In this episode of Art of the Kickstart, we interviewed Josh Smith, a serial Kickstarter creator and Co-Founder of End2End Development. Since 2015, Smith has created or worked with 25 Kickstarter projects and just launched his 26th campaign, ALVA. ALVA is a small hands-free torchlight that can be worn on the wrists or ankles to be seen on the road, track or trail. Learn how Smith’s prior experience with Kickstarter as an entrepreneur has helped his campaign already exceed its funding goal by 165%  just a few weeks into launching.

Topics Discussed and Key Crowdfunding Takeaways

  • Smith’s tips for a successful Kickstarter campaign
  • What ways Smith says Kickstarter has evolved since he launched his first campaign
  • How Smith chose the right crowdfunding agency for his projects
  • The role of improved research and marketing for successful business

Links

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Sponsors

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Transcript

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Roy Morejon:
Welcome entrepreneurs and startups to Art of the Kickstart, the podcast that every entrepreneur needs to listen to before you launch. I’m your host Roy Morejon, president and founder of Enventys Partners. The world’s only turnkey product launch company that has helped over 2000 innovations successfully raise over 400 million in capital since 2010. Each week, I interview a crowdfunding success story, an inspirational entrepreneur or a business expert in order to help you take your startup to the next level. This show would not be possible without our main sponsor Product Type, a 300,000 member crowdfunding media site and newsletter, that’s generated millions of dollars in sales for over a thousand top-tier projects since 2017. Check out productype.co to subscribe to the weekly newsletter, now let’s get on with the show.

Roy Morejon:
Welcome to another edition of Art of the Kickstart. Today is going to be a super special episode because we are talking with the one and only Mr. Josh Smith co-founder of End2end Development, and someone who has just launched or worked with their 26th Kickstarter campaign, that’s right, 26th. Josh has been an OG of the Kickstarter community. He’s been a creator since 2015. He’s amassed tens of thousands of backers, helping raise over two and a half million for all of his projects that he’s worked on. Some of those things you’ve definitely seen before from his first one with The Titanium Hex-Bit Driving Ring, to Fidget Spinner Wallet to EDC tools and backpacks, coffee products to camera equipment. And now he’s back with the 26th campaign ALVA, which already has hundreds of backers midway through the campaign. So Josh, I am super excited to have you on the show today.

Josh Smith:
No, thank you very much for having me.

Roy Morejon:
So let’s talk background what’s you to first off becoming an entrepreneur?

Josh Smith:
Sure. That’s a great question, my dad, essentially. Growing up, my dad ran a company in the offshore oil industry. He’d worked for several companies over the years and identified areas that they weren’t fulfilling. And they’d go out on job in foreign countries and there’d be requirements and things that were missing and all these little ideas formed. So he set up his own company, fulfilling those needs, designing bits and pieces to service those areas. And for me growing up, he’d fly off for two weeks to some far flung country that nobody that I knew would would go to, especially not a holiday.

Josh Smith:
And come back with with crazy stories of armed escorts and interesting local roadblocks and whatnot and all these exciting stories of the road. And I saw him doing what he loved coming up with ideas, putting them into practice and then directly getting feedback from the people using them. Now, okay, that’s the oil industry, but I thought, “Well, why don’t I do something similar for what I want to do?” And actually I’ve reflected on this a little bit, I’ve had my plan since I was eight years old, which is crazy to say that I’ve done most of it, so I’m quite pleased with that.

Roy Morejon:
So since eight years old. So was that where the invention space struck a chord with you internally?

Josh Smith:
I used to, when dad was away, to break into his workshop and make some quite dangerous things that my friends and I would play with. And then we’d started going on skiing holidays with a family friend and I decided that that’s what I want to do, I want to do something in the ski industry, whether it’s resort rep or snowboard instructor, which I ended up becoming. And the plan was always do it for three years, any two seasons anywhere, but finish in Japan and then do what dad does and start my own company and that’s exactly what I did. So I traveled a lot all over the world. Everything from we did the Mongol Rally, so we drove a postal van from the UK to Mongolia.

Josh Smith:
And on that trip came up with loads of ideas for products and things, and set myself up, stumbled across Kickstarter completely by chance, stumbled across 3D printing completely by chance. And it was like someone turned a light on and it opened the doors for all these little ideas and gizmos and inventions and things that I’d thought of, it was suddenly possible because of the 3D printer revolution should we say.

Roy Morejon:
Incredible. So let’s talk a little bit about your process then in terms of obviously tinkering in dad’s workshop with all the dangerous things, but now in terms of creating solutions for some of the problems that you’ve seen in terms of traveling the world and seeing all these different things, what’s that process look like and how has it changed over the years now?

Josh Smith:
Sure. So a really good example of that project that I launched, I’ve done two versions of called The Ultimate Lens Hood. I was working in Japan in 2014 and I was in Tokyo right before the start of the winter season. And for listeners that have been to Tokyo, it’s an incredible city. And all of the observation towers, you go up are free of charge. You can go up skyscrapers and there’s always an observation platform and you get these amazing views of the city. And I’d been to several of them and the reflection from the glass, I was just ending up taking photos of myself, standing in a room. I couldn’t actually see through the glass and I thought, “Well, I’m in the biggest camera sitting in the world, I must be able to go and buy something to solve this,” and nothing did the job how I wanted to.

Josh Smith:
So I thought, “Well, I’ll make a note of that.” Open the notes up on my phone and sketch out the ideas and think about what I want and lay it all out. And then several years past of different projects and I’d started off small single component things and one factory and learn as you go along. And then I got quite deep into custom 3D printers and CNC milling machine projects and it was a lot of work. I was self-assembling a lot of them and it was great, I learned a lot, but I wanted to pivot. I wanted a project in 2018 that I could jump into that was much more of my passion area, photography. And I looked at my notes up, I found the project list on there and thought, “Right, I’m going to tackle that one.”

Josh Smith:
And that project, the direct need for it was something I genuinely had, it was a problem that I’d identified that nobody was solving and I gave it a go from there and the development process. I kind of pride myself on doing development work as cheap and dirty and quick as you can, just because to get a proof of concept, you want to get it done as quickly as possible. So you’re not wasting time, not wasting money. And often that leads down to some pretty weird avenues. For that project, it was a silicon cone, but to design it initially I used a giant cupcake mold and I cut it all apart and taped it all together and made this quite odd-looking contraption. And the initial one, it worked well enough to prove to me that it was the correct direction to go from. And then from there iterate, develop, source it and go from there.

Roy Morejon:
Incredible. So let’s dive into how you stumbled across Kickstarter, because I think that’s always unique in terms of the first time. We got introduced to Kickstarter because we ranked first on Google for startup marketing, and that’s how the first product ever found us and that’s how I got introduced to the platform back in 2010. So with you getting introduced to it, how did that evolve or how did you find the platform itself?

Josh Smith:
I am 50% sure I know the answer, I couldn’t tell you for definite. The only person that I know that predates my own use of it, that was even aware of it is a guy I work with. I worked in Dubai in the UAE for about four months teaching kids to rock climb and kayak. It was in between winter seasons and it was a great team of people. And we had a bar there where there were no kids on site and we’d play pool and drink beers. And I remember there was a guy that was a diver called Neil and I do remember him showing me some Kickstarter projects on his laptop, but how we got onto the subject or why, I don’t know.

Josh Smith:
But the person, whoever it was that showed me the platform as something that I or anyone could do, I owe that person quite a lot and I am yet to track them down because I honestly don’t know how… it just seemed to happen overnight. It seemed to be I’m back in the UK, I’ve done my three seasons, I’ve finished Japan, blah, blah, blah. And now I’m just going to begin, let’s do the first Kickstarter project and how that actually… the idea for that I don’t actually know.

Roy Morejon:
Well, what’s unique is that first product that you did that Titanium Hex Bit Driving Ring fits the community extremely well in terms of products that usually see a lot of success and the makers, the tinkerers that are on the platform looking for what’s next and what can help them improve their products or their ideas or whatever it may be. So I think that’s really unique that this was your first product. Was that again by chance or did you do some initial research to see what the community was backing and supporting back in 2015?

Josh Smith:
I will say that was by far the hardest project I’ve ever launched because first one, of course, nobody around me that had done it, no one to speak to as such, there wasn’t anywhere like the community of creators there are, especially in the UK today. I chat to people all the time that are getting started or halfway through whatever. So back then that idea for project, the reason for it, I’d come back to the UK and my mom and dad said to me, “We’re moving house. You can come with us.” I was 18 or something at the time? No, no, I was like 21, 22 maybe… 22. And I’d come back to the UK and the plan was to stay with them temporarily and then begin, but they were moving house. So I said, “Well, I’ll come with you and help you.”

Josh Smith:
It was a big project. And I thought, well, there’s potential for ideas to come here and things to learn new skills, new area, whatever. And it was during the house build and doing all the little fiddly jobs that it was finding a screwdriver, it was finding where’s that gone or little bits and pieces. And at the same time, I decided to start this working for myself avenue. Got lucky with rent because mom and dad, as it was the house was a complete construction site. The deal was, “You live here for nothing, but you pitch in, you help, you go to the hardware store and you’re bring back bags-” I’m bringing back bags of concrete and I’m doing all these things and taking stuff to the tip and throwing old furniture away and whatever it was, knocking down walls and my dad, he built an extension, all of this kind of stuff.

Josh Smith:
So I really got involved with all of that and it gave me the thinking time to work on what I wanted to do. And I’d studied Kickstarter, so my big thing that people say to me is how do you get started with it? I just say, “Be a student of Kickstarter.” In a weird way it’s a snapshot of wider market, but it is concentrated. There is definitely a demographic of people on Kickstarter buyers that you’ll never find anywhere else. There are projects that have raised enormous amounts of money for something that you will never ever, ever see in a retail store. It wouldn’t even sell on Amazon, it’s so abstract, but because it’s on Kickstarter, it’s new, it’s unique, you’ve got 20 days left, it’s a special price, bye, bye, bye.

Josh Smith:
People think, “Well, I need it in my life.” And they buy it. And knowing that and knowing the type of buyer and the projects they’ve seen the little quirky gizmos and gadgets, that’s why the Titanium Ring was the first project, because it was something that was genuinely useful for me at home. I had a 3D printer, it was a small, easy part to design for a first project. It was quick to prototype and get the sizing right, it was a single piece of metal, it was titanium, there’s no assembly involved. I found a titanium factory, I spoke with them, the communication was good, they were happy to take the project on, there were a few challenges. They rang me at half past one in the morning once and I thought the world had ended, but it turned out just to be a very simple question.

Josh Smith:
And it just became the first project that seemed to fit because the filming location, the photography was literally outside my bedroom door. The place where we shot the content, there was the beach down the road for a few photos I remember getting, and that project really was a byproduct of the environment I was in. And also having studied Kickstarter, I wanted to start with a small simple one that should hopefully work. And it wasn’t a particularly big campaign, but for a first one, for a first success, it was really important to get that one done.

Roy Morejon:
Be a student of Kickstarter. I love that because back when we were launching campaigns over a decade ago, there wasn’t the real ability to look and see what else was doing well. Or what were those tactics or what were they doing that was working well with the community. Now that there’s hundreds of thousands of successful projects on the platform-

Josh Smith:
Oh, yes.

Roy Morejon:
… you can really dive in, do your research and be a good student of crowdfunding. And all of those psychological elements that come into running a campaign and then the supporters of those campaigns and what they look like.

Josh Smith:
Absolutely. And there’s a lot of projects that have not failed on… or I’m sorry, have not succeeded on Kickstarter. There’s a much higher failure rate, there’s also an awful lot to be learned from them. If you have an idea for a product, let’s say, I don’t know, it’s a pair of thick socks that you can wear as shoes. That seems to be a bit of a thing on Kickstarter a lot of sock, shoe hybrids. If you want to do a project like that, there’s plenty of reference material on Kickstarter. You can look at things that have failed, have succeeded, you can look at the comments, you can look at the update, what challenges did they have, what design direction might have been a mistake, what are the best colors, whatever it is.

Josh Smith:
So you can really dive into Kickstarter, especially nowadays, as you said, it’s been over many projects and that’s been great. So anytime there’s a new idea that pops up or something that I see that I think, “I like that but it could be done better.” Kickstarter itself is a fantastic resource just to jump into and search around. Although I would say do it on desktop, the mobile app is not brilliant, but the desktop app you can… or desktop website, you can jump and do a lot more research, a lot easier.

Roy Morejon:
Has your research process changed any over the years in terms of when you look at trending products or products that you have a passion around?

Josh Smith:
I suppose, yes. At the core of it, the projects and products that I do for myself are always linked to my own hobbies and interests. So it’s less about what’s trending on the platform, but I might have seen things in the background over time. I’m always checking the app. I’m always getting emails and you might see things in a certain direction start sequentially thinking about it. The research process, typically, it should always start with, is this already been done? And if so, to what extent? Just because somebody’s already done, it does not mean that it’s a bust, it means you can’t do it yourself. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is there are an awful lot of people on this planet and you don’t actually have to sell very much of something to essentially make a living.

Josh Smith:
Even if there are competitor products, as long as you offer something new or unique or a different angle or a different USP, as long as your product… it can emulate, but it can’t copy, you have to have something that is your own unique hook to your product. And as long as it does that and you believe in it enough and you’re not going to take a crazy financial risk, it’s worth trying because Kickstarter… crazy things have happened on Kickstarter and continue to happen.

Roy Morejon:
Absolutely. So in terms of the preparation work, marketing side of things for the campaigns that you’re running now, what did that preparation or lack of preparation look like initially? And now how has that changed over the last five or six years of launching dozens of projects?

Josh Smith:
Sure. Well, initially, even today I don’t love sharing my projects among friends and family, I don’t typically share them in my own network. A couple of reasons, firstly, separate business and friends and all of that, it’s not ideal in my feeling of it. And it’s lovely to have the support of friends and family, but I’d rather it be organic customers that actually give proper feedback and will use the product. My aunt bless her, she’s fantastic and she buys everything I launch. And if I go around her house, there’ll be a draw or just full of stuff she’s never touched that she’s bought of min and I think, “Well, great, I appreciate it. But I feel a bit guilty launching something again, knowing you’ll buy it for no reason.” So back in the early days, I didn’t want to share my projects because you’re putting yourself out there for the first time.

Josh Smith:
You’re saying that this is me trying this for the first time, I launched under my own name, which a lot of people don’t do and each to their own. Not everything I’ve done has been under my own name, but those first ones were, and I thought I don’t particularly want to share it with friends of mine that have no idea that I’m in this direction until I learn the craft and I make a go at it. So I’ve been reaching out to other Kickstarter projects before cross promotions were really a thing. I’d done some Facebook groups, which they don’t love for spam reasons, but it’s how you approach it. I find if you join a Facebook group for let’s take the Titanium Ring, it might have been a everyday carry or a DIY tools in England or America group.

Josh Smith:
And you might just start asking questions, “Hey, guys has anybody got a pocket friendly screwdriver that they carry with them,” or something along to open the conversation and get what people are thinking, which helps the research. I’ll also say, “And if anybody’s interested, I’d love your feedback on this.” And that kind of worked in the early days before Kickstarter was perhaps as big as it is. But the first ones were a real struggle because I didn’t have an organic audience, I had no idea about social media marketing, Facebook’s ads platforms and I’ve got a lot better and a lot more easy to jump into, but back then I had really no idea.

Josh Smith:
So it was reaching out to anyone and everyone for those 30 highly stressful days of the first project. And then you have the, which is now thankfully gone, but you have the paralyzing fear every day of a Kickstarter that it’s all going to end, it’s all going to get canceled or something’s going to completely go wrong, everyone’s going to cancel their pledges and it’s all going to go up and smoke, which doesn’t happen. But those early projects were difficult, they were stressful.

Roy Morejon:
So how has the marketing approach changed? Because I think obviously with the first one that you launched out there, 94 backers, which is a great start obviously in terms of getting a product out there and getting feedback. But now you’re launching campaigns that you’ve created businesses around because they’ve been so successful and you’ve solved problems for yourself first, but obviously there’s a larger community out there that’s now supporting them. How have some of the marketing tactics or pre-campaign work that you’re putting in changed over the years?

Josh Smith:
Sure. So essentially the change has been that I now do it. I now do a pre-campaign, every now and then you just think, “Ah, we’ll see what happens,” and you just launch it, hail Mary and see what happens, which is quite exciting, but not potentially brilliant for growth, but a pre-launch campaign is massive. You can do it yourself, but it’s best to work with people that know what they’re doing to not waste advertising money. But whether you take four weeks, six weeks or six months you can start spreading the word. You get a pre-launch website, you can throw a stone you’ll hit somebody saying, “We can make your website,” be it Squarespace, Wix, whatever and you can get going with a signup. You sign people up to it and get their email addresses. And on day one, those people, you send them a message and you say, “Here it is.”

Josh Smith:
And obviously having done previous campaigns or sales away from Kickstarter, you are always growing that audience further. But if it’s your first project and it’s a first launch, or let’s say it’s a new brand for me, or it’s a client project that I’m working with and they don’t have an audience, we look into how we can grow the audience. We make it as part of the research. We go to the people that will potentially be buying it and get their thoughts and feedback. And people love to lend a hand and love to help and they often sign or email up and if they don’t buy it, they might share it, which is great. But a pre-launch campaign is massively important if you want scale and if you want the project to do well without spending a lot of money on advertising. Because social media adverts are great and you can run them throughout the campaign, which you can and should, but an organic audience, a mailing list, a Facebook following, Instagram following, they are really powerful as well.

Roy Morejon:
So Josh you’ve raised millions of dollars on Kickstarter now, tell our audience some of your top tips in terms of crowdfunding product launches and how to make them successful.

Josh Smith:
I think if I look at the projects that of the ones I’ve launched, I’ve done some that I’ve raised literally $2,000, and some that have raised $500,000. And they’re not always in the order of or the most recent was the biggest or the smallest was the first, it’s experimenting, trying different things. The thing that links every project that’s succeeded, whether it’s financial success or it’s a product people love, is it has to solve a problem. If the product itself is… tabletop games and card games aside because they’re more about fun. But if it’s a hardware project you’re talking about, it has to solve a problem first and foremost, and the bigger the group of people, the better, but at the same time, focusing on a niche. So if you are looking at a product that generally solves a problem for everybody that drives a car, that’s a massive audience, but there’s a lot of different tribes within the car world, people that do like this don’t like that, so it’s a little bit too broad.

Josh Smith:
Whereas if you specifically target people that they are… I did a project with a client of mine for a tea brewing machine and that was a very specific target user, people that drink tea and live, work in a office and don’t have time to brew the boil the kettle for example. Projects that solve a problem in your day to day life that also target a niche, photography products have been great for me. There’s a lot of photographers in the world and generally speaking, other than the different brands, the shared struggles, if you like or the shared challenges, tend to lead to an easier to identify audience than something that’s a little more broader, a little bit more general. But yes, regardless of that, as long as it solves a problem, that’s your key hook there?

Roy Morejon:
Well, Josh, you’ve got your chance to pick up the litter in terms of who to work with and products to launch. And you’ve been working with us here at Enventys Partners for a while now, what were some of those considerations that you look at when choosing an agency to partner with.

Josh Smith:
To honest be honest with you, for me, it’s the same process that I use when I pick a factory, and it’s all about communication. When things are going great and you’re having the initial conversation and everything’s rosy and everyone’s happy then brilliant, but you need to do a bit of a stress test to see when a tricky question’s asked or if things start going wrong how does that get handled? By looking at whatever agency you’re going to use, looking at their previous projects is key. The information that they provide you is great, but then going and speaking to a few people, doing your own research, speaking to people that have worked with them in the past, be it in the last month, in the last year, five years ago, whatever. Understanding their full process is very important and how they do and don’t do things, but for me, it’s communication.

Josh Smith:
If a project is explained properly and the stages are laid out and we communicate well and they respond quickly, which you guys do, very quickly, the app that we use is fantastic, that’s really, really important because it builds that trust and nothing is guaranteed in crowdfunding or any business for that matter. But it’s the strength of the communication between your partners that really does make a difference at the end of the day.

Roy Morejon:
Absolutely. Josh, well, listen, this is going to get us into our launch round where I’m going to rapid fire some questions at you. You good to go?

Josh Smith:
Good to go.

Roy Morejon:
So let’s do this. So what truly inspired you to be an entrepreneur?

Josh Smith:
Oh, it’s rapid fire, freedom. I like the freedom of it. I can do whatever I like, I can go wherever I like and pick my own hours.

Roy Morejon:
Well, speaking of freedom, if you could meet with any entrepreneur throughout history, who would it be?

Josh Smith:
Oh, I don’t think he counts as an entrepreneur, but a engineer called Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Great Western Railway and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. A lot of big British engineering projects at a time when they were properly groundbreaking. And how on earth you have the bravery or the qualifications to even tackle them would be pretty amazing.

Roy Morejon:
What would’ve been your first question for him?

Josh Smith:
The things he did defined his life… For me, it’s path of least resistance. I want to enjoy what I’m doing, but not work too hard. The trick is if you can work hard, but make it look like you’re not working hard, that feels great. Whereas people like him and your Elon Musks of the world and all the people that are massively successful, they seem just to take on the biggest challenges, fathomable and come out the other side successful. So it’s, for me, I’d want to know what drives him, drove him.

Roy Morejon:
Nice. Any books that you would recommend to our entrepreneurial listeners?

Josh Smith:
Yes, but not what you’d be expecting. The Harry Potter audio books I have listened to on repeat throughout my life. Not for any other reason, other than the fact I can completely switch off. And actually the mundane tasks that take time, be it editing photos, jumping into deep research, CAD design develop… whatever. It’s a distraction for the part of your brain that doesn’t want to do the work and you look down two hours later and you’ve done a huge amount. So for me, if I need to show up and operate on a day, a good audio book that isn’t too heavy is fantastic for that, I can switch off and I can at the same time switch on if that makes sense.

Roy Morejon:
Absolutely. So what advice would you give to a new inventor or entrepreneur that’s looking to launch their innovation.

Josh Smith:
Know your audience research the project and nothing is guaranteed. But if you can limit your upfront risk, if you can develop the product or test your audience in a way that gets you the data without spending lots of time and resources on it, that’s a great first step. At some point, you will have to take a plunge and take a risk, but as long as you’ve done your research and you know your market, that combined with your gut feeling that cannot… you can’t put a price on that, whatever that gut feeling is, that’s generally speaking, that’s a good indicator.

Roy Morejon:
So Josh, if you were to write a book about your entrepreneurial journey, what would you name it?

Josh Smith:
I have absolutely… That’s a very good question. God, I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.

Roy Morejon:
All right. How about what’s one invention that’s made your life easier during the pandemic.

Josh Smith:
Invention’s made my life easier, Sat Nav because we were allowed in the UK to drive to the supermarket. My nearest one is five minutes away, but I would take four hours to get there by using fun roads, I would get out of the house and have the window done, get some fresh air all without… somehow staying within the government restriction. So I still drove to a shop, but it was just at the end of a very long road, so for me Sat Nav is has been critical for that.

Roy Morejon:
All right, Josh, last question and obviously you bring a wealth of experience to this, so very interested to hear your response to what does the future of crowdfunding look like to you?

Josh Smith:
That’s a very good question. I think honestly, probably accountability. As I say, I’ve done a lot of research with Kickstarter, watched a lot of projects for a very long time. And I think there’s potentially to be pessimistic as a bit of a lack of transparency in some areas of some projects, and I think backers might not be too happy with that going forward, I think there needs to be some form of shift into… Let me put it this way, if back in that first project that I did when I was 22 or something, and that was that Titanium Ring, if that had gone viral and it had raised a million dollars. 14 days after the campaign ended, I would’ve had a million dollars put into my… well, minus Kickstarter’s fees, I would’ve had a pretty much a million dollars put into my bank account with no oversight.

Josh Smith:
And once you’re an established business, once you know what you’re doing, that’s fine, it’s cash flow it is managed risk. But I think long term there have been too many high profile failures on Kickstarter, because things have gone wildly out of control, which is great on one hand, but on the other it is stressful to sit on a lot of other people’s money and need to develop a product or launch a product.

Josh Smith:
So as long as you’ve done your research and you know everything about your product, who’s going to make it, how long it’s going to take, et cetera, and you’ve covered all those areas, you’re in a very strong position, but just don’t rush it because Kickstarter is a bit of a gift in that respect, because there is there’s no other institution or no other way that you’d get that many orders up front without any oversight. And I think going forward accountability and some form of if not regulation, control will probably have to come in to give backers the confidence long term. Because I think people are getting a little bit frustrated of delays, for example.

Roy Morejon:
I can only imagine. Well, Josh, this has been truly inspirational and I know our audience is going to love this. I know we didn’t even talk that much about your current campaign ALVA that’s active on Kickstarter right now. But this is your chance to give our audience your pitch, tell people what you’re all about, where they should go and why they should check you out.

Josh Smith:
Oh, well, I appreciate that. So ALVA is a project that I came up within 2017. I was at the time spending all of my time in the office Monday through Sunday, every single day, every single week and I needed to get out of the office. So I went and got a part-time job at a movie theater and loved it because I got to see free movies and the people I met were a good laugh. And while doing it as with all things in my life, I was looking for product opportunities and ideas. And I came up with the idea of a wearable torch something that… with the amount of people that would lose their phones and wallets and keys in cinemas, the lights were never bright enough to get right in behind the seat. So a wearable torch meant that I never left it lying around and no colleague ever borrowed it.

Josh Smith:
And fast forward to 2019, I was in the position with the contact and the factories, et cetera, but I wanted to make the product a reality. And I think honestly, in terms of the product, it’s the best thing I’ve ever launched. Best thing I’ve ever been involved in designing, very excited about for the future. Kickstarter at the moment is tricky, a lot of people know about the iOS changes and the ad landscape is harder than it has been in the past.

Josh Smith:
With all that said ALVA, if you’re interested in running, cycling, hiking, any from a DIY or maintenance work on your car, a wrist wearable torch is a game changer and I’m really excited for people to get using them and get them out there. So check the campaign out, any questions or comments, let me know and love to have you on board.

Roy Morejon:
Beautiful. Well, Josh, this has been amazing, audience, thank you again for tuning in. Make sure to visit artofthekickstart.com for the notes, the transcript, links to Josh’s current campaign and all the other things we talked about today. And of course I got to shout out our crowdfunding podcast sponsors at the gadget flow and product type. Mr. Josh Smith, thank you so much for joining us today on Art of the Kickstart.

Josh Smith:
Thanks, Roy. Really appreciate it.

Roy Morejon:
Thanks for tuning into another amazing episode of Art of the Kickstart, the show about building a better business, world and life with crowdfunding. If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, show us some love by giving us a great rating on your favorite listening station. And of course, make sure to visit artofthekickstart.com for all the previous episodes. And if you need some help, that’s what we’re here for. Make sure to send me an email to info artofthekickstart.com. Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you on the next episode.