30 days, 6 countries, hundreds of donors, 0 sleep… From November 7th to Dec 7th we ran a Kickstarter to raise money for the development of our SprayPrinter 2 model. Overall the whole process was a success but also super tiring (were just now recovering from the Kickstarter hangover). It was a huge learning experience about what the world thinks about SprayPrinter and how we work as a team. We figured it would be fun to share some of the stories we have from the experience and lessons learned along the way.
From the very start of the Kickstarter our team was already spread out across the world. We were in Lisbon, Portugal where we participated in WebSummit and had soccer star Luis Figo sign a sprayprinted portrait of himself. We were in the Germany, Denmark, Finland, and the U.S. participating in different pitch competitions, summits, and securing investors. In Spain we were building partnerships and securing connections for the future. And in gold ol’ Estonia we were creating giant murals, doing news interviews, and just running around like crazy for the most part. With so much going on it was tricky to communicate at times. This led to some late night panicked calls when things didn’t get posted, or me having to do some last minute photo editing attempts if Uku was busy. Going back having a clear channel of communication and awareness of each other’s roles would have kept us on track and eliminated some panic.
Despite all the chaos and shenanigans we managed to get shit done. This whole experience was a true test in team dynamics and brought us even closer together. We even added a few new team members during the process, one of which was a stuffed animal duck we picked up in California. Though Tommy’s introduction to the team was not without some controversy. During our Kickstarter after party we had some hooligans try and steal him away, so I had a small tussle in order to free him from his captors! Despite the team having to calm me down and stop me from cutting a bitch over a duck, we got to see we have each other’s backs. Not only did we get closer to each other during the process, but we got to interact with and get to know y’all even more.
During the Kickstarter we did a few live streams where we asked what you wanted to see printed and got to kick back and chill with you guys too. We did some awesome sprayprints including Walter White from the TV series Breaking Bad and Jon Snow from Game of Thrones. We were particularly excited for Jon as we have a few fan girls in the office (myself included). Were thinking about doing 11 from Stranger Things soon too! It was so fun seeing the types of things you wanted sprayprinted and answering your questions, whether they were technical ones about the product or about what our favorite colors were. (If you must know mine is anything holographic and Henry’s is aurometalsaurus, which is just a fancy name for grey.)
At first we were a bit reluctant to do live-streams, since to reach a U.S. market we had to stay up late at night to do them. Well actually mainly just me. In true diva fashion, I said I would only show up if they brought me cake. Our team later found that live-streams are truly a great marketing tool for our product, and cake is a great motivating tool for me. Many people had questions about how it worked, and while we were answering them in text the best we could, when people had a chance to watch they finally had that “ahaa!” moment. We ended up doing 3 live streams during the Kickstarter, but wish we had done more and started doing them even before that. We plan on doing even more live streams in the future since it is a great way to interact with potential users and a lot of fun at that.
Most importantly we got to learn a lot from y’all during the process about how the world perceives SprayPrinter. We got some pretty big media coverage from sites and news sources like the LadBible, BoredPanda, and Reuters. We have received a lot of really positive feedback, exposure, and collaboration opportunities.
But even with all the positivity we’ve also received some skepticism. One thing we can’t control is the way the media or people in general perceive and interpret the message or the product. Our creative manager Sirla discusses this topic more in depth in another blog.
During the process, we also got to learn what SprayPrinter as a product is capable of. We created a wall climbing robot and made a building sized mural of Albert Einstein. I wanted to do a giant cat face, but people insisted we do something “meaningful”. It took 5 hours and only 3 cans of spray paint. Watch the process and see how amazing it turned out. The idea of doing giant murals with SprayPrinter had a great response as well, many people became interested in having their own mural printed or figuring out how they can do it on their own. We have plans to develop this technology further and see just how big we can take it.
With everything that happened there is so much to reflect on, in the end of the day we achieved our goals and had fun along the way. But it wasn’t just all us, there are 366 people who helped us go through it, and thanks to whom we are able to fully develop SprayPrinter 2. Now it’s up to us to make this dream a reality, and we will be sure not to disappoint.