The Glass Remains Half Full!
There be dragons!
When we started this crowd funding campaign, we were super excited about the adventure of entering uncharted territories - it was clearly a case of "there be dragons!"
And what a journey its been! When things started off we were running around like headless chicken trying to field all the calls, get going on social media, and get conversations going with the press. The response was just completely overwhelming. Our team quickly moved from being product focused to being completely zoned in on the market, and after a few weeks we were running like a well oiled machine.
It was certainly a roller coaster ride, and even though we didn't reach our funding goal, we still feel that we've achieved huge success. Let's walk through it:
Objective 1: Increase Network
One of our strategic objectives of the campaign was to increase the reach of our professional network. We realized that Backtracker is a way of showing the world what we are capable of, and establishing strategic relationships for other tech projects gong forward. Thanks to the assistance of Dragon Innovation, we were able to meet up with some amazing tech folks in Boston and NY. People like Scott Miller, Piet Morgan, Jenny Fielding, Bre Pettis, Marc Barros and Steve Cheney (and many more) were incredibly generous in giving advice and support. Objective 1: CHECK!
Objective 2: Get Backtracker "out there"
We are a bunch of Geeks locked away in a basement somewhere on the southern tip of Africa. We had no idea of who's who in the cycling industry zoo, and nobody knew about the existence of Backtracker. We felt that we needed to find the right strategic partners to take Backtracker to market. In stead of us going out to find them, a crowd funding campaign would allow them to find us. And it worked! We had 40+ distributors from all over the world talking to us about the distribution of Backtracker. Possible OEM partners came to the fore, and interesting collaboration opportunities surfaced. We had excellent press, from DC Rainmaker to TechCrunch. Objective 2: CHECK!
Objective 3: Learn from the market
So a big question when you want to take a product to market is: "Do they actually want it...and are they willing to pay for it?" Our backers were out biggest allies in this regard. We received excellent feedback ranging from what people love, to what they dream of, to what they hate. It was highly instructive to say the least! Thank you to everyone that took the time and effort to provide some form of input. But don't get too excited...the next version of Backtracker will not be equipped with flame throwers! Objective 3: CHECK!
Objective 4: Reach our funding goal
I guess this feels a bit like your boss sugarcoating some really nasty feedback. So lets face it: We did not reach our funding goal. We extended the campaign half way through, and we also decreased the target, but we were still unable to get close to it. I think that the whole team worked really hard and did an excellent job. There is really no single mistake we can look back on as a seminal moment. What we have however learnt is that you should really keep your funding threshold very low! It's a lot easier for people to back a project that has already succeeded, than backing a project that is still a long way off. Objective 4: BEEP!
A Massive Thank You!
The support that we've received has been overwhelming. Family, friends and like minded people all over the world got behind us for the journey. We know you are disappointed, but we also know that many of you simply backed the project because you were backing us...not because you are necessarily a cycling enthusiast! We are specifically grateful to distributors who were willing to take the risks with us - I hope we'll be able to make it up to you some day. We salute all of you!
...Just one more thing
In the final weeks of the campaign we were considering lowering the threshold to pull it through, but we held back for strategic reasons. Our egos made the decision a difficult one, but you sometimes have to give up, to go up. Backtacker is pretty awesome, but we want to take it to the next level. We'll keep you posted!
Franz, Nolan, Denho
and the rest of Team Backtracker