Day 15 Updates

Half a month into this adventure and I’ve made more progress on each of my projects than I have over the past year. There’s a lesson somewhere in there, and I’ll let you know as soon as I find it.

If you want the tl;dr video update, scroll down to the bottom!

Battlecups are Coming

If you haven’t already, and you’d like, I’d sure appreciate it if you took the survey on http://getbattlecups.com. Everyone who does will receive a special gift plus dibs on our first production run — and there will be a production run!

Ultimaker 2+ in action in CIC Boston’s new Fabrication Center, AKA Fab@CIC

But before I can even contemplate a production run, I have three steps left:

  1. Get a full set of prototypes, 8 bow/stern pieces and 4 mid pieces — it looks like Fab@CIC will be able to help me print a full set *fingers crossed*. If not, I’ll have to decide between getting them printed elsewhere (likely costing >$2,000), or buying a 3D printer for myself (about $2,400).
  2. Content creation and audience building phase — Prototyping will look easy compared to the audience build. I’m designing a content strategy around Vine, Snapchat, and Facebook. I think short videos will be super important to attract eyeballs.
  3. Securing an manufacturer — I’ve already begun to source manufacturers in Mexico for a production run. This step will have to be done in conjunction with the audience build so that I can pull the trigger when we hit our goal.

Production Run Goal: $20,000 in pre-orders, roughly 800 units

Sure, it sounds like a lot, and it is. More importantly, there’s a clear path forward.

FollowAlong in Development

If Battlecups aren’t your thing, maybe city exploration and discovery is. By signing up on http://followalong.me, you’ll know when the app is available for download, and if you refer 5 people to sign up, I’ll give you a promo code that you can use to get any followalong for free!

I spent the past week sourcing online app builders that would allow me to build the new FollowAlong native prototype with incredibly limited tech skills (I’m talking HTML, CSS, some JQuery, and even less PHP). I went through about 10 demos until I finally settled on one: AppsZero.

The trick was to find an app builder that allowed in-app purchases (IAPs) of digital content, while also having the ability to build a multi-level navigation tree.

AppsZero seems like a very new platform and their UX isn’t the most attractive (RE: it’s painful to use). But the price is great at $200 per year and it allows me to copy my HTML and CSS and import it into the builder. So it isn’t exactly a drag-and-drop, but it is WYSIWYG builder. That works for me.

It will probably take me about a week to build the skeleton to my liking and then I can really deep dive into uploading my content and writing new tours.


tl;dr: Video Update from Yesterday


Keep up with my projects by following my Medium profile, Frank Pobutkiewicz, subscribing to my YouTube channel, or adding or following me on Facebook. Feel free to ask any questions, comment, and please recommend any posts you particularly like!

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