Your story told with [Strategy] by Praxis
LAUNCHING A COMPANY/
I co-founded Betabox, a company that builds and rents out mobile prototyping labs to companies for on-site corporate innovation and new product development.
Betabox is a mobile technology lab, filled with rapid prototyping technology, such as 3D printers, 3D scanners, laser cutters, and more.
- Betabox served more than 30 institutions and more than 10,000 students across the country.
- Betabox was a Featured Product in Dwell (Betabox), 2015
- Betabox was featured in the Best Startup City & Page Spread in Popular Mechanics (Betabox), 2015
- Betabox was an Arch Grants Winner ($50K), selected out of more than 600 international companies (Betabox), 2014
Identifying the target audience
We began Betabox with a focus in education, specifically in higher education. Education served as our beachhead market, because the other cofounders and I had the most experience in this industry and audience.
We quickly realized that Betabox was often too advanced for the majority of our education customers to consume without additional on-site assistance, such as facilitated workshops. We immediately understood that we needed to create a system that allowed our customers to have access to a wider diversity of workshops than we could offer ourselves.
Launching a marketplace
We began to call these workshops Betabox Experiences, and decided to launch an Experience Marketplace. We opened our site, betaboxlabs.com, up 3rd party workshop providers and allowed these facilitators to list their workshops on our site.
Our customers could then access a broad diversity of workshops, and could choose their desired content from dozens of workshops and workshop providers.
This allowed the Betabox team to remain focused on providing the mobile lab and the technology.
It allowed our customers to choose their workshops from a wide variety of featured workshops in our online marketplace.
And it allowed our 3rd party facilitators to acquire new customers who were interested in their content.
My responsibilities in this project
During my time at Betabox, I was responsible for the growth and creation of the Experience Marketplace. This included finding and fostering a network of facilitators, designing the online marketplace, and collaborating with the web team at Betabox to make it easier for 3rd party facilitators to list their experience.
I also worked with the web team at Betabox to make it possible to choose a Betabox Experience and book a Betabox experience directly online.
Launching a campaign/
A Story Each Day
A Story Each Day is a collection of 365 short stories, written daily throughout 2014, by Praxis founder and principal, Nicholas Sailer. This project was launched on Kickstarter and raised $8,000 in 29 days in December of 2014.
A Story Each Day Milestones
- A Story Each Day raised over 200% of the campaign goal ($8,000) on Kickstarter
- A Story Each Day online publication has reached over 6.5K subscribers.
Short stories are among the least popular literary genre, and the least popular crowdfunding category on Kickstarter. After launching the personal challenge to write one short story every day of 2014, I knew it would be a challenge to promote and publicize it - a challenge that I happily embraced.
The successful strategy
From my research, I gathered that Kickstarter uses an algorithm to determine which campaigns to promote. It does this by screening which campaigns get an initial spike of funding in the first 24 hours. Because of this, it’s important that the first 24 hours are carefully crafted, as this is your very narrow window of opportunity to get noticed by the Kickstarter staff and have the potential to be named Project of the Day.
I took advantage of this algorithm by setting the reward tiers to incentivize the early backers. The first 10 backers (who chose this tier) received a $25 book for $1.
While I made no revenue with these 10 backers, the cost of these rewards was well worth the accelerated funding, and helped my project to be name Project of the Day.
Project of the day
With a well-crafted, cohesive video, a consistent visual tone, an active Facebook page, twitter page, Tumblr page, a strong website, and a Soundcloud, my campaign was named Project of the Day on Kickstarter.
Kickstarter included my campaign being featured at top of a mass email to thousands of Kickstarter subscribers all across the world.
During the publication process, I learned how to format and create my own ePub and Mobi ebooks, as well as test them and edit them.
I used Noisetrade to distribute the ebooks for free in exchange for readers email addresses. With this strategy, I collected up 1500+ email addresses, which I then contacted again before the end of the campaign.
My responsibilities in this project
During this project, I served as the writer, designer, videographer, web designer, project coordinator, strategist, photographer, and operations manager for the publication of the book and the creation of the campaign.