13 Ways to Avoid Being Labeled an Email Spammer

huff post home page“It’s a dead giveaway when you receive an email that looks like it could be directed to you, your 85-year-old neighbor or your dog. To keep your readers away from the unsubscribe-because-it’s-spam link, you need to…” read on

4 Steps To Your New Startup

under30ceologoStartups are typically the result of a solved problem or an unmet need fulfilled. If you’re interested in becoming an entrepreneur or starting a new venture, you need to pay close attention to a few simple but important steps in order to… Read more

What 3 Qualities Are Most Important for Startup Founders?

Persistence, Paranoia and Calmness


“Persistence is required in order to push past all of the no’s that will undoubtedly happen. Whether it’s your first sale or an attempt to raise funds, it’s going to happen. Paranoia keeps founders…”  read on

Kickstarter vs. Fundable: Part 3 – Now We’re Funded…

It has been 34 days since launching our BottleKeeper campaign with Fundable and I must say, it’s been quite the experience. We have gone from being 66% funded within the first 6 days, to being 117% funded with 100 backers and 11 days outstanding. This illustrates a point that became increasingly clear; linear progressions don’t exist in crowdfunding. Shocking, right?! No, not really.

Fundable shotIn one hand, I feel that having spread the campaign over 45 days created too much space in the “middle”. What I mean is that people whom intend to pre-order larger volumes of BottleKeeper’s, know that they have lots of time to pull the trigger, which exacerbated the lull that we experienced from days 10 to 25.

On the other hand, there are numerous benefits to spreading the campaign out that only relate to Fundable (as opposed to Kickstarter). The most major of the benefits is the fact that Fundable has a Public Relations department that has incredible connections. These are not just people they “kind of” know, they are legitimate editors and reviewers at major publications and blogs. In addition to turning the list over to you, they guide you through the process of contacting them so you can get the most reviews and successful contacts possible.

For example, in any business that I’ve ever been involved in, I’ve never needed to communicate with publications, journalists or bloggers, so I honestly didn’t know how. I’m sure I could have figured it out by trying, making mistakes and changing course, but I didn’t have that kind of time. If you feel this is easy, think about it; what is the best day of the week or time of the day to email them? Call them? Send a follow up to a non-response? How do I effectively structure the subject line so it stands out and grabs their attention? How short or long should the email read? What’s their incentive or motivation to review a product? And so on…

The point here is that you can’t just fire off a bunch of emails and hope for the best. Having professionals that are there to help you be more successful, and in many cases, send “review opportunity” emails out for you, is incredibly beneficial and reason enough to extend the life of your campaign in order to accomplish as many of these opportunities as possible.

The positive results of the PR processes inside Fundable became immediately apparent.  We currently have 6 different publications that are awaiting a BottleKeeper of their very own to test and write reviews on, a couple of which are major publications, and we were even able to get an article up with a great online publication, FirstToKnow.com.

With 11 remaining days and 100 backers thus far, let’s make it interesting. I believe that there will be a surge in the last 7 days as a result of people, many of which will be family, friends and those that have already seen the campaign, waiting until the last minute to execute their pre-order.

So here’s my formal hypothesis: BottleKeeper will jump from 117% to over 175% within the last week of the Fundable campaign.

Understanding that procrastination isn’t a new idea or methodology, it will be interesting to see how the numbers change over the final 7 days. Only time will tell…

Follow our progress at Fundable.com/BottleKeeper

**Hypothesis Follow Up** Want to know how the fundraise actually turned out? We hit 378% of our goal (thanks partly to an unexpected article in Gizmodo), raised almost $14,000 and pre-sold nearly 1000 BottleKeepers into 6 countries…not a bad start!

Do Family Members Make Good Business Partners?

huff post home page

“Working with family can be great, and it can be terrible. If you and your potential co-working family members have the ability to completely separate personal and business, it can…”

Startup Success: Test Your Pitch to VCs


Take a look as I, and 4 other entrepreneurs, pitch our business models to VC’s, including Scott Case, the co-founder of Priceline.

WSJ Screen

CEO: Taking Your Small Business to the Next Level

Who is your hero?thoughtreach-960x120

I’ve always followed Richard Branson, but wouldn’t call him my hero…

What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?

There’s always a better deal. Realizing this point isn’t unique; I’ve had plenty of disappointment over the years as certain deals haven’t gone through. Whether it’s… click here for more

12 Tips For Finding the Perfect Partner For Your Startup


*Photo credit – TECH Cocktail, LLC

Changing the world is a team effort.

Nowhere is this more important than at the top. The perfect cofounder must compliment your skill set, be someone you can trust in the trenches, and share your unrelenting drive toward constant improvement.

Seem like a tall order?  It is.  See TECH.Co for more…

How to Create a Minimum Viable Product


How to Create a Minimum Viable Product


“In order to create the best product or service possible, you must start with a killer minimum viable product. Adam Callinan shows you how to do just that.”

Kickstarter vs. Fundable: Part 2

Having just completed our first week of the Fundable campaign it has become clear that there is one word that has the ability to determine success or failure. This word keeps you up at night and drives your mind damn near the point of insanity. Here’s a clue: it’s hard to get, and even harder to keep. Any guesses?

photo (8)Momentum, momentum, momentum. As I’ve recently learned, momentum comes with the excitement of the launch and it happens early. Not a surprise, right? Then, while you scramble to figure out how to keep it up, it inevitably tapers off. Here’s an example; BottleCamo went from 0-40% funded in the first 4 days, to 66% funded with 58 backers in the first 6 days, then had only 3 backers total in next 2 days. The spigot nearly completely turned off.

The fact that momentum has the ability to shift like this means that, if you are launching a crowdfunding campaign, ongoing public relations and media exposure are going to be incredibly important. You can’t just post your campaign and expect hundreds to come to your support, even if it’s a great product or project.

The good news is that there is a major difference between Kickstarter and Fundable that applies directly to this point; although Kickstarter has more people thumbing through their site on a daily basis, Fundable has an entire media/PR division that’s sole purpose is to get your campaign exposure and funded. Fundable takes the stance that their company is not successful unless the campaigns on their site are successful. This might sound trivial, but let me assure you, it’s quite nice to work with a company that actually practices what they preach. It also helps that they have a pretty significant following through various social media channels and, yes, you have access to them.

With 37 remaining days in the BottleCamo Fundable campaign, it will be interesting to see how the momentum shifts as the upcoming media and PR efforts come to life. More to come as the days pass and the campaign evolves…