So it’s time to release the (quite extensive) list of things we will work on before releasing again on Kickstarter. These are all things we’ve seen and heard from people who interacted with us. Your feedback is critical to us, if there are things you think we’ve missed or any suggestions, please do leave them in the comments.
Changes we will make:
More confident price points
- we don’t have a confident answer to how much the final version will cost. The further down the road of development we get on our prototypes, the more we can accurately judge the costs and come up with the ideal price point for our users.
More compelling lower level prizes
- because we went with something unique and custom, it drove our low level pledge prices too high. We may still do the custom QR codes as we’ve gotten a sample in and it’s awesome, but they would be a limited quantity and we would have standard versions at lower price points.
More affordable price points
- As stated above, we are not entirely sure of our price points, but we do know that there is a potential for the cost to be less, but we won’t know until we get a few prototypes in. One thing we would like to do regardless is introduce a Starter Sleeve which is a 5 fret version that can play tens of thousands of songs at a lower price point.
Add a complete starter package
- We may have neglected people who were excited about our campaign, but would have to go and buy a guitar in order to actually use the product. We will make this simpler with a Tabber sleeve plus guitar and amp package so that you can get everything you need in one swoop
More confident goal
- we might have not needed $45,000 to get where we promised. We thought that with a higher goal, and given that we were early in the development process, we would increase the goal to account for that and to give people confidence that we could achieve it. That was the wrong approach given the status of the project. This time, we will detail exactly what the money will be used for and why and be transparent about that. The goal may end up being the same, but there will be a more calculated and confident approach to it.
Detailed content plan and push strategy
- while we failed at this early, I think we had a good plan for the remaining half of Kickstarter. The problem is that the software and hardware will not be finished in time to make many of those new content pushes a reality. With a more functional product, we will be able to show really cool videos and articles going forward.
Add some humor/spice to the video
- Although I love our video and think it did a really good job explaining, we want to make a video people would watch again and again.
Work to become the most transparent Kickstarter project (even before the campaign relaunches) with an amazing product
More customer development
- we need to find out who our most encompassing customer profile is and where they can be reached. We know it’s obviously people learning to play guitar and people who like to build things but we don’t know enough about these people. People wanting to play guitar is extremely broad and stretches multiple ages. We were raised in a startup world where this planning is absolutely critical, but the lure of Kickstarter stopped us from doing as much as we needed.
More community building
- we need to use more social media, also something we have not been great at. We need to have a community of people ready for us to say we’ve launched and confident enough to make a pledge immediately or share it with their friends when the campaign goes live again. We hope you all will join us for this.
Regularly updated design/progress and content blog
- we’ve been doing a lot better at regularly updating the blog (http://music-everywhere.tumblr.com/) with not just updates, but content. The problem is that we didn’t do enough of that before hand so no one really cared about our blog when the time came for Kickstarter
Contacts with big names - musicians, rock band, API partners, guitar shops and distributors
- reaching out to these people after the campaign is over and coming with a feedback approach rather than a sales approach and cultivating those relationships for the ~2 months leading up to the re-launch may give us endorsements or possible integrations
Established demand for high level products including reseller packages
- by talking to guitar shops and distributors, showing them we had ~50 people pledge the full amount and we found out what needed to change, we can draw demand for higher prizes in the $1000-2000 range which, if enough are sold, pushes the campaign even faster. To us, it’s a win-win for them, they only have to actually spend the money if there is traction that people will buy Tabber. They also provide valuable input on what they see from their customers.
Refined prototype of Starter Sleeve
- by building the first version of this, we will see 1) if we got it right, or 2) if we didn’t and what we need to do in the next one. By the second version, it should be very functional including RGB lights
Basic version of Pro Sleeve (stretch goal)
- if we get the first version done quickly enough, we may be able to have a sample of the full sleeve, this one I am unsure of for the moment
Full technical details of hardware and parts
- maker and gadget sites love details. We didn’t have any ready and I was not able to get them quick enough. We also didn’t know the full details, but the sooner we can get them to the makers, the more they can give feedback
More functional processor
- we will integrate bluetooth, bring the processor cost down by switching from Arduino and design acrylic cases that looks more professional
- While the smartphone app concept is great, it does limit our market. We will build a basic desktop version to reach a broader audience (including parents/kids) and work to build that up in the future
More functional software
- educational intro tutorial including video guides synced with lights
- full songs with tempo, looping, and step through functions
- spotify, echo nest, twitter and Facebook integrations
- more to come
API specs sent to potential integrators
- build up relationships with people like Jammit, Chromatik, Rock Band, and MisoMusic in hopes they will agree to endorse, promote and integrate
More well designed app
- the more stunning it looks, the more it will add to the revolutionary component
Push two stories not features
- we’ve been pushing a “look at this cool thing that will someday do these features” approach, it needs to be more personal, about our story (what we’ve done in the off-time) and what it does for people (with proof)
Hit gadget sites hard
- gadget sites were easiest to approach and the most beneficial for us so far
More research and press lined up on major guitar sites
- they have been difficult to find, but magazines like Guitar World, Guitar Player, and others that have a wider reach have longer lead times and typically either want to see videos of a near-market ready product or actually test and review them. Approaching them early for feedback will help us build those connection
- MTV has asked us to attend their event on May 6 to feature Tabber, potentially even getting a band to use it on stage. We hope this is just one of many good events to come.
Our goal is to become even more transparent as we progress and that’s why we are releasing this list. We hope it along with your feedback will serve us well, but may also serve to highlight things that most projects should factor in before considering something like Kickstarter.
Please leave your thoughts in the comments.