For many startups, including LUUV, crowdfunding is a vital part of turning your idea into a project, and then on to a fully functioning company. Running a startup is sort of like cooking without a recipe. You have to be very aware of your ingredients, how long to cook them for, to make sure that they don’t burn, and how to quickly save them if they do. All while entertaining your guests (your backers) and keeping them interested. On September 22 we will begin our second crowdfunding campaign. It’s not because we burnt the first one, but because after months of perfecting our recipe, dinner can finally be served.
In the beginning of 2014 we brought you our vision of the world’s first camera stabilizer to feature plug & play action, single-handed use, modular, aerodynamic design, up & down mode, that was suitable for all action cams, smartphones and compact cameras — and we were delighted by the response from our initial backers. “We have always considered our backers to be part of our team”, says Felix Kochbeck, Co-Founder and CEO of LUUV, “communicating with our backers, and finding out their needs was an integral part of the success of LUUV and we are happy to deliver the results”.
Why a second campaign?
After months of design, and redesign, improvements, planning and strategy, we are now ready to begin production. Our Kickstarter campaign allows us to do this without compromising on the quality of the product. “We are proud to be a German company, with German design and German engineering. Being German also stands for quality, and we wanted to be sure to live up to this standard”, notes Felix.
Apart from a change in our planning and strategy, we also need to increase the volume of the first production batch, due to high demand. This phase is like the sprint-finish of the startup-marathon. While it’s not even close to the end of our journey, it’s where we are preparing to exert the most energy to ensure the success of solidLUUV, and to fulfil our dream of shake-free videos for everyone.
“solidLUUV has many more benefits, than originally expected”
A lot has changed since the beginning. We have had to completely redo the production strategy. We are perfectionists, so as we created each prototype, we could then see where we could improve it. We have since added features such as an ergonomic changeable handle, plus a hand-strap, a flexible vibration-absorbing grip, the weight-adjustment ring, maintenance-free xiros-bearings, and we created a modular setup. By attaching our electronic stabilization module, you can turn solidLUUV into ultraLUUV, the world’s first 2x3-axis camera stabilizer. With all the improvements, plus liaising with some of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers, such as IGUS, we have also managed to reduce the costs of solidLUUV, much to the pleasure of our original backers.
“Self-evaluation is imperative for growth”
There were a lot of lessons that we took from the original crowdfunding campaign, both good and bad. While some things were done really well, we could immediately pinpoint what could be done better. Self-evaluation is imperative for growth. One of main things that we will bring to our Kickstarter campaign is the interaction with our community. Keeping in touch with our backers and the larger community was vital to our success, and important for building trust and rapport. Maintaining this interaction after the crowdfunding was also as equally important.
The other big lesson was flexibility. As it was our first crowdfunding campaign, we were nervous about deviating from the plan. We were lucky that nothing drastic happened during the first campaign, except an entirely successful result. We did underestimate the duration of many processes though, in particular the time required consulting with external service providers. The time we calculated for finishing each section of the development often ended up being much longer. Given the interest that we are receiving, and now that we are armed with the experience of the previous campaign, we are ready for the next phase: Production.
Our Kickstarter campaign begins on the 22 September 2015. Secure your solidLUUV, the world’s best camera stabilizer for all action cams, smart phones and compact cameras, for the early-bird price of €99 — 50% of the retail price — and enjoy all your adventures, shake-free!