#Asia Why we had to cancel our successful Kickstarter campaign, and how we bounced back: BOLDR


Here’s the story of how we botched our first Kickstarter campaign and came back stronger than before

Journey Sopwith on Wood_Boldr-2

9 months ago, our team made one of the most difficult of decisions. We canceled our Kickstarter campaign right before it ended, after raising over CAD $120,000.

We created the world’s first “clever watch”, the BOLDR Voyage — an analog quartz watch with smartwatch tech inside. This nifty watch could track your movements, buzz notifications to your wrist, control your camera, and much more. The reception was overwhelming on the first day of our campaign, with us blowing past our goal in just over 24 hours.

BOLDR Voyage launch in KL, Malaysia. Taken 19th August 2015

But towards the later part of our campaign, we began encountering some major challenges in regards to the production of the watch. First, we were hit by some sharp increases in overall manufacturing costs. Then, more bad news — we weren’t able to afford the high-cost of obtaining CE and FCC certifications.

As you may know, products that emit bluetooth signals require these certifications, in order to be shipped internationally.

This was a big problem, as we did not want the products to be seized by customs, thus affecting our backers from receiving their watches. While we had planned for obtaining certification from the beginning, we later found out that the costs of obtaining the certifications were much, much higher than we anticipated.

In the end, after several sleepless nights and intense discussions within the BOLDR team — we decided not risk the trust our backers have placed in us. While we could proceed in trying to find solutions after the campaign ended, this would either result in delays to our delivery or increases to the price of the watch, neither of which was fair to our backers.

We did not wish to be in a situation where we would be unable to fulfil the pledges, nor delay or not deliver what we’ve promised. From the beginning, when we set out to build this company — we wanted to be 100 per cent sure that we could deliver on what we’ve promised, that being a creator’s responsibility and commitment.

Also Read: My 45 million dollar lesson

Cancelling the campaign was a very hard decision to make. We had unconditionally poured our heart, sweat and tears (and a lot of our own money) into the project. Between manufacturing the watch, the PCB board and other components required — there were a lot of difficulties in getting everything done at quantities and costs that made sense as a business.

Running a hardware startup is indeed, a very hard business. We did underestimate the final production costs and the various hurdles and hoops we needed to navigate. Even after pouring in a lot of our own savings, we were still unable to meet the setup and manufacturing costs — without affecting the price point we felt was attractive and fair to our customers.

When we cancelled the campaign, we were expecting to receive huge backlash from backers, filled with dismay. However, we were extremely humbled by the overwhelming support from our backers.

“I’m so sorry you had to make this decision; I’m sure it must have been gut wrenching.

No matter how much you research, and how hard you work, and how carefully you plan, there are still forces beyond your control that you can’t overcome at the time — the Titanic disasters of this world. But hopefully, you have the drive & the resources to move forward, incorporating what you’ve learned so you ARE successful next time.

I very much appreciate and admire your honesty & transparency with us Backers. I’m eager for you to come back with your next BOLDR campaign; you will have my support then as well. Best wishes, good luck, and please keep us informed.” — Nikki C

“Sorry for you guys. I’ve been in situations many times in new start ups that we have had to close down — you have done the right thing. It doesn’t mean you can’t start it again. You only learn by getting it wrong.

To get it right now, take the learning (massive is my guess) and build another BOLDR. Fall Forward not back. Looking forward to hearing from you that you are launching it again at a new price point and that it will be successful. Backers are also keeners. They want you to succeed” — Leo

Immediately after the campaign, we vowed not to let our backers down, so after a brief break where we got on with the rest of our lives, we picked ourselves up and get going again. After a weeks of number crunching and debate, we decided to put our first baby, the BOLDR Voyage back to a work-in-progress and pursue the next product in-line, the BOLDR Journey, incidentally named to celebrate our trials and tribulations on this journey we’ve been on.

Bouncing back

And so we rededicated BOLDR as a brand for the men and women of the world who have taken the path less travelled, be it more difficult and full of challenges. To those make new discoveries, through trials, tribulations and error.

Also Read: The most important thing for us is integrity: Pirate3D CEO Brendan Goh

Those who find fresh experiences and inspiration, in the strangest of places. It’s for those who are able to achieve the impossible, when everything seems unlikely. BOLDR celebrates that can-do attitude, by building products that accompany you on your journeys through life, watches (and soon, other products) that always keep going and never give up — just like you.

With that new dedication and renewed lease on life for the BOLDR Supply Company, we continued to work on the new BOLDR Journey concept. Moving away from the clever watch for the time being, we took in all the feedback we received and went back to the drawing board. We wanted a vintage aviation look, but with a contemporary touch. While we ran through many design iterations, in the end we ended up back to where we started with the BOLDR Voyage, and finally produced a design that appealed to all of us.

Journey Wasp on Map

BOLDR Journey Chronograph Wasp

In admiration for the pioneers of flight, and as a reference to the design inspirations of the Journey, we named our watches after vintage warplanes that we admired, the Sopwith, Warhawk and the Wasp.

BOLDR Journey Chronograph Sopwith, Wasp, Warhawk

BOLDR Journey Chronograph Sopwith, Wasp, Warhawk

The BOLDR Journey was launched on Kickstarter 3 weeks ago, and we smashed our goal in just over 16 hours, even better than last time! Hitting the goal was much faster than we anticipated — but we know it wasn’t a random miracle, it was due to the amazing support from our previous campaign backers, friends and family who have made this possible. Without their encouragement and direct support, we wouldn’t be at this point today — making a comeback from an earlier defeat.

To date, we have raised close to CAD $100,000, and we still have 6 more days to go.

So if you’ve been inspired by our story — we would like to invite you to join in our journey, by sharing our story or our campaign with a friend or two. We hope that it’s able to inspire and educate people around the world — with a simple lesson. Never give up, and always be BOLDR.

Image Credit: BOLDR

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