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Camp Manifesto

Sprinkle
Sprinkle
Mar 28, 2015 · 2 min read

We started Sprinkle to help early stage startups get more users.

Now we’re hosting a series of hackathons. Actually we’re not.

We’re hosting Camp.

Camp is an all-expenses paid trip to build a side project, which the Sprinkle team takes to market.

Timeline

  1. Camp applications are accepted on a quarterly basis.
  2. We invite 5–7 teams of developers to the program.
  3. For 6 weeks teams receive mentorship through a ‘homework’ process, refining their ideas and creating a go-to-market strategy.
  4. During the Camp weekend, Sprinkle helps teams finish v1.0.
  5. After Camp, Sprinkle Labs takes Camp products to market.

The Camp Thesis

After 300+ developers applied to join us for Camp I, we decided to open-source our selection criteria.

Markets
Like [good] investors, we don’t stick our neck out where we can’t add value. For us this means no FinTech, hardware, or healthcare. With some exceptions, we’re also avoiding regulated industries.

Verticals
We love online/offline marketplaces and the sharing economy, but that’s out of scope for Camp. The best way we define this is the “boxer check” — can a founder grow this product at 2am, home alone in their underwear?

Utility
Painkillers > vitamins, yes. Here are some other ways we’re evaluating ideas:

  • Isolation. Camp products don’t need to be integrated with customer workflows or core platforms. They are widgets, add-ons, plugins.
  • Speaking of add-ons, Camp products are ‘AND’ purchase decisions vs ‘OR.’ Netflix and Hulu. Apple TV or Roku. See the difference?
  • Trojan Horse sales. Camp products let customers experience the solution pre-purchase. Cart abandonment should live inside your product, not the pricing page.
  • Customers = end-users. This is the primary distinction between B2B and Enterprise sales. Camp products are paid for and used by the decision-maker, not their boss’ supplier’s provider’s cousin.
  • Does one thing, and does it really well. Popular incubators swing for the fences, writing checks and crossing fingers. Camp products are about sales, not demo day.

In the Wild
You may ask, “What kinds of ideas follow this thread of restraint?”

Well, these ideas aren’t new.

Here are a few companies that follow the Camp Manifesto, and they don’t even know it:

  • LinkTexting.com
  • StatusPage.io
  • DelightedApp.com
  • SumoMe.com
  • Olark.com
  • HelloBar.com
  • ReadMe.io

Camp is an experiment. Camp isn’t for everyone. Camp may not work.

But maybe, it will.


To learn more about Camp, go here. If you’re interested in sponsoring, reach out to camp@sprinkle.ai.

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