue!
When it comes to managing your business in a cost-effective way, you have to be mindful of your balance sheet. It’s not all about revenue. Sometimes, it’s the expense side of the ledger that needs a little attention. More specifically, you have to think through maintenance costs in order to maintain a lean operation.
6 Ways to Lower Maintenance Costs
Maintenance costs add up quickly. Whether it’s the minor kind (a few hundred dollars here and a couple thousand there) or the major kind (massive five- and six-figure incidents), maintenance is not cheap. Thus, anything you can do to lower these costs will be a huge help. Here are several tips:
- Simplify Procedures
We make maintenance way more complicated than necessary. The first step is to just simplify your procedures. You do this by reviewing all procedures and looking for redundancies and/or tasks that aren’t necessary to the objective. When there are too many steps in a process, people are likely to be overwhelmed or confused (which obviously leads to poor outcomes). In this case, simple is best.
- Invest in the Right Software
Consider what percentage of your maintenance processes are performed manually versus automatically. While there are certain tasks that require manual input from a skilled technician, there are countless tasks that can be offloaded and streamlined.
The key to automating is to pick the right software. These programs integrate with your equipment and use data analytics and machine learning to predict when certain parts or systems will need repairs. This allows maintenance teams to move quickly.
- Choose Quality Equipment
You can reduce many maintenance issues by simply investing in quality equipment on the front end. It might cost you more initially, but it’ll save you money over the long haul.
Consider, for example, two pieces of equipment: Machine A ($10,000) and Machine B ($15,000). Machine A costs significantly less, but it requires $1,000 in maintenance costs per year. Machine B costs more upfront, but only requires $300 in maintenance costs per year. That means Machine B costs $700 less per year to maintain. Over a 10-year span, that results in $7,000 in savings (which obviously outpaces the $5,000 more that was spent upfront). On top of that, there’s less downtime and greater reliability. It’s just an example, but you get the idea!
- Emphasize Preventive Maintenance
Most businesses have a reactionary approach to maintenance. They wait until there’s an issue and then they address it. And though this can work, it’s usually more expensive. Not only does it lead to more serious issues, but there’s typically downtime associated with the repair. Preventative maintenance is the better approach.
The key to a good preventative maintenance program is to structure it appropriately. This means basing your preventative maintenance on operating hours rather than the calendar.
“The problem with servicing a machine every so many months is that the amount of time you use it can vary,” Onsite Installer explains. “Servicing an item every 30 days, for example, may mean you’re over-or-under-servicing it based on actual hours.”
The best way to stay on track with your preventative maintenance is to use a SaaS-based maintenance system that collects and analyzes data in real-time so that you know precisely when to address something.
- Hire the Right People
It’s easy to get so focused on equipment, software, and processes that we forget about the importance of people. However, at the end of the day, your business is built on the backs of people. As they go, so the company goes. The best piece of advice is to hire people who are meticulous, diligent, and proactive.
- Train People Well
Hiring good people is just the start. You also need to train these people so they embrace your goals and processes. Help them understand the importance of maintenance and give them the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to carry out their responsibilities in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Putting it All Together
There’s nothing easy about maintenance. It’s gritty, expensive work that doesn’t always look good on paper. But do you know what does look good on paper? Being able to point to thousands of dollars in savings because of smart, proactive decision-making. Use these tips to get ahead!
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