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Into The Wamp

The Kickstarter Part I

Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average.
      
   
Well its not even 8am here at Wamp towers but I have already spent an hour and a half on Kickstarter things. But I thought I would take a few minutes to write a little bit about my experience so far. We are now past halfway and a week to go.
Currently we are past the 19,500 mark and should hit a mind numbing 20,000 later today. Its certainly a long way from where I expected to be.

Months ago (or is it years now?!!) when I first chewed the idea in my head the main goal was production. In fact Kickstarter was not the initial thought. For me it looked to offer more problems than solutions, but as I thought further I thought it might be a good way to go, partly to gain the experience for a much bigger project down the line.

Things moved relatively slowly, conversations with the brush maker, talks with painters, lots of too-ing and fro-ing. Until around Christmas the pre production samples turned up. Then suddenly it became real and things turned up a gear.
Any step forward to last Friday and I am sat there about to click the launch button. The previous two days had been full on prep work getting things sorted. Setting pledge levels, writing back story etc is so much more involved than you realise. And that is the real story of kickstarter, the pure intensity of it. Everyone warns you of the stess, the time sunk in, its like been warned how hard it is to be a parent but its not until they arrive you realise you could never have prepared for it!

And so I find myself sat there last Friday evening with my cursor hovering over the Launch Now button, filled with excitement but mainly trepidation. I was filled with a great fear of failure, just get to 850, thats all that matter and if you dont it doesnt matter. But it does matter, your project become a personal validation, fail the project and you are a failure. Theres an inate sense of dread!

Breathe, pause and click.

Breathe deeper, pause and BANG! it starts, we are live! I send Alex (Brambleton) the link. he wanted first dibs and as my right hand man he had certainly earned it.
Boom! he's in backs the ultimate pledge and the ball is rolling, 150 in the bag already just 700 to go. As soon as hes done that I post on Wamp and pm a few people with the link, minutes go buy and a few pledges come and we are up around 400 after maybe a few minutes. I am then frantically typing up a mailshot to Wamp subscribers, my brain going ten to the dozen, Im on one tab writing that, another tab with the kickstarter page and others with Wamp Facebook and twitter all open, my eyes flitting between them and my brain is doing a 100m mental dash.

The Mailshot is done and the plan was giving Wampers first dibs so 30 minutes are left before I announce on Social Media. I breathe and realise I am actually physically shaking! The total is going up in front of my eyes, number of backers ticks up. The total hits 700, I will it towards the 850, hit the next 50 then think about th next one. Me and Alex are in constant chatter, other folks popping up and my facebook chat is in danger of meltdown. the total ticks up to 800. So close, so very close, 815, 827, and then 843, so,very very close now, the page auto refreshes but I keep clicking refresh, willing that number to change, urgh the page loads so slowly.

BOOM! It's there, 863 comes on the screen, we have done it, funded and in 1 hour! WOOOOOOOO! The feeling of relief is overwhelming, months of planning justified and the feeling great!

Its now time to reveal to the whole world. It goes out on Facebook, I post to forums (though such is the chaos its not until 4 days later I realise I hadnt mentioned it on cmon!) questions are flyingin and the total just keeps climbing.............

For months there was thoughts on totals to reach. the aim was always get funded enough for production. It was never about hitting a million or making a fortune, simply get production, its a long term thing so theres no rush. 850 was the mark and hitting that would make me happy. Of course you dream of more and I secretley hoped beyond funding we could hit 1,500. Here I was less than two hours in and we had already passed that. My mind couldn't comprehend it, it was crazy!

less than 5 hours later at midnight the first day came to an end and we were sitting on 2946. A huge figure for my expectations. But what would the morning bring? was that it, had we got everyone? I was new to Kickstarters, I didn't understand the process, the ebb and flow so I didnt know what to expect. poor Alex got bugged so much!

The weekend was a blur really but by the end of Sunday night we were sitting on 9,645, almost 10k WOW! never ever expected that. I started to wonder where this might go and my mind blown by it all.

So many positives but its such an emotional experience (yeah I know it sounds daft!) and so stressful that negatives start to creep in. Firstly the tiredness, pretty much every moment in the last week I have been working on this KS, the computers on all day and on a night my phone is there and I am constantly checking messages, answering questions but also planning.
Worry, this has come in two forms for me, firstly public perception. You are putting yourself on the line. On Tuesday things had quietened down (as Alex warned me it would) and we had 3 cancellations in a row. I was in a blind panic, I was scouring the we looking for folks flaming the project. there had of course been discussions on the merits of it on forums and some I addressed personally but while some people were not wowed by the project I expected that, at the end of the day they are just brushes not a cold fusion reactor!
You also then begin to worry about AFTER the kickstarter, as the totals went up so did the amount of parcels I would have to send, the sheer logistics start creeping in. Over 2,000 brushes so far, would the factory cope. I ring the factory but they are in the middle of a relocation. I start worrying it will delay production. I was going to have hundreds of internet warriors after my blood, my name and Wamp ruined and I would be forced to sell my body!
Would people actually like the brushes when they get them?

I cannot begin to tell you how stressful it is but tiring, oh so tiring, by Thursday I had damn near killed poor Alex!

A big downside in the unexpected success was it threw the plan clear out the window. We had considered stretch goals and add-ons and decided to keep it simple yet suddenly we had backers flooding in and folks crying out for stuff. We had to feed the baying crowd!
So operation Add-on began and its still ongoing. Hurriedly thinking of add-ons, Alex working out the costings, what total to unlock them, can we ship in time. I am sending out emails left right and centre trying to tie in with companies, source products, design brushes all on top of remembering to eat and pick the kids up from school.

We kept thinking up add-ons and including them and as soon as we put them up they get unlocked and the wheel just keeps spinning.

So we are now just over a week away from the finish and I am tired, Alex is tired and to be honest part of me just wants it to end. I want to sleep properly, not waking in the middle of the night wondering if we should do this or that, how many boxes I need to order. Whether Alex will survive until the end without pulling out his own eyeballs.

But part f me doesn't want it to end. It really s a roller coaster, not so much the ups and downs but the sheer terror during the ride, but the adrenaline rush once its over. And that will come, I am excited to see the final total, I keep putting a dream total in my head and wondering if we will hit it.

What do I think that will be? I honestly dont know, I cant believe I am saying this but 30,000 is a nice round number!
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Comments

  1. Brambleten's Avatar
    It's been a load of fun and a load of work. As addictive and fun as it has been, I can't wait for next Sunday to be able to get a little sleep!
  2. NeatPete's Avatar
    Congrats!! Just pledged for a set. Take a deep breathe and relax mate, there is only so much you can do in one day. Opening my own business so I know how tiring it can and how much work it takes.

    Enjoy the rest of the campaign! and congrats again!!
  3. swoods's Avatar
    Wow! Congratulations! Very impressive! Keep us all posted, as this is a great read (never really understood KS or their ilk).

    Stu