Glif an iPhone Tripod Mount: The design project that started a revolution.

Glif an iPhone Tripod Mount: The design project that started a revolution.
In October of 2011 Dan Provost & Tom Gerhardt launched a design project that would spark a revolution. Almost anyone who has done a project design project on Kickstarter has heard of the Glif. So, I had to sit down with Dan Provost to talk about what lead to their success.

Besides having what they thought was a solid product idea, Dan & Tom got a plug from a high profile blogger. Of course it wasn’t that simple. In this interview Dan talks about how his existing relationship with this blogger was the key to getting his project picked up.

Capture Camera Clip System: The perfect mix of product and passion.

Capture Camera Clip System: The perfect mix of product and passion.
In May of 2011 Peter Dering launched a wildly successful design project to being production on his Capture Clip System. In this interview we talk about how a single tweet from someone on twitter sent his project skyrocketing.

More then just a cool product, Peter’s project shows us what happens when someone who loves what they are doing shares their idea with the world. He put in A LOT of up front work but it all paid off in the end.

StreetXSW: My biggest entrepreneurial failure…

StreetXSW: Capturing the moments you missedA Year ago today I launched my third Kickstarter project called StreetXSW, which turned out to be my biggest entrepreneurial failure. The project was to create a photo book by shooting the SXSW festival in Austin TX in the street photography genre. I wanted to highlight all the cool stuff we miss while plugged into our devices.

I had worked for months on my photography, the video, and getting the project page setup. I wrote and rewrote the script countless times. I shot the video at least three different times. I knew how important a great story would be to my project, so I poured everything I had into making the best video possible.

Excitedly I launched the project and then… nothing happened. No one bought the book, a few people shared the project, but it wasn’t enough to get any meaningful traction. It got picked by the Kickstarter staff, as a featured photography project, but that still did not help.

After a few days, and some negative feedback I realized the project was broken. I could have promoted the hell out of it, but in the end it wasn’t going to do what I wanted. So with a heavy heart I canceled the project I had spent months working on.

After you’ve done your best

For the next few days I beat myself up , thinking about how badly I had failed, and how all my work had been for nothing. Then I read this from Seth Godin:

Successful people analytically figure out what didn’t work and redefine what their best work will be in the future. And then they get back to work.

I realized that I needed to get back to work and see the project there, even if I wouldn’t be able to do my project as envisioned. With the help of Jerry Hirsch and Robert Ortiz I went to SXSW and got some amazing photos.

I’ve been sitting on the photos for a year because I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I thought about creating a video with the photos, I thought about prototyping my photo book, I even thought about tossing them all because they were a bitter reminder of my own stupidity. However, as I’ve reflected on the past year, and everything that happened because of my failure, I thought this might be an opportunity to remind people that failure isn’t that bad after all.

The Consequence Of Failure

The most interesting aspect about this project has been all of the stuff that has happened after it failed. As a result of preparing for the project, I was able to raise my photography to a new level. In August I wrote a post called Studying failure: What I learned from a Kickstarter project that failed… badly which talked about what I learned from the Kickstarter campaign. It has been viewed over 3,500 times and has helped people avoid the mistakes I made. The connections and the response I got because of sharing my failure so openly made the entire experience more than worth it.

All of this is great but in the days after I canceled the project, the only thing I could think about was how badly I had messed up. However, over the past year I came to realize one very important thing.

Our failures do not make us a failure.


Whenever a something doesn’t work out, or when we are scared it might not work out, we create all this anxiety and stress about being labeled as a failure. I think we need to give ourselves permission to let go of our negative feelings, and to realize that failure is not the end of the world.

So in celebration of my biggest entrepreneurial failure, here are the pictures I took last year at SXSW.

Click to see more


Click to see more



I’m thinking of doing a project related to letting go of our fear of failure but only if there is enough interest. If this post spoke to you, or you know someone that is having a hard time dealing with failure, leave your name and email and I’ll contact you soon.

24 Hours At The South Street Diner with Melissa Dowler

24 Hours At The South Street Diner with Melissa Dowler
In May of 2011 Tom and Melissa Dowler set out to make a documentary film about Boston’s only 24 hour restaurant The South Street Dinner. I recently sat down with Melissa to talk about her Kickstarter experience.

They were able to get the project covered by local media, but it wasn’t quite as effective as they thought. We also talked about how they made their project more interesting by shooting on location for 24 hours, and the importance of showing credibility.

Raising 2.2M for charity with AJ Leon

In the summer of 2012 AJ Leon and his band of professional troublemakers helped the NGO Water Aid raise 2.2M£ to bring clean drinking water to remote villages in Malawi. This goes way beyond what most Kickstarter’s face when trying to raise funds for their creative projects. Thats exactly why I invited AJ on to talk about his experiences.

AJ talked about all the work they did before the campaign to make sure it would be successful out of the gate. He talked about doing things that are BLOD and how to deal with the down periods of your campaign. Over all AJ had some great insights that we can use on our own crowd-funding project.

P.S. AJ recently release a manifest called The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit which he talks about in the program. It is excellent and has been downloaded over 30,000 times. Grab your copy here.

Creatively marketing your Kickstarter campaign with Susan Tinkham of Figments of a Father

You launch your Kickstarter project, email family, post it to Facebook, share it on Twitter, and then what? When running a campaign you quickly release that there aren’t as many ways to market your project as you thought. That’s exactly what happened to Susan Tinkham and Kyle Turgeon when they launched a campaign for their short film Figments of a Father.

Instead of sending out more email blasts they decided to get creative and reach out to there local community to help promote this project. Susan shared with me how they created signs, fylers, when door to door, and generally “made a fool of themselves” all in the name of promoting their project.