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On failing: Crowdfunding an iPhone app (stopmebeforeiblogagain.com)
9 points by blacktar on Oct 26, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 13 comments

Talking to people, the single most frequent first response is “I don’t get it”. Then we take the time to explain it and then they are like “Oh, I see. That’s cool”.

You said you failed to connect with people on an emotional level, but I would contend that you failed to solve a problem perceived by the customer.

Only when you solve a customer's problem will you get that emotional connection. It's not something you need to work at, it's something you either succeed at doing, or fail. I would say that your application just didn't solve anything someone was looking for.

Your questions led you down the wrong path. Your very first questions should have been:

1) What is the pain point that X have? 2) How can I solve that with an iPhone app?

Where X is anybody you thought you were solving a problem for.

Thanks for the constructive feedback. We think we do have somewhat of a grip and significant feedback on what the pain point is that we were trying to solve: Shooting and sharing good videos with your mobile phone is hard and a lot of hassle and OneSec aimed to change all that. I do think we failed spectacularly to communicate that, though.

I see, but the real question is this:

"Do people wake up in the morning and say to themselves, 'Holy crap, how am I going to save and share videos today?'"

I don't think they do, which is why this particular idea and implementation aren't going to gain any traction over what exists today. It's just not a strong enough pain point to be solved by an iPhone app.

Well, that's where we probably have to agree to disagree. I don't think the users of Instagram woke up and said "Holy crap, how am I going to save and share images today" either. ;)

I like assumption 3: How efficient is spamming, mailing, tweeting, posting and otherwise contacting friends, fools, families, bloggers and journos?

Result: Abysmal.

If you stay in stealth mode for long periods of time prior to launch, the "amount of righteousness" in your vision/future-product and the conviction with which you believe this, will not help you overcome the impedance barrier of becoming part of the Internet zeitgeist.

Sometimes, you do not appreciate how deep the water is (nor how fast it flows) until you step into it.

I think that we would have fared better if we had waited for some more traction (amount raised and already published in some places) before ramping up the spamming effort. But hindsight has perfect vision and the truth is we'll never know.

Thanks for publishing this, it's very instructive to see why people think things went wrong.

My only question is why you feel that the answer to the most important question - "Is there any interest in this product in the market?" - is "Yes"? You've identified that they way you went about promoting and raising money could be improved, but assessing the biggest problem as one of promotion is not obvious.

The reason why I believe there's an interest in this product is 1. The amount of people who has contacted us because they want this product even after the campaign ended 2. The amount of private investors and potential partners that have contacted us after the campaign closed. If people want to pay for the creation of an iPhone app in a time were we're used to get them for free or next to nothing is another separate issue.

Thanks for the update. I hope that you didn't read that I was asserting that the interest wasn't there, just that it wasn't clear from the post.

No, not at all. No worries. :) I only wanted to be very clear about the reasons and sources of our assumption that there is indeed interest.

I think half your problemwastgat you were selling something with a predictable market price of $0, and asking people to pay early. They woukd only pay if there's some huge, non- app based benefit for them, otherwise you'd wind up with tragedy of the commons (especially because normal people dont realize that apps take more than 2 weeks to make, and they see them as disposable).

Great insights! I think that's a very real problem. Do you think it is impossible to crowd fund a social / utility based app for the iPhone in general, or do you see a way to heighten the probability of a success?

Is it at all possible to crowd fund iPhone apps (that are not games)? I'd love to know more about your crowd funding experiences and your take on what we did wrong.

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