On September 15th, we launched a Kickstarter campaign for CubeForme. Forty-five strenuous days of constantly sending messages, filtering marketing inquiries, getting new articles written, spamming social media, creating graphics, and solving problems ensued. Balancing the work of managing a crowdfunding campaign with the regular obligations of being college students (involved double-majoring/computer science college students, if we want to be specific) made these past weeks some of the toughest in our lives. We slept as early as 3 AM on a regular basis and checked our e-mail practically every hour. But here we are now, at the end of the campaign.
No, we did not meet our funding goal. We made it to 60% of our goal (which is close to the typical class averages on Nick and Erik’s midterms), with $3018 pledged. Admittedly, it was disappointing to not succeed. It’s mentally and emotionally tough to confront failure after so many hours of hard work. I do think that we put in a great effort and did a lot of things well (for a bootstrapped college start-up, anyway). I’m proud of the video we made, the page we created, the outreach we made, and our timely communication with all of our backers and inquiries. But, there were also many things that we did wrong…we did not handle marketing as well as we should have, and ended up investing in something that we should not have. We also had the overarching challenge of selling a surprise subscription box, which is easily interpreted with dubious value. There was a lot of traction within the first week, but the following weeks involved a continuous struggle against stagnancy. As with anything, there was good and bad alike in our handling of the campaign. Although it’s certainly important to reflect, ultimately it’s what we do now that’s important.
In the context of our Kickstarter funding goal, we did technically fail. But to me and the rest of the CubeForme Team, we succeeded in many other respects. We got the exposure we wanted for our launch, with many cool articles written about us and numerous e-mails of interest, but most importantly – we got connected with you, our backers and supporters. Our horizons have totally broadened in that we now have a solid base of wonderful people to work with to make our product the best that it can be. This campaign has brought us in touch with incredible people, who I would have never expected to talk to, from countries all over the world. The input and perspectives that we have received from your end has been absolutely invaluable, from a business and personal standpoint. We have learned so much about our company, 3D printing, and ourselves – for which we are infinitely grateful. Funding or not, CubeForme is continuing. And we’re moving forward, with confidence and quite a bit of excitement. With you, our backers and supporters, by our side…so much is possible.
P.S. Our website’s e-commerce should be fully functional very soon and will hopefully be accessible by tomorrow. We apologize again for the delay, it’s been quite challenging!