Putting Yourself Out There Student Blog

by Alexander F. March 27, 2017

In the Spring semester of the first year, the students are tasked with launching a Kickstarter campaign that will make at least $1,000.  We’re now 8 days out from having to launch our campaigns on March 30th, and the anxiety from that deadline approaching is starting to build.  

I’m working on launching a prototype for a dog leash that I’ve now been using for about a month.  It’s meant to make my (and hopefully others’) walks easier by storing common dog items on the leash itself rather than a fanny pack or jacket pockets.  

Because I am the target customer for my own product, I’ve had the ability to test various iterations of the leash myself - upping my sewing and fabrication skills along the way.  Just yesterday I finished a third version of the prototype. Despite not being close to complete, it’s good enough that I can let it go into the wild and see what comes back.

That’s what this post is about.  At some point, you have to put a stake in the ground and show what you have to the world -- no excuses, no caveats, no “yeah but this will work differently once I can do X, Y and Z”. Just let it go.

Yesterday, I gave v3 of the McKinLEASH to a couple with a one year old puppy I chat with often in the park.  They’re going to come back with lots of feedback, some of which I will be able to act on, some I simply won’t have time for, which is perfectly OK.  It’s much better to have a list of things you know you need to work on, rather than having no clear direction forward.  

That’s one of the big lessons of the class - these deadlines are immovable and they’re coming fast, whether you like it or not.  You won’t have time to change everything you know needs to be tweaked or modified, but you have to make sure you have enough to sell your idea or get good feedback.  That means you must constantly be scoping.  That way you can keep making good progress, without getting lost shooting for the stars with every new version.  Be ambitious, but be realistic.

Hopefully I will be able to come back and look at this post in 3 weeks and know I made the right decisions ;)

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