I wanted to delve into some of what it took to make a technology Kickstarter, so that others can be better prepared when they try to make one. My Kickstarter is for the PiSoC, an open source electronics development platform. It is designed to be easy to use, even for beginners, while never feeling limiting. The kickstarter is still going on, so you can check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/embeditelectronics/pisoc-learn-to-create
We did a lot of pilot testing with our product, working even with 3rd graders to try and prove it was easy enough to use for anyone. This showed us that the PiSoC was something people could get excited about and would want to use. Along with being easy to actually use, we had to make sure the message was clear online as well. It’s best to avoid any technical wording while you explain the core concept. Lots of clear images help too.
“It makes creating electronics fun and easy.”
"Creating things with electronics has never been easier. You can do anything from play Flappy Bird with a banana to home automation, all on one board."
“At it's core, the PiSoC is an electronics development platform that allows your software to interact with the physical world.”
The second most important thing to do is gather a following well in advance of the Kickstarter, so you can come out of the gate swinging. More than 30% of our backers came within 48 hours of launching the Kickstarter. You’ll need a facebook page and twitter for your company. You should also create a mailing list (mailchimp works well and gives you statistics on number of emails opened) that people can sign up to from your website. You should start promoting your company no later than a month before your Kickstarter, but preferably even before that. Once all your accounts are setup, make sure you post regularly. Try to make some of your posts engaging (What are some cool things you would like to make with the PiSoC?). You can coordinate with some of your close contacts to comment on these kinds of posts to make sure they gain some traction. Leverage all your contacts; you never know who will want to help share your story.
Finally, for more success on social media, you can try using Facebook and Twitter ads. With only about $30 spent on Facebook ads I was able to attract nearly $1000 worth of backers in only two days. Several crowdfunding agencies will contact you during your campaign, but it looks like nearly all of them are scams. They will offer media contacts and boilerplate press releases, both of which you can take care of yourself.
If our Kickstarter is successful I will make sure to post more about some of the mistakes I think we made, along with going over budgeting and fulfillment.