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How To Raise $410,000 on Kickstarter With NO Engineering Experience

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

You don’t have to be a savvy engineer to design a product and raise money on Kickstarter.

Today’s podcast guest was able to raise over $400,000 with two successful product-based Kickstarter campaigns, and guess what? He’s not an engineer!

Jake Miller launched his first Kickstarter campaign for the Duo Coffee Steeper in his late twenties. He then went on to develop several more products for his startup, Fellow, which has attracted a slew of raving customers!

Recently, Jake launched a second Kickstarter campaign for Stagg EKG, The Electric Pour-Over Kettle for Coffee Lovers. Thus far, the campaign has raised $216,599 and it still has 45 days to go!

In our interview, Jake shared how crowdfunding has transformed his business and the exact steps that he took to get backers. You’ll even discover why email list segmentation translated into a surge of pledges!

I hope you enjoy the podcast episode. Make sure that you subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Links and Resources Mentioned

  • The Gadget Flow: Their product discovery platform reaches 22 million people per month! They’ve helped more than 5,000 crowdfunding campaigns and have a social media following of more than 700,000 followers. 
  • Fulfillrite: Kickstarter and crowdfunding reward fulfillment services. They come highly recommended!
  • BackerKit helps crowdfunders with the survey and order fulfillment process. Don’t buried in spreadsheets and manual data entry!
  • Stagg EKG Campaign
  • Duo Coffee Steeper
  • Fellow Products

Weekly Success Tips

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  • John Lewis

    You should read the backer comments concerning the first product he crowd funded called the Duo Coffee Steeper. You can read these eye opening statements that are still on Kick Starter at:

    • CrowdCrux

      Hey John! I looked through some of the comments and asked Jake to leave his side of the story. In terms of my own opinion, I haven’t read through ALL of the comments, but I’ve read through some of the controversial ones.

      For example, “The brew and the cleaning was decent. Only problem was leakage through the connection between the top chamber and glass carafe. The silicone gasket was not fully connected to the top chamber. A thicker gasket would probably solve the problem, which i plan to DIY.

      Good job on the prototype. Hopefully the above problem is solved in the new Duo.”

      I think that creating a great product is a process. It’s unlikely you’re going to have a perfect first version of the product. Obviously, you should strive for that, but I think that as a backer, it’s not the same type of transaction as going to Walmart and buying something. You’re taking a risk, because the creator has to actually make the product.

      To underscore that view, one commenter said, “There sure a bunch of idiots making comments. My Duo is pretty good, considering is the First model. And I have backed around 40 projects. Also FedEx doesn’t need a signature in most cases anymore.”

      Finally, the last comment I’ll add some thoughts to is, “Guys, can you NOT sending any more spams? I don’t enjoy your product. And don’t have any intention to buy anything else”

      I think the team responded to it well saying, “Through settings you are able to disable emails from whichever creators you choose. We recommend disabling email updates from Fellow if you would not like to receive updates.”

      Again, I did not read ALL of the comments, but these are some initial ones that stood out.

      • John Lewis

        You deserve kudos for not ducking the issues raised here; let me be candid with you both: what it appears that you did with the Duo is release a product that turned the backers into unknowing Beta testers, which I seriously doubt they thought they were signing up for.

    • Jake Miller

      Hi John,

      Jake here. You are obviously entitled to your opinion, but I do feel it is somewhat misinformed. We actually delivered a working product, unlike 20% of campaigns, and took a $100,000 loss to do so in the process. Throughout the manufacturing process we sent over 40 detailed updates keeping our backers painstakingly informed. Roughly 9 months after delivering the Kickstarter version of Duo, we launched a an updated version (2.0) AND offered all original backers the chance to buy the 2.0 version at basically our manufacturing cost. Plus, we created “upgrade” kits for backers to very cheaply get new parts. With almost 2,700 backers we aren’t going to make everyone completely happy, but that’s not to say we didn’t try.

  • Where can I see his video? Salvador, you mention it in the podcast… where is it? Thanks dear!