Our special guests today are two superstars of the Kickstarter world: Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost of Studio Neat. Together they've created over twenty successful products and nine Kickstarter campaigns. Today they're going to share what they've learned—the strategies and mindsets you need to crush it on Kickstarter. From ideation and validation to fulfillment and what they learned from a failed campaign, Tom and Dan are sharing all of it today. Let's dive in!
Both Caleb Wojcik–my videographer—and I met Tom and Dan in person and heard them on stage at Craft + Commerce, which is an event that ConvertKit puts on. I was a keynote speaker there, and their presentation was by far the most inspiring to me, partly because I was in the midst of creating my own physical product with Caleb. Dan and Tom have been a huge help on that journey. I'm so grateful that I got to meet them, and I'm thrilled to introduce you to them today so that you can learn from their experiences.
Tom and Dan have been very successful on Kickstarter—you might have heard about a product called Glif, which made six figures and a huge splash. I actually backed it back in the day (in 2010)! They've got a system down for priming their products for success and launching amazing campaigns—tactics and blueprints that you can apply to your own business too. Of course, they've had some failures as well, and they're going to share a little bit about that, too. Even if you aren't launching a physical product, there's a lot of great takeaways here about approaching problems that your target audience might have, validating your ideas, and launching any product successfully. Let's get started!
I introduced my first ever physical invention last week, the SwitchPod, which I co-invented with my videographer, Caleb Wojcik. You can hear all about how we invented SwitchPod by listening to Session 343 of the podcast. SwitchPod is live on Kickstarter at the time of publication for this episode, but if you're listening in the future you can check out the website to see where we're at now.
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Special thanks to Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost for joining me this week. Until next time!
Tom Gerhardt & Dan Provost
The guys from Studio Neat break down strategies and tactics for a successful Kickstarter campaign. You can trust them, they've crushed it with over twenty physical products!
- How Tom and Dan created their first Kickstarter and tripled their goal on the first day.
- How Studio Neat turns ideas into successful products, from validation to manufacturing.
- Tom and Dan's biggest dos and don'ts for successful Kickstarter campaigns.
- Why offering stretch goals on Kickstarter isn't always a great idea.
- How to work with third-party logistics companies, and why you should consider it.
- How to design a clear, impactful Kickstarter campaign.
- Tools and services for fulfilling backer rewards and managing your campaigns.
- The key mindset for creating amazing Kickstarter videos.
- How to maximize marketing and exposure for your project.
- Why Dan and Tom recommend that first-time Kickstarters avoid paid advertisements.
- Why having an explosively successful campaign can be undesirable.
- What Studio Neat learned from a failed campaign for a smartphone-controlled laser cat toy.
- Why Studio Neat isn't interested in selling their products to big box retailers, and more!
Note: Some of the resources below may be affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.
- Session 343 of The Smart Passive Income Podcast
- Craft + Commerce
- Glif by Studio Neat
- Cosmonaut by Studio Neat
- Panobook by Studio Neat
- Mark One by Studio Neat
- Rework by Jason Fried [Amazon affiliate link]
- The Gazette newsletter
- Thoroughly Considered podcast