We see a lot of crowdfunding campaigns every week that use embeds of 3D models to show a concept, work in progress or a product sample. We are asking the creators of various campaigns to share how they made their campaigns successful. Here’s Podo’s story by Eddie Lee, the co-founder.
All About Podo
Podo is the world’s first “stick and shoot” camera. An easy way of thinking it is like having a selfie stick without the stick. Take the Podo and stick it to any surface such as a wall. Just stand in front and control the camera from your phone: when you take a picture, it will send it to your phone over Bluetooth. Then you can share it, edit it, or do whatever you normally do.
Podo uses a reusable sticky pad, not an adhesive. You can stick, unstick, and just wipe it with water to use it again. The camera features an 8MP image sensor, Bluetooth classic, rechargeable Li-ion battery, 4GB memory, accelerometer, micro-USB port, and LEDs. The LEDs serve as indicators (when the Podo is on, capturing, etc.) and also serves as a really powerful flash.
We launched our campaign on Kickstarter at the beginning of March 2015. We asked for 50,000 USD, but ultimately raised about 427,000 USD from more than 3,600 backers.
We prepared our campaign for months. We reached out to PR companies, defined our stretch goals, and knew what to do if and when we reached our goal. We also decided what we would do when we exceeded a certain number of backers – for example releasing more colors.
The first thing to understand is that you really have to tell a story to your fans for them to back you. So we worked on how to tell our story, and telling it through words and images… We wanted to have a really engaging campaign page, so we tried to use gifs, a lot of pictures, and not too many blocks of text.
We found that using Sketchfab and 3D renderings of Podo was really interesting, because it helped people engage with the product. Support at Sketchfab has been very helpful, taking our CAD file and helping us render it in color, then importing it to Sketchfab for us. It looks like we had a pretty nice amount of views on it – almost 11,000 – so we can say that our backers were pretty interested in it. I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t use Sketchfab for hardware campaigns, as it interfaces easily with Kickstarter and it is free. Check the Podo in black, blue and red in 3D!
Since the end of our campaign, our focus has been 100% production. We went to China to try to manage any manufacturing problems and get the right product to our backers on time. It’s very challenging to do that, but we are trying really hard!
To people thinking about launching their own campaign, I would underline that shipping worldwide is very complicated. There are many concerns, particularly in terms of taxes.
I would also suggest making your campaign longer. Our campaign lasted for 49 days, but we could have run it for 60 days instead. That would have given more time to tell people our story.
There is a lot of good advice out there on the internet. Don’t be afraid to ask, you never know what will happen!