Plan V was Flintu’s first market offering launched via Kickstarter, a simple concept with a remarkably complex manufacturing process.
We had a lot of successes with Plan V, but this post is about our failures. Like so many KS projects, we had little to no experience manufacturing in China, global fulfilment and customer service. As we said a few times in our campaign, “We’re two guys who had an idea and wanted to share it with the world” Blissfully naive to the challenges ahead.
I don’t want to go into too much detail around Plan V’s shortcomings, to be honest, it makes me anxious just thinking about it. Shipping something one year after promised isn't good enough. And thinking back, we wouldn't have made it through to the other side without our backers. Their support, passion and resilience got us back on the horse day after day.
In hindsight, I can say our number one issue was global fulfilment. Fatal mistake #1: not calculating the costs. We had seen items ship on ebay for $1-2 and thought “we can figure that out later”. Famous last words.
Due to budget constraints, we ended up being forced to ship with a Chinese fulfilment company, whose system lacked a whole lot of checks and balances. Packages were marked “shipped” but never arrived. Items were sent without having tracking details initiated. It was the most stressful step of the campaign and I'd be lying if I said it was a success.
Blunder number two was pretty easy to explain. We let our manufacturing partner play the role of quality controller. I’m pretty embarrassed to admit that. On this bright side, this has made us somewhat anal-retentive in the world of QC. In fact, this time around Evan (CTO) lived in the factory for 3 months keeping an eye on all manufacturing processes.
SideKick by Flintu is the product of Plan V’s learnings. This time around we’ve done all of the heavy lifting up front. We’ve completed tooling, electronics, packaging and designed a robust quality control system. Not to mention we’ve enlisted a rock-solid distribution partner, endorsed by Kickstarter and responsible for distributing the greatest Kickstarter campaign to date, Pebble.
This time around we’re Kickstarting with our eyes wide open and our feet on the ground! We can’t wait! 🤓