CROWD FUNDING
LESSONS LEARNED
BY VIDAR @BLACKTAR ANDERSEN
VIDARANDERSEN.COM
I’M VIDAR ANDERSEN
• NORWEGIAN LIVING IN COLOGNE, DE 

SINCE 2005
• PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE WORKING 

WITH F500 AND GOS SO...
I’VE BEEN AROUND
AND MORE…
I FOUND STUFF TOO
CERTIFIED 

LEAN LAUNCHPAD EDUCATOR
@ STANFORD 2013
#PIXORITDIDNTHAPPEN
MY CROWD FUNDING
EXPERIENCES
#1
#2
NUMBER OF USERS
ALL GERMAN NATIONAL

PLATFORMS COMBINED
ORDER OF MAGNITUDE
BIGGER
(AKA NUMBER OF READY WALLETS)
TRY #1 

IPHONE 

APP
AN
INSTAGRAM
FOR 

ONE SECOND
VIDEOS
ONESEC

HYPOTHESES
• IT IS POSSIBLE (FOR US - RIGHT NOW) TO
CROWD FUND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN
IPHONE APP?
• IS THERE ANY IN...
ONESEC - VIDEOS
• THE APP SPOT

HTTP://YOUTU.BE/9PJ4HKCRA3E
• THE CAMPAIGN VIDEO

HTTP://YOUTU.BE/TGSH8EBY-YS
• $ 25

HTTP...
#FAIL
#WIN
ACQUIRED BY TWITTER IN OCTOBER 2012 FOR A REPORTED
$30 MILLION
IDEAS
ARE
WORTHLESS
EXECUTION
IS
EVERYTHING
STATS
• ONLY 8% 

OF GOAL REACHED
•GAZILLION 

HOURS WASTED
#FACEPALMIF WE WOULD HAVE INVOICED THE HOURS SPENT
DOING CUSTOMER WORK INSTEAD OF RUNNING
THIS CAMPAIGN WE WOULD HAVE MADE...
TRY #2
I GET INVITED TO
STANFORD 



TO SPEAK ABOUT THE
COLOGNE STARTUP
SCENE
TO GET TAUGHT &
TRAINED

BY STEVE BLANK

AS ...
HYPOTHESES
• CAN I GET THE MAJORITY OF THE STARTUP SCENE
OF COLOGNE TO OWN A STAKE IN BRINGING BETTER
ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUC...
HYPOTHESES
• CAN I GET THE MAJORITY OF THE STARTUP SCENE
OF COLOGNE TO OWN A STAKE IN BRINGING BETTER
ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUC...
#EPICWIN
STATS
•203,26% OF GOAL REACHED
• 12 HOURS TO MEET 100% GOAL
• RUNNING TIME 19 DAYS, 52 PLEDGERS
• 1,707 FACEBOOK LIKES, 24...
SO WHAT 

DID I LEARN?
ONESEC

HYPOTHESES
• IT IS POSSIBLE (FOR US & RIGHT
NOW) TO CROWD FUND THE
DEVELOPMENT OF AN IPHONE
APP?
• IS THERE ANY IN...
ONESEC

CONCLUSIONS
• WE FAILED TO EXPLAIN THE PRODUCT WELL
ENOUGH
• WE FAILED TO MAKE AN EMOTIONAL CONNECT
WITH POTENTIAL...
TRY #2

CONCLUSION
COLOGNE LOVES STARTUPS!
CONCLUSIONS
• HAD A VERY CLEAR STORY
• HAD A VERY CLEAR “WHY” AND “BUY-IN”
• HAD A VERY CLEAR, LIMITED AUDIENCE
• HAD A “M...
LESSONS
LEARNED
THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR CAMPAIGN
SHOW THE PRODUCT
• MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE
PRODUCT
•
MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND & FEEL
WHY THEY WOULD WANT THE PRODUCT
FIND THE MULTIPLIERS
• WE FAILED TO FIND THE GROUPS OF
PEOPLE AND CHANNELS OUTSIDE OF OUR
FRIENDS, FAMILIES AND NETWORK
OU...
• DO THE RESEARCH UP-FRONT, TEST AND
FIND THE COHORTS AND CHANNELS, THE
PEOPLE WHO YOUR PRODUCT AND
MESSAGE WILL RESONATE ...
STORYTELLING
• HAVE A STORY TO TELL, CREATE ONE - YOU
NEED IT!
• ADD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO THE STORY
ABOUT “WHAT’S IN IT ...
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME
• EMOTIONALIZE IT
• MAKE THE BACKERS PART OF THE STORY /
EXPERIENCE
• VISUALIZE IN IMAGES WHAT’S IN IT...
INCLUDE THE BACKERS
• REACH OUT TO THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE
ALREADY BACKED YOU
• PUBLISH THEIR STORY ABOUT WHY THEY
BELIEVE IN ...
CONSEQUENCES
• CLEARLY COMMUNICATE WHAT IS GOING
TO HAPPEN IF YOU FAIL TO RAISE THE
GOAL AMOUNT
• PAINT A PICTURE OF THE C...
WHEN & HOW TO PUSH
• REACH MORE THAN $ 1.000 PLEDGED
BEFORE PUSHING TO PRESS
• KEEP PUSHING PRESS ALTHOUGH THEY
FIRST DON’...
TRICKS
• PAY THE FIRST $ 1.000 YOURSELF, CONSIDER
THE PAYPAL FEE MARKETING EXPENSES
• USED PAID MARKETING TO TARGET YOUR
A...
SO YOU GOT FUNDED -
NOW WHAT?
AFTERMATH
• DELIVERING ON PERKS CAN BE A PAIN IN THE NECK AND A NASTY
FINANCIAL SURPRISE
• BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT HOW MUCH ...
SO YOU DID 

NOT GET FUNDED -
NOW WHAT?
SHIT HAPPENS -
DON’T TAKE IT
PERSONAL
“NOTHING
VENTURED,
NOTHING
GAINED”
LEARN,
CHANGE,
REPEAT
GOOD LUCK!
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CROWD FUNDING PROJECT
VIDARANDERSEN.COM
TWITTER.COM/BLACKTAR
FACEBOOK.COM/BLACKTAR
LINKEDIN....
Crowdfunding - Lessons Learned
Crowdfunding - Lessons Learned
Crowdfunding - Lessons Learned
Crowdfunding - Lessons Learned
Crowdfunding - Lessons Learned
Crowdfunding - Lessons Learned
Crowdfunding - Lessons Learned
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Crowdfunding - Lessons Learned

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  • I feel one of the greatest takeaways in this presentation is your note on "is there any interest in the market for this product?" Some products that are crowdfunded I wonder if this is the case with them. They still get fully funded, but they don't seem like there is an immediate need. However, the Paragon Induction Cooktop has been really successful on Indiegogo (http://bit.ly/indieparagon). I can see that most people could use a cooktop that takes up a small amount of space.
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  • Good presentation! Important points. Can you send me the link to the CGN startups campaign? Want to see and learn.
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Crowdfunding - Lessons Learned

  1. 1. CROWD FUNDING LESSONS LEARNED BY VIDAR @BLACKTAR ANDERSEN VIDARANDERSEN.COM
  2. 2. I’M VIDAR ANDERSEN • NORWEGIAN LIVING IN COLOGNE, DE 
 SINCE 2005 • PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE WORKING 
 WITH F500 AND GOS SOLVING PROBLEMS 
 WITH WEB/MOBILE TECH SINCE 1997 • STARTUP FOUNDER & ENTREPRENEUR (HITS & MISSES) • CORPORATE ENTREPRENEURSHIP CONSULTANT TO F100 CORPORATIONS THROUGH PLUSANDERSEN.COM • EDUCATOR (STARTUP NEXT INSTRUCTOR, UNIVERSITY LECTURER ON STARTUP ENTREPRENEURSHIP &
 CERTIFIED LEAN LAUNCHPAD INSTRUCTOR @ STANFORD) MORE: VIDARANDERSEN.COM
  3. 3. I’VE BEEN AROUND AND MORE…
  4. 4. I FOUND STUFF TOO
  5. 5. CERTIFIED 
 LEAN LAUNCHPAD EDUCATOR @ STANFORD 2013 #PIXORITDIDNTHAPPEN
  6. 6. MY CROWD FUNDING EXPERIENCES #1 #2
  7. 7. NUMBER OF USERS ALL GERMAN NATIONAL
 PLATFORMS COMBINED ORDER OF MAGNITUDE BIGGER (AKA NUMBER OF READY WALLETS)
  8. 8. TRY #1 
 IPHONE 
 APP AN INSTAGRAM FOR 
 ONE SECOND VIDEOS
  9. 9. ONESEC
 HYPOTHESES • IT IS POSSIBLE (FOR US - RIGHT NOW) TO CROWD FUND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN IPHONE APP? • IS THERE ANY INTEREST IN THE MARKET FOR THIS PRODUCT? • HOW EFFICIENT IS OUR SOCIAL AND MARKETING REACH AND SKILLS? • WHAT IS THE CONVERSION RATE FROM PUBLISHED STORIES ABOUT THIS?
  10. 10. ONESEC - VIDEOS • THE APP SPOT
 HTTP://YOUTU.BE/9PJ4HKCRA3E • THE CAMPAIGN VIDEO
 HTTP://YOUTU.BE/TGSH8EBY-YS • $ 25
 HTTP://YOUTU.BE/RR3MSVYNJW4 • $ 500 (WE SOLD ONE!)
 HTTP://YOUTU.BE/HUQ2CHZ7MK4 • $ 1.000
 HTTP://YOUTU.BE/UQN2KY9REPA
  11. 11. #FAIL
  12. 12. #WIN ACQUIRED BY TWITTER IN OCTOBER 2012 FOR A REPORTED $30 MILLION
  13. 13. IDEAS ARE WORTHLESS EXECUTION IS EVERYTHING
  14. 14. STATS • ONLY 8% 
 OF GOAL REACHED •GAZILLION 
 HOURS WASTED
  15. 15. #FACEPALMIF WE WOULD HAVE INVOICED THE HOURS SPENT DOING CUSTOMER WORK INSTEAD OF RUNNING THIS CAMPAIGN WE WOULD HAVE MADE 
 10XOUR GOAL… BUT: MADE THE FRONTPAGE OF INDIEGOGO TECH CAMPAIGNS FEATURED ON INDIEGOGO BLOG FEATURED ON DVICE FEATURED ON TREND HUNTER FEATURED ON BUZZ PATROL FEATURED ON GADGET EXPLORER PETE HATES MUSIC LOVES ONESEC FEATURED ON MOBILE DEVICE RUSSIA AND MANY MORE…
  16. 16. TRY #2 I GET INVITED TO STANFORD 
 
 TO SPEAK ABOUT THE COLOGNE STARTUP SCENE TO GET TAUGHT & TRAINED
 BY STEVE BLANK
 AS A SCHOLARSHIP
 
 AND TO BRING BACK 
 THE BEST STARTUP EDUCATION AVAILABLE TO COLOGNE, DE
  17. 17. HYPOTHESES • CAN I GET THE MAJORITY OF THE STARTUP SCENE OF COLOGNE TO OWN A STAKE IN BRINGING BETTER ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUCATION TO COLOGNE? • CAN I GET FRIENDS AND STRANGERS TO CO-INVEST AND SPLIT MY FLIGHT AND LIVING COSTS FOR THE? DURATION WITH ME? • CAN I MAKE THIS A STORY BIGGER THAN MYSELF, ABOUT A LARGER GOAL? • CAN I EMOTIONALIZE IT AND CONNECT WITH THE AUDIENCE?
  18. 18. HYPOTHESES • CAN I GET THE MAJORITY OF THE STARTUP SCENE OF COLOGNE TO OWN A STAKE IN BRINGING BETTER ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUCATION TO COLOGNE? • CAN I GET FRIENDS AND STRANGERS TO CO-INVEST AND SPLIT MY FLIGHT AND LIVING COSTS FOR THE? DURATION WITH ME? • CAN I MAKE THIS A STORY BIGGER THAN MYSELF, ABOUT A LARGER GOAL? • CAN I EMOTIONALIZE IT AND CONNECT WITH THE AUDIENCE? ES!
  19. 19. #EPICWIN
  20. 20. STATS •203,26% OF GOAL REACHED • 12 HOURS TO MEET 100% GOAL • RUNNING TIME 19 DAYS, 52 PLEDGERS • 1,707 FACEBOOK LIKES, 243 TWEETS • MADE INDIEGOGO GLOBAL HOMEPAGE
  21. 21. SO WHAT 
 DID I LEARN?
  22. 22. ONESEC
 HYPOTHESES • IT IS POSSIBLE (FOR US & RIGHT NOW) TO CROWD FUND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN IPHONE APP? • IS THERE ANY INTEREST IN THE MARKET FOR THIS PRODUCT? • HOW EFFICIENT IS OUR SOCIAL AND MARKETING REACH AND SKILLS? • WHAT IS THE CONVERSION RATE FROM PUBLISHED STORIES ABOUT THIS? NO!
 
 YES! 
 HORRIBLE! 
 NON-EXISTING!
  23. 23. ONESEC
 CONCLUSIONS • WE FAILED TO EXPLAIN THE PRODUCT WELL ENOUGH • WE FAILED TO MAKE AN EMOTIONAL CONNECT WITH POTENTIAL USERS AND BACKERS • WE FAILED TO IDENTIFY THE TARGET USER SEGMENTS AND MULTIPLIER GROUPS • WE FAILED WITH TONGUE-IN-CHEEK, NO-BUDGET STYLE WHEREAS MORE SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGNS USE BETTER STORYTELLING AND POLISHED VIDEOS
  24. 24. TRY #2
 CONCLUSION COLOGNE LOVES STARTUPS!
  25. 25. CONCLUSIONS • HAD A VERY CLEAR STORY • HAD A VERY CLEAR “WHY” AND “BUY-IN” • HAD A VERY CLEAR, LIMITED AUDIENCE • HAD A “MODEST” GOAL • TRANSPARENCY ON HOW EXACTLY THE MONEY WOULD BE USED • HAD “SOCIAL PROOF” • CLEARLY COMMUNICATED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF GOAL NOT REACHED • PUSHED LIKE CRAZY - BEYOND UNCOMFORTABLE AND THEN SOME
  26. 26. LESSONS LEARNED THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR CAMPAIGN
  27. 27. SHOW THE PRODUCT • MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE PRODUCT • MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND & FEEL WHY THEY WOULD WANT THE PRODUCT
  28. 28. FIND THE MULTIPLIERS • WE FAILED TO FIND THE GROUPS OF PEOPLE AND CHANNELS OUTSIDE OF OUR FRIENDS, FAMILIES AND NETWORK OUTSIDE THE STARTUP WORLD WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN AND PASSIONATE ABOUT THE PROBLEM THE PRODUCT IS SOLVING • ONCE WE HAD REACHED ALL OF OUR NETWORKS, THE CAMPAIGN STALLED
  29. 29. • DO THE RESEARCH UP-FRONT, TEST AND FIND THE COHORTS AND CHANNELS, THE PEOPLE WHO YOUR PRODUCT AND MESSAGE WILL RESONATE WITH BEFORE LAUNCHING • HAVE AN ACTUAL PLAN ON WHO TO MARKET IT TO, WHERE THEY ARE AND HOW TO BEST REACH THEM FIND THE MULTIPLIERS
  30. 30. STORYTELLING • HAVE A STORY TO TELL, CREATE ONE - YOU NEED IT! • ADD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO THE STORY ABOUT “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME” FOR THE USER, FOR THE BACKER: “ONLY YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN” • “IF YOU HELP MAKE THIS HAPPEN, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO X AND Y” • FOCUS ON THE EMOTIONAL APPEAL, THINK APPLE, THINK TITANIC
  31. 31. WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME • EMOTIONALIZE IT • MAKE THE BACKERS PART OF THE STORY / EXPERIENCE • VISUALIZE IN IMAGES WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE BACKERS • SHOW, DON’T TELL
  32. 32. INCLUDE THE BACKERS • REACH OUT TO THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREADY BACKED YOU • PUBLISH THEIR STORY ABOUT WHY THEY BELIEVE IN YOU • MAKE THE STORY ABOUT SOMETHING BIGGER THAN YOURSELF AND THE APP • KEEP BUILDING YOUR SUCCESS NARRATIVE, YOUR STORY AS THE CAMPAIGN MOVES ALONG
  33. 33. CONSEQUENCES • CLEARLY COMMUNICATE WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IF YOU FAIL TO RAISE THE GOAL AMOUNT • PAINT A PICTURE OF THE CONSEQUENCES, HOW POOR AND SAD THE KITTEN WILL BE • EMOTIONALIZE IT
  34. 34. WHEN & HOW TO PUSH • REACH MORE THAN $ 1.000 PLEDGED BEFORE PUSHING TO PRESS • KEEP PUSHING PRESS ALTHOUGH THEY FIRST DON’T REACT • KEEP IT UP AND PING PRESS ON ANY UPDATES • KEEP BUILDING YOUR MOMENTUM STORY
  35. 35. TRICKS • PAY THE FIRST $ 1.000 YOURSELF, CONSIDER THE PAYPAL FEE MARKETING EXPENSES • USED PAID MARKETING TO TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE AND DRIVE TRAFFIC TO CAMPAIGN • YOU CAN ACTUALLY EXTEND RUNNING TIME OF CAMPAIGN BY CONTACTING INDIEGOGO SUPPORT BY MAIL
  36. 36. SO YOU GOT FUNDED - NOW WHAT?
  37. 37. AFTERMATH • DELIVERING ON PERKS CAN BE A PAIN IN THE NECK AND A NASTY FINANCIAL SURPRISE • BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT HOW MUCH YOUR PERKS ARE GOING TO COST IN TIME AND MATERIAL TO DELIVER AND CALCULATE ALL THIS IN ADVANCE, ADD TO AMOUNT YOU ARE RAISING IF NEEDED • KEEP PLEDGERS INFORMED IN THE TIME (YES IT IS GOING TO TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN YOU THINK) IT TAKES FROM YOU CLOSE TO YOU CAN FULFILL ON YOUR PLEDGERS’ PERKS • BEST CASE, USE ONLY PRODUCT OR DIFFERENT VERSIONS AND AMOUNTS OF ITSELF AS PERKS OR IF NON-PRODUCT ONLY PERKS THAT DON’T HAVE A LOT OF COST AND AFTERMATH LOGISTICS FOR YOU ATTACHED TO THEM • ENCOURAGE PLEDGERS TO TAKE PICTURES OF DELIVERED PERKS AND SHARE THEM ON SOCIAL MEDIA - PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN!
  38. 38. SO YOU DID 
 NOT GET FUNDED - NOW WHAT?
  39. 39. SHIT HAPPENS - DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL
  40. 40. “NOTHING VENTURED, NOTHING GAINED”
  41. 41. LEARN, CHANGE, REPEAT
  42. 42. GOOD LUCK! TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CROWD FUNDING PROJECT VIDARANDERSEN.COM TWITTER.COM/BLACKTAR FACEBOOK.COM/BLACKTAR LINKEDIN.COM/IN/VIDARANDERSEN

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