Hardware Startup IO is usually graced with brilliant speakers and this month was no exception. Julio Terra from Kickstarter, Jon Marshall from Map and co-author of Designing Connected Products Claire Rowl shared some insights to those running hardware startups.
Julio Terra is the Community Manager of Kickstarter and has experience in interaction design, leading real world immersive experiences to online marketing campaigns. He gave some amazing advice on running Kickstarter campaigns.
Without something to show users you will dramatically reduce the chance of them backing you.
2. Show the journey
Kickstarter users love reading about the journey. Don’t be afraid to show them images of terribly 3D printed cases and wire messes. A thoughtful and believable design process is what gives users belief in you, and belief will lead to backing.
3. Never use realistic renderings
Since Holus ran their campaign with realistic images of holograms Kickstarter have prohibited realistic 3D renderings of products after a public backlash. Renderings show a perfect product and often the finished product will suffer compromises while in the development process. Avoid being deceitful with backers or risk terrible PR and a load of complaint.
4. Have a killer video
The video is crucial and shouldn’t be an afterthought. Julio explained that videos shouldn’t start talking about the product itself until you’ve covered your story and background. Kickstarter found that users start to switch off after a few minutes, so 1 to 2 minutes is the ideal length.
5. Use awesome photography
Invest in a decent photographer who can make the product look as good as possible. iPhone photos are not enough. Poor quality imagery illustrates a care-free attitude and won’t fill backers will confidence.
6. Start promotion well before the campaign
Although Kickstarter isn’t avert to startups using the service to test market fit they suggest getting the product out in the wild well beforehand.
Doppel ran an independent study to test the uptake of their mood-altering device. As well as getting results which absolutely proved the concept they also created buzz between those testers who later on went to back the project.
7. Aim for staff pick
It’s a good idea to aim to be picked for Staff Pick as it can deliver 10 – 30 per cent more backers. There is no magic sauce and it completely depends on the product, but having a beautiful campaign page which shows off Kickstarter will increase your odds.