Unless you’re already a major success, people don’t really care if you fail. Worst case scenario, they just don’t pay attention to you. That’s a blessing. To be able to create and test things out without the terrible consequences of public scorn is an opportunity.
By now, we all know about The Coolest. If you’ve backed it on Kickstarter and are expecting your own Coolest, you’re also likely planning a few extra outdoor trips before the summer sun burns out. Kudos to the team at Coolest for helping peel us away from our screens just a little bit more.
I’m intrigued by the product, but more so, I’m intrigued by their Kickstarter history. This isn’t their first swing at the ball and, as you can see, their first was a whiff. There could be dozens of reasons why it didn’t work out initially. They launched their campaign in the winter, likely because they figured they could get product into people’s hands by summer. Maybe summer wasn’t on anyone’s mind (or just depressingly far away) at the time and it made it hard to really consider a purchase. It could also be their more focused approach and clear messaging. There’s also a good chance that the much lower funding goal was encouraging to backers.
They went from just over $100,000 in backing funds, and ultimately a failure, to over $5.5m in just days. This type of dramatic increase in success is a huge lesson for those who are building products. There’s value in recalibrating, iterating and relaunching.
It’s a simple lesson in theory and difficult in practice but the principles ring true. Over the last week, I’ve been working in my free time on building Display into an attractive idea. I’ve tried to communicate with people directly for collaboration, gauge interest through Reddit, and establish flowing content on Tumblr. In the meantime, I’m working on putting together original content and figuring out my process on how I’ll do that regularly. I’ve run into a number of speed bumps, but most of them have been related to my positioning or language.
I’ll be taking a few lessons from Coolest. It’s a great sounding product but the story of their growing success seems to be of greater value. As I build Display, I’ll be looking to find meaningful triggers that indicate that I’m either headed in the right direction or that I need to rethink my approach.