Star Date Episode 15. Today, Travis and Stewart get excited about the new app-sharing economy. What do we mean by that? Apps within apps, people, and we’ll tell you why you should get seriously pumped about this trend too.
And then we interview Peter Dering, who was just about to launch his sixth successful Kickstarter campaign at the time we interviewed him. That’s right – sixth! He tells us how he made it all work (hint: Radical transparency helps).
If you missed last week’s episode, make sure to tune in and listen to Shira Abel drop mobile marketing and engagement knowledge. That was a great episode.
Next week, we’ll chat with Jonathan Abrams, CEO of Nuzzel, a fascinating content sharing/curation platform. He is also the former CEO of a social media pioneer site, Friendster. You’re going to want to give that one a listen!
So, apps within apps. Do we call that Appception? Seatgeek just released SeatGeek Open, which it touts as an “open platform” that will “power a modern box office that is mobile, flexible, and widely accessible.”
Facebook, of course, has touted Messenger — with its billion+ users — as a platform for third-party vendors, and you don’t want to ignore platforms that have such significant traction. Most of the other messenger tools allow bots as well. Slack has bots, and now, SeatGeek makes it easier for ticket-sellers and independent artists to take advantage of its new platform.
Also this week, we discuss the Bots Landscape, which was released into the wild. Jon Cifuentes put together a great infographic showcasing the bot universe and highlighting just how many companies are taking a big swing at the marketplace.
There are personal assistant bots, virtual agents, productivity and communication bots, connectors and shared services, A.I. tools, bot discovery tools, bot developer frameworks, analytics, and, of course, messaging bots.
What you might not know is that Stewart and Travis have their own bots — they actually do each week’s podcast. They are truly artificially intelligent and clearly still in beta.
This week’s interview with Peak Design’s Peter Dering is a great one. When we recorded the interview, he was a couple of days away from launching his most recent Kickstarter campaign, which is now sitting at nearly $3 million in funding.
In fact, Travis bought one of Peak Design’s bag and pledged, coincidentally, the $1 millionth dollar on this campaign.
Peak Design started using Kickstarter around the time the crowdfunding platform was born. The company’s first Kickstarter was for a device called the Capture Camera Clip. It was, at the time, the second-most-funded Kickstarter, and it helped put the Kickstarter platform centerstage.
“We’ve basically been building on top of our audience each time. Every time we’ve had a Kickstarter, we bring a significant chunk of the folks with us. And that’s been part of our formula for success.”
Stewart talks about how he’s supported many Kickstarters, including two for Pebble watches. However, he didn’t back the third Kickstarter for Pebble, as he feels that a company should eventually run with their own two feet and not need outside funds. Maybe they haven’t balanced their company right? It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. You don’t want to abuse the platform, so how do you balance that out?
Peter shares that his company’s goal is to always eclipse their previous campaigns.
“We do need money upfront. Manufacturing is so expensive, and you have to put up all of this money so far in advance. You either need investors or crowdfunding.”
But what if you don’t have a huge community at first? How do you get started?
Peter says that the product that you bring into the market has to have a high conversion rate. It has to solve a real problem, one that a lot of people can relate to, and it has to be at a fair price.
It comes down to radical transparency. Show people who you are. Show people what you’re doing. If you have a problem, show them. Just be honest, and you’ll build trust within the community.
We talk about the new mobile paradigm, and whether crowdfunding is different now that everyone uses a highly personal, mobile device to access Kickstarter. And Peter warns about third-party vendors that try to help boost your Kickstarter with funds. They sometimes want as much as 35 percent of the profits to help blow up your campaign.
This is a great episode, with tons of nuggets around crowdfunding, mobile engagement, and doing business in the 21st century. If you’ve thought of doing your own Kickstarter campaign, you need to listen to Peter dropping knowledge.
Again, thanks for tuning into VB Engage. As always, we appreciate your support. Subscribe. Rate. Review. All that jazz. See you next week!