Entrepreneurs have come up with a new product called myLIFTER, a smart variation of the garage pulley system that raises and lowers objects through the use of a mobile device.
The entrepreneurs needed to raise $50,000 through their Kickstarter campaign. Only after a few days they had already been 165% funded with $82,698 pledged for the new product idea. The originators of the new product said that they needed the funding as an indication of the orders required to manufacture at a competitive price level.
The market for this product seems to be any home that requires lifting of objects from the garage floor to the roof including bicycles, canoes, luggage, cargo boxes and other heavy objects.
The myLIFTER can be mounted on the ceiling of a garage and has a number of different books and brackets attached to it to lift almost any size object. It uses a Bluetooth transmitter that allows users to connect their smart phone or tablet to the device, using the companion app to raise and lower it as needed. The app has settings for different objects based on their weight, which means that lifting and lowering can be performed with just one push of a button. If users don’t have a smart phone, they can use a Bluetooth remote control that can either be handheld or attached to the wall.
The number one indication of the possible success of a new product is actual orders placed by customers. Entrepreneurs can go on designing prototypes, showing their designed to customers and obtaining feedback but if no one wants to buy your new product or service then no matter how much money you throw at it is really just worthless.
This “valley of death” phase for new products or services is a crucial stage in the process of transforming a concept or idea into a viable product that leads to a going concern or business. Without actual orders a product or service just can’t get off the ground.
It’s important right from the outset to have a clear idea of your potential customers. In the case of the myLIFTER product it would have made more sense to target an initial group of customers who have lifting needs in their garages rather than go for any house owner who has lifting needs. By selecting the most promising users, the entrepreneur can rapidly build up the market before competitors climb in. Other lifting sub segments can be developed as the product gains momentum in the primary segment.
It’s one thing to have great interest from crowdfunding but an entirely different one to receive actual orders from real-life customers. If the founders of the myLIFTER product had shown real customers who have already purchased the initial product, they would have had a much greater level of crowd funding. These first customers would have been able to say why they chose having an automated lifting system compared to doing the lifting themselves manually. These real-life testimonials would clearly sell the benefits of the new product to prospective customers.
Yet the myLIFTER product is an excellent example of how to go about securing orders for your new product or service before you commit to relatively expensive production and manufacturing. The secret of the success of a new product or service ultimately lies in the money that you are able to put in your wallet or purse from customers who have paid upfront for their orders.