For this exciting episode of Art of the Kickstart, we interviewed Guy Sprukt of Miggo to find out more about the Pictar iPhone camera grip. Listen to learn why crowdfunding a product can be beneficial, how long to expect to spend preparing for your project, how to get great press coverage and much more.

PICTAR. Probably the best iPhone camera-grip ever built.

Key Crowdfunding Takeaways

  • How knowledge of the production process can make launching a Kickstarter project easier
  • How crowdfunding a product can help you finetune it before producing it
  • What other benefits companies get from crowdfunding a new product
  • How meeting with journalists before you launch can help you get press coverage
  • How to decide if your product is a good fit for crowdfunding
  • How long it takes to prepare for and run a crowdfunding campaign

Links

Connect with Miggo

Sponsors

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Transcript

View this episode's transcript
Roy Morejon: Welcome to Art of the Kickstart, your source for crowdfunding campaign success. I’m your host Roy Morejon, President of Command Partners, the top full-service crowdfunding marketing agency in the world. We have helped raise over 70 million dollars for our clients since 2010. Each week I’ll interview a crowdfunding success story, an inspirational entrepreneur, or a business expert in order to help take your startup to the next level with crowdfunding. Art of the Kickstart is honored to be sponsored by the Gadget Flow, a product discovery platform that helps you discover, save and buy awesome products. The Gadget Flow, is the ultimate buyers guide for cool luxury gadgets and creative gifts. To learn more, visit the gadgetflow.com Now let’s get on with the show.

 

  Welcome to another edition of Art of the Kickstart. Today, I am joined by Guy Sprukt with Miggo and the Pictar, probably the best iPhone camera grip ever built. Guy, thank you so much for joining us.

 

Guy Sprukt: Yeah its my pleasure Roy.

 

Roy Morejon: You’re on your third Kickstarter campaign. It’s uber successful, tell us about the product and the idea.

 

Guy Sprukt: Well Pictar and how to describe, I think the best word to describe it is a device that actually enables you to unleash the power of your iPhone’s camera. It’s kind of a grip that you attach your iPhone to it and it actually let’s you hold your iPhone similar to existing camera, while allow me to control more of its features by 5 external buttons, so it’s kind of a I want to say a semi-camera grip, with excellent control and you feel like your holding a real camera and you control iPhone as if it was a real camera. That’s the best way to describe it.

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. It’s a beautifully-designed product. You guys have raised over a quarter of a million dollars, so congrats on the success. You launched your first campaign years ago on Kickstarter, how did crowdfunding enter your life and how did you choose that platform to launch your first project?

 

Guy Sprukt: Actually, it was kind of a mistake. We picked another company, we founded Miggo about three years ago after our, we used to work the founders, there were five people who founded Miggo three years ago. We used to work for a big company, big international company called [inaudible 00:02:54] who was one of the leading I would say, camera accessories company in the world, focusing on the camera bags and straps and so on. A few years ago the company was shut down, after it was acquired in international British corporation. We found ourself without a job with lots of knowledge and passion to move on to do the same things we did before. We started with our first project, and by mistake I heard from a friend of mine, there was some kind of a crowdfunding called Kickstarter.

 

  I thought it was an amazing idea to enter the market and reach people just by doing that, and also raising some funds in order to have a different to the company. We did some investigation, we read a little bit, we jumped to the cold water with our first project. It was very successful and at least for that time, it was really nice for us and it was great and ever since that we did, as you said, this is the third project we are doing and we appreciate that platform. We think it is an amazing platform.

 

Roy Morejon: I couldn’t agree more, Guy. What have been some of the difficulties potentially, in some of the product development that you guys have done over the years?

 

Guy Sprukt: Since you have a way highly team I’m part of a really really trained, with many years of experience in production, so we come to the market with probably different than the rest of the creators in Kickstarter. We have vast experience in knowledge with how to create products, starting from the design and research and actual production, so we have a pretty nice marketing basically, but Kickstarter offers us something that’s pretty unique and to know to me it allows us to interact with backers. It sounds like cliché but for us it’s really invaluable.

 

  The fact that we can actually put a new product to the market to people before it hits the market, and in tested we have so many backers give feedbacks before it actually hits the market, fine tune it, before it hits the market. I do that and you get so much information before the product actually reaches people. I’m not speaking about the fact that you can raise actually raise money, in order to make it happen. This is while we’re there, but there is so much beyond that, that many people doesn’t see. What really helps us along the way, all of three years now we’re alive, to be a better company, a better successful company then without that.

 

Roy Morejon: Absolutely. How have you guys become a better company now that you’re on your third successful crowdfunding campaign? How long will you guys continue to improve on not only product but communication with your backers and community that you’ve built?

 

Guy Sprukt: First of all, the fact that there, each product you gather around yourself more and more people. It allows it to speak to them, asking questions, get feedbacks, give you a very nice example Pictar, a previous company, when we launch it, we … because it was meant to be always for iPhones, for those only for iPhones 4 to 6s. Since we had some difficulties with the design, we decided to leave iPhone plus, you know the big one, the big beast out for the moment, but after three or four days, we got so many requests for people to add on the plus, that we realized that we made a mistake by not offering that in the first place.

 

  We made them. We sat down with engineers, and we come up with solution and it’s for now, 25% of what we sold already, the iPhone plus and this was all without Kickstarter, we had no idea that there was such a demand for this specific model Kickstart, so this is a really fresh example how the crowdfunding, amazing crowdfunding platform, you can really get instant feedback on where to go and do fast maneuvers and changes, to go the right way so this is for us, for our [inaudible 00:07:48] the designers, for them the fact that they had instant feedback to what they it do was truly unique, which make us a better company.

 

Roy Morejon: Absolutely.

 

Guy Sprukt: If I compare that the company that was working before which was like a medium size company, things took much longer, you know, if you want to make a change it could take months to do so and here we do that here in a couple of hours. It’s amazing that you can actually shift the models, the hours, the days and just react what people want. This is unbelievable.

 

Roy Morejon: No, and absolutely. It’s a great point that you bring up for our listeners you know, in terms of being able to communicate directly with your consumers and ask for that feedback, has allowed you to sell many more products because you asked them what versions they wanted and you guys have gone ahead and figured out what it takes to get there and have offered that as now a reward. That’s great that you guys are taking that feedback on. What other types of preparation work did you guys do, leading up to your first campaign and what’s been different leading up to your third campaign now?

 

Guy Sprukt: Yeah you know, there’s so much larger involved as much issue now to see what you do but basically there is so much behind the screen, things that you should do correctly in order to be successful. I’m not talking just about money. I’m talking about all the benefits you can get from Kickstarter because there is so much other things that you can gain as a company. Basically, as the things that we’re now doing differently, we are [inaudible 00:09:31] There is so much work that needed to be done before the actual launch the company. This is not a secret. The fact that you need to, you know, just spread out the words, to reach out, newspapers and websites, bloggers, long before you actually launch your product is essential to success and the first project we did that in I would say the low-key.

 

  We used NPR agency, we did that for ourselves. It wasn’t enough. It was nice but it wasn’t enough and for this company we decided to actually to put a board, this will be our company and so we hired an American company called RMJ and they helped us reach out, I would say the major outlet photography, in the States and we let them, I would say one month before we actually launched the campaign, we actually flew over to Vegas to meet the press and to [inaudible 00:10:34] and editors and we spent about an hour with each of them, showing the product, discussing it with them, get some feedback and I think 95% of them really liked our product and to me, it was one of them but most of them released their review one hour after we launched the campaign, this was the key factor for the fact that we actually succeeded so much. The fact that we had so much coverage by the press long before we actually pressed the button.

 

Roy Morejon: Absolutely. That is certainly key in terms of having that media buy in, that’s obviously due to the credibility of your product and the team and that you guys will deliver that product hopefully on time. Were there any difficulties that you guys have seen in terms of launching the product, just for the iPhones?

 

Guy Sprukt: Can you repeat it – I’m sorry – what?

 

Roy Morejon: Have you experienced any other difficulties, any other difficulties in terms of launching the product just for the iPhone?

 

Guy Sprukt: Obviously, this kind of project which is a bit different than what we did before, coming from the photo bag industry, I would say limited experiences and so on. We teamed up with a very experienced person, a partner with the who was doing that with us and along the way we had, it was difficulties, challenges, we working over a year that project, this project, we had challenges in developing the app, developing the actual body of it. We had a unique system communicating between the actual buttons and the app, we are not using Bluetooth, we using high frequency sound system so by pressing each button, this device activates very high frequency, note or tone, that actually operates the apps, so that was challenging to do that. We actually patented that, so all those little, you know obstacles that we faced along the way was really challenging but we are really happy with the result and I think that all the thousand backers that are supporting us, makes us very happy and proud.

 

Roy Morejon: I’m sure. What one piece of advice would you give to someone launching a crowdfunding campaign?

 

Guy Sprukt: Wow, there is so much. I think there is not one, but I will say a couple of them. First of all, I would call the go-no go things, when you need to decide whether your project fits Kickstart and crowdfunding. You need to think very very long, take your time to make a decision, does your product fit that platform or not. If it does, then you need to make sure that you are committed to it because there is so much work involved, actually months and months of working, day and night, to make sure that you have you know a very good video, a very good page. There is so much you need to do before, so you need to make sure you have enough time and you are committed to that.

 

  Then I think the third thing to do, is to make sure you can actually, talking of creating an amazing product or service that you have the ability to create that buzz, that PR wave. Can you do that? Do you have a product that can will help you do that, the resources, do you have enough community that you can talk with, if you don’t have that, if you don’t have the confidence that you can reach that thousands and thousands of people, then you should wait until you have this ability because as I said before, the one or two month before you actually launch the campaign, the time you reach out to people you can, you are building up the momentum while explosion to your product is essential, without that you’ll be lost.

 

Roy Morejon: Great pieces of advice.

 

Guy Sprukt: I would say not trying to repeat myself, the commitment, the ability to actually take your idea and put it out now that endless people would be able to experience it and be part of it.

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. Excellent. Great advice Guy. This gets us into our launch round where I rapid fire questions at you. Are you ready?

 

Guy Sprukt: Yeah sure.

 

Roy Morejon: Awesome. What inspired you to be an entrepreneur?

 

Guy Sprukt: Well, the fact that my company was shut down, it was sometimes an entertain to move out of your comfort zone and I was forced to do that but I had the great opportunity to be teamed up with a couple of really geniuses people and that lucky thing was the fact that all of us were free, available at the same time, so that was you know for me, I’m not that young. That was an opportunity for me finally to become an entrepreneur and then build up my own company. Actually it was luck.

 

Roy Morejon: Everybody needs a little bit of that. All right, if you were to go on a, let’s say a photo expedition with any entrepreneur throughout history, would you want to go with?

 

Guy Sprukt: I would say Steve Jobs.

 

Roy Morejon: What would have been your first question for Steve?

 

Guy Sprukt: Wow. Steve Jobs is for me is the guy who changed photography forever, you know seven years ago he stood up in San Francisco and introduced iPhone and each he changed the wonderful opportunity forever. Yeah. My question was to him “how do you recognize a good idea?” For Steve, you know for instance so many ideas, some of them was totally rubbish and some of them are you know [inaudible 00:17:09] How Steve, how do you recognize a good idea? That was the question I would ask Steve.

 

Roy Morejon: I like that. What book’s on your nightstand?

 

Guy Sprukt: There’s so many books on my nightstand and most of them, most of them I open up and just fell asleep. You know when you open up your company, your constantly tired so I like to read, but lately no I don’t read anything. I read lots of articles and I try to read as much as I can about crowdfunding so what innovation. If you are a part of that, you should be updated to see what’s going on. There’s so many new tricks that you should learn and I think that reading and learning is part of doing what I do, you need to be updated constantly.

 

Roy Morejon: Absolutely. Who’s your favorite photographer?

 

Guy Sprukt: Wow. There are so many of them, I’m actually, I’m a graphic designer but I lived in photography for one year until I decided that I’m not good enough but sadly for us, about those classic to you know to contemporary. There are so many of them. I like photography, in general but there’s no specific one that I can actually point out.

 

Roy Morejon: I’ll take you off the hook on that one then. Last question, what is the future of crowdfunding look like?

 

Guy Sprukt: Yeah. It’s hard to say, I think that we are, doing the last three years where I’m in that business, I saw that there is a shift. I see that there are like big companies want their and when we started it was strange that you know big companies, established companies, are doing business in Kickstarter. I think today it’s more common that companies come there and you know, for the reason I just said at the beginning of this conversation.

 

  I think that they are seeking for more close contact to their future clients and so on. I think that there is a future for that. There’s a future as long as we, you know, creators will play for a gain and we’re always aware that there is two sides for this dance and you know, bring back not just take, bring back to people. I can say that I am getting tons of questions, tons of people are asking, question where seeking for advice and show that other successful companies, creators are having the same situation and I’m trying to give some of my time answering those questions, you know give advice, just for the sake of being part of the game, to bring back to the table, just take from it but also to grow some of the things I know to bring it back to the table and if most of us would do so I think there is a future for crowdfunding.

 

Roy Morejon: Absolutely. I think the future is bright with crowdfunding. Guy you’ve been great. I appreciate it. Please give our listeners your pitch, tell us where they should go and why they should go and buy a Pictar.

 

Guy Sprukt: Okay so, I tell you why, I think that if you like photography it doesn’t matter, if you are total beginner of a trained professional, if you do like more photography and you enjoy taking pictures with your iPhone, even if you have a decent but you know most of us are, most of the people the picture is that we take is done with our smartphones, then Pictar will enable you to enjoy to have a better experience, on your iPhone so you can go to Kickstarter obviously, search for Pictar, P-i-c- Pictar for the next 7 days we’re still alive and then we’ll be done. We appreciate that if you do so.

 

Roy Morejon: Awesome. Guy, thank you so much. Everyone thank you again for tuning in. Remember to visit Art of the Kickstart.com for all of the show notes, links to the campaign and everything we’ve talked about today, including a full transcript. Guy, thank you so much for joining us.

 

Guy Sprukt: I want to thank you very much and have a nice evening.

 

Roy Morejon: Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Art of the Kickstart, the show about building a better business, world and life with crowdfunding. If you have enjoyed today’s episode be sure to visit Art of the Kickstart.com and tell us about it. There you will find additional information about past episodes and our Kickstarter guide to crushing it. If you’ve loved this episode, leave us a review at artoftheKickstart.com/iTunes. It helps more inventors and entrepreneurs find the show and helps us get better guests on here to help build your business. If you need a more hands on, crowdfunding strategy, please feel free to request a quote on commandpartners.com Thanks again for tuning in. We’ll see you soon.