Crowdfunding: a Tale of Two Campaigns

Published: 2021-06-30 09:35:05
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I. Summary of the case
The analysis is about two groups of entrepreneurs. There were the two twin sisters Annie and Marla Feldman and the other entrepreneur was Hanson Grant. Marla was a yoga enthusiast and she came up with the idea of a snack in which the people in her yoga class liked. After some time they conducted several tests on the products and decided that it was time to raise funds for the business. On the other hand, Hanson used his designing skills to come up with a design of t-shirts known as the “white-board” t-shirt. The idea did not go as he had planned and he, therefore, opted to use excess leftovers of his t-shirts and he came up with a large collection of “white-board” canvas for brainstorming. He later realized that he had made a new product, The Think Board. In this idea, he managed to sell a few collections to his classmates at the Babson College but he remained uncertain of the idea in a broader market. In both cases, we see that the entrepreneurs see the next step was to launch a crowdfunding campaign. II. Gaining familiarityAnnie and Marla were close since they were sisters and when Marla came up with the idea of the snacks, the two worked together to see that the idea was put to work. In the yoga class, they made a few samples of the Enerchi bites and sold them to their classmates in which they liked them. This gave them the energy to start researches about the snacks. They started from their home place and started to produce a less sweetened sugar than the regular energy bars. This was a unique feature of the snacks. Also, they used the present natural ingredients. They experimented with different flavors and they discovered that simpler was better. Since they made their products at home they shared with their friends.
Sharing products with friend makes the product to become popular and people started to ask where they could get the product1. Using the savings they had, Marla and Annie conducted several tests and started taking their products at events such as the yoga events. The overall feedback they got was good and this made the start retail deliveries in yoga stores and small nutritional groceries.Hanson Grant, on the other hand, had an idea but it had not kicked as compared to Annie and Marla. He wrote his ideas and decided to post the transparent layers from his whiteboard-t-shirt on the walls of his dorm. When his friends came to visit him and saw what he was doing, they asked if he could sell the boars to them. The product had two aspects that differentiated it from the rest of the competitors. First, Hanson was more focused on the design and the customization of the product. Think board is a unique board since it blends with every space so it doesn’t stand out as an ugly whiteboard that is hanging on the walls of the room. Also, there are different sizes and can print whatever you want on it in order to customize your Think board. The family members helped Hanson produce the Think Boards in the up states of New York. The first orders were from his friends at Babson but he was not sure of a broader market. He did a brief research about the crowdfunding and made up his mind if he got a kick starter then he would continue with the idea.II. Recognizing symptoms
When Hanson Grant joined Babson College in January 2013 he decided it was time to start on his venture. He needed a place to write his ideas but he lacked somewhere so he decides to write the Think Board and post them on the walls of his dorm. As his friends come to visit him, they see what he is doing and they like the idea. They ask him to sell them the boards so that they could also change the walls of their dorm rooms into a canvas. This is the point that he realizes he had found his breakthrough. His first orders come from the college and his family helps him in making the boards.The two sisters at first make some samples of the snacks and give them to their friends in the yoga classes. The feedback is positive and this motivates them to do some research on the ingredients and take the product to yoga conventions and in small retail facilities. From here they decide to launch a crowdfunding to help them in their next step.
III. Identify goals
In the article we see Annie says that the people liked the ‘cookie dough like’ texture and also they liked the re-sealed packaging. This positive feedback helped them come up with a tagline “Eat what you like, share or save the rest”. This was a major goal since it proved to them that the products they were making were liked by the people. Also in some few months’ time, they moved to a new kitchen and there was increased production from 200 to over 600 pounds and the workload involved also increased. This shows that they had achieved their goal and their business as going as planned.The major goals of the two groups of the entrepreneurs were to succeed in their business. This would be made possible if they could acquire the crowdfunding money since they could use it to start up their businesses. Also, they wanted to outdo the available completion from the other competitors by coming up with unique products.
After Grant’s friends visited him in his room, they ask him to sell them the boards so that they could also hang them in their rooms. We see that he goes home in the up states of New York where his family friends help him in making the boards since he had gotten an order from the Babson College friends. This is a major goal and at this point, he decided to do a research on the crowdfunding to get a kick starter.
V. Conducting the analysis
Annie and Marla had decided on what they want and after they started selling their snacks they started on their research. Also, the idea of giving snacks to their friends helped them in marketing their product in that people started asking where they could buy the snacks. They saw that they needed to make a snack that was different from the rest of the competitors. In this case, they had to do something differently. They, therefore, decide to make a less sugar energy snack. This was different from the other energy snacks. They also experimented on different types of flavors in order to come up with the best and they discover that the simpler the better. They settled on coconut, oatmeal raisin, apple cinnamon and cocoa date. Also using their savings, they conduct some researches and start delivering their products to yoga conventions and gave out samples to gyms and also to yoga centers.
This enabled them to acquire retail deliveries which led to increased production. This made them move from home to a new kitchen which could sustain them. At this point, they were able to produce 200 to over 600 pounds. This was an idea that made their business grow.Huston Grant after his admission to college, he decided it was his time to exercise his entrepreneurial skills. But he had no field to do so. He decides to post his Thinking Boards on the walls of his dorm. His friends come to visit and they see what he is doing. They asked him to sell the boards to them and that’s when he discovers that he had found his breakthrough. He goes back home and he is helped by his family friends in making the boards that he had been ordered by his friends in college.
VI. Making the diagnosis
During his admission to the college, Huston thought that it was time to exercise his skills. But he later found out that it was not as he thought. He needed to have an exposure which he lacked. He, therefore, decides to use the available chance to get what was missing. He posts his Thinking Boards on the walls of his dorm. His friends later come and see them and they are impressed and ask to buy the boards and use them on their walls too. This was a problem at first for Grant but later he solves it and he is able to get an order from the college friends requesting to make Thinking Boards for them.For the twin sisters, we see that they at first start cooking the snacks at home and giving them to their friends in the yoga classes. With time, the production increases and they are forced to move to a new kitchen where they could increase their productivity. This in return increases their production. After they had launched their Kickstarter campaign they spent a lot of money on the videos which were not intended. This was a wrong gesture since it came to affect them afterward since the money they got in total mostly came from the family friend and not from donations from well-wishers. Later they come to use their back up plan which they had before the start of the campaign. They did not get the external validation which they were expecting since their plan had failed.The results of poor planning of the sisters made them fail in their campaign since they could not reach the required amount of money for the Kickstarter campaign. They used some of their funds in the marketing videos which were not necessary. This in return affected them adversely. This was the result of their poor planning and it led to them using their saved money to fill the campaign’s money.
VII. Doing the action planning
During the Kickstarter campaign the sister’s thought that they could get the external support that they needed. By the end of the campaign, they noted that they were short of the targeted amount. This was not supposed to happen and they used their backup plan which was to use funds from their savings and from their friends to fill the missing amount. During the campaign, they had used a lot of money for the video which was not necessary and it came to be the cause of their failure. If they had not used much money for the video, then they could have gotten the required amount. Also, their social media platform did not work as it was planned to have worked. Like Huston, they did not get the much support of sharing of their video or even the advertisement. This was the success that followed Huston. We see that he posted on the walls of his friends on Facebook and this helped him in the sense that he was able to reach a bigger audience as compared to the sisters. As a result, he was able to acquire the required amount together with 199 backers. This was not the case of the sisters they had to use their savings to fill the missing amount.
The course of action that was needed is proper planning. This will enable the entrepreneurs to have a guideline on the issue and challenges that they are going to encounter. As Huston did, he used the Facebook accounts of his friends to advertise his Thinking Boards. This shows that he had a course of action. Also, the sisters had a backup plan in case they are of crowdfunding failed.Am implementation plan is the course along which one follows in order to achieve a certain goal. One should have ideas and strategies put in place to help in the implementation of the ideas in mind. This will help in case the major plan fails and it will protect the entrepreneur from failure. We see that the sisters had a backup plan when the aimed amount failed to reach. This shows that they had an implemented plan or schedule.
From accessing the action that is to be implemented we need to always have a ready backup plan in case the original idea fails. This will help in the idea not falling since the backup plan will support the idea as planned. As Huston noted that there were no feedbacks from friends, he decides to use the accounts of his friends and also asks his friends to share his posts with other people. This in return makes his idea known to many people and in return, he gets support from the outsiders.

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