Named Matthew and Mark, it’s only fitting that the McLachlan brothers serve as crowdfunding apostles. Inventors in their own right and founders of TinyLightbulbs, a marketplace for crowdfunded projects, they’re well-versed in the advantages of the industry. Now they’re out to capitalize on their knowledge – and help other entrepreneurs before those fundraising countdowns begin – by publishing Bright Ideas.
In step with the theme of luminous projects, Bright Ideas is a crowdfunding almanac – a treasure trove of crowdfunding information. This unique resource will include interviews with the creators of successful Kickstarter projects, instructions for assembling the various components of an effective campaign, and a directory of experts (compiled from recommendations by the experts themselves). I say “will,” because this inspiring book will glow in our hands only after reaching its own Kickstarter goal. Shine on, you crazy diamonds – help the McLachlans continue their good work supporting other Kickstarter dreamers.
Mark and Matthew have until November 23, 2012, to fund Bright Ideas. Visit their Kickstarter project here. Of course, first check out what they had to tell KillerStartups about their unfolding, crowdfunding journey.
When did the idea of Bright Ideas first come to you, and how did you go about getting started?
Through working with TinyLightbulbs, we have the unique opportunity to speak with hundreds of innovators that have made their ideas a reality through crowdfunding. We quickly saw that there were tons of interesting experiences and stories behind their products, and we wanted to collect these all in one place. Bright Ideas gives insights into these innovators’ journeys, provides advice and tips for readers looking to make their ideas a reality, and gives a thorough behind the scenes look at the progression of a young idea to becoming a product.
Why the old fashioned book?
When we initially sat down to lay out the plans for this project, we made a very intentional decision to put together a physical book. While we both love our electronic devices, we agreed that the feel we want to achieve with this project would not be properly achieved if it were released electronically. The final product will be a premium, linen bound book that we believe people will love displaying on their coffee table.
When do your best ideas come to you? Lounging by the pool? During dinner? After working for 16 hours? While shooting hoops?
Every morning, we make sure that we sit down and have brainstorming sessions where we bounce any and all ideas off of each other. We work well together, and this is how some of our best ideas have been born.
We want to know about where you spend your day! What’s on your desk right now?
Neither of us really like to have much clutter in our work spaces, so there’s usually not much on our desks. Most days, just a laptop and an iPad is the extent of what can be found on our desks.
Favorite book? Author?
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.
What do you like best about Kickstarter or crowdfunding in general?
It gives the opportunity for an idea to be vetted before a substantial amount of resources are put into it. Some ideas have incredible potential, but need to be tweaked slightly before they’re ready for the spotlight. Crowdfunding essentially provides platforms for inventors to test their ideas and get crucial feedback, possibly before the manufacturing process even begins.
What do you like least about Kickstarter or crowdfunding in general?
One thing we’ve found to dislike recently is anything that restricts an inventor’s ability to successfully utilize crowdfunding to the greatest extent possible. This may take shape in different forms, such as rules that prevent certain types of products from being pitched on a platform. When there are too many regulations regarding what can or can’t be crowdfunded, innovation can be stifled.
All time favorite Kickstarter projects?
Favorite Kickstarter projects? We’d have to say the SoundJaw and SoundJaw Unlimited, but then again, we may be slightly biased on that one. In all seriousness, we have so many favorites in different categories that it’s very hard to choose. One in particular that we have always been impressed with, due to the many aspects involved, is the Revolve Camera Dolly.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gives you the confidence to pursue yours?
With the growth of this industry, it is encouraging to see just how the process for inventors has changed. A misconception that crowdfunding may bring about is that it is immensely easy to successfully fund a project and get that million dollar idea into the hands of the public. While this is certainly not the case, and there are plenty of factors that play into a successful idea, it is very motivating to be able to shape a project within this industry that is very receptive and welcoming to big ideas.
What’s your largest satisfaction in business life?
The moment that an idea we’ve been working on for months finally reaches fruition–whether that idea is a physical product, a service we offer to our customers, or something else–this is when we both feel the most accomplished with the work we do.
What do you see in store for the future of crowdfunding?
We definitely see the potential for crowdfunding to continue expanding in several directions moving forward. In particular, we believe that as it becomes increasingly mainstream, consumers will purposefully seek out products in the market that have been crowdfunded. In other words, we see crowdfunded ideas eventually becoming an entire genre of products within the market.
Where can our readers get a hold of you? Facebook? Twitter? Google+? Personal blog?
Any other projects you’re working on that we should keep on the lookout for?
There is another project in the works once Bright Ideas has been printed. It’s a game, but we can’t really say anything else. KillerStartups will be among the first to know, though!