Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wallhub

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am joined by Justin Porcano the creative mind behind the Walhub.  Thank you for joining us today Justin!

Thanks for having me.

The Walhub is one of those head-slappingly-obvious after-the-fact type inventions that I expect to see in Popular Mechanics and not on Kickstarter.  Would you mind telling us about the product?  

Well, Walhub is simply a switch plate with built-in function. Its a dedicated location to store the objects that often come and go with us, like: keys, mail, umbrellas, scarves..  I like the idea of taking an existing product and just adding more function to it. I also wanted to make it as flexible as possible by allowing the user to be able to configure walhub to the left or right, depending on the space around their light switch.

What got you to create the Walhub?  

Walub was created out of a need to store my keys in a convenient, consistent location. I can never find my keys when leaving my house, mainly because I never had a consistent location to keep them in...



Now light switch mounts weren’t really designed for bearing pretty much, if any weight, doesn’t your system endanger these light switches?  Or are these standard setups stronger than they appear?  

Technically light switches can hold a significant amount of weight - they're screwed into your wall very well. However, because Walhub is built in parts, if too much weight is applied to them the hook part would snap off before it would ever do any damage to your light switch - it’s a built in fail point.

This is your second attempt at bringing Walhub to market.  Though last time you called them “Wallplates” and wanted $35,000.   What has changed that you could ask for only $5,000 this time?  What have you learned from that previous campaign that you’ve brought into this one?  

Well, this time around I have the plastic injection molding tools paid for - which is typically 80% of your upfront production costs - hence why my pledge goal is now $5,000 rather than $35,000. I was able to do this because I partnered with a US manufacturer. I’ve received a ton of positive feedback, and learned that I needed to offer more popular light switch options. It’s a difficult category to completely fulfill because of how many different light switch scenarios there are.

Well those lessons have definitely paid off as you’ve reached your goal handily!  How confident are you that you can make May 2013 delivery now that you’ve reached your goal?  

I’m 99.9% positive we will deliver on time. I already have the first run of production parts in hand, and now we are just tweaking the tool. I’m hoping we can be shipping before May 2013.

How important was it to you to manufacture here in the USA?  Does it help that you can communicate directly and quickly with the manufacturer?

I like the idea of manufacturing in the US for a couple reasons:
- Being this close and in the same time zone streamlines production time and communication - I get answers immediately. You don't have that level of control when you produce overseas.
- Keeping it in the US means we save time because we don’t have to ship overseas.
- We can keep cost competitive because we save money by eliminating major shipping costs.
- Keeping it local means we support our local economy.

How did you discover Kickstarter?

I discovered Kickstarter years ago when a friend of mine turned me onto the the site to check out Scott Wilsons’ LunaTik shuffle watch band.

A key part of successful Kickstarters is backer participation and how to convert a potential backer into a full backer.   How are you engaging your backers?  What kinds of things do you have planned for updates to give notice to those who just hit the “remind me” button and surf on?  Interviews?  Videos?  Stories from the project?

I believe theres a fine line between reminding your backers and annoying your backers. I keep my backers involved by responding to all of their questions as soon as I see them. I will post videos if I feel that will explain things better than just writing an explanation.


What kind of media attention have you received with your project?  How are you spreading the word?  Facebook?  Twitter?  Google+? Youtube?  Advertising?  Are you using Kicktraq to track your progress?  

I have been using social media avenues like: facebook, twitter and pinterest in order to help spread the word. I have not been pushing too hard contacting press, mostly because I will focus on press after Kickstarter. However, a lot of great sites have had great things to say about Walhub:
Gizmag
Wasabimountain
Trendhunter
Holycool

Do you have any tips/advice would you give to anyone looking to start a Kickstarter?\

Do your homework - look at other successful projects, and know all the costs involved in your project.

Thank you for spending your time with us!  Do you have any final thoughts for our readers?

Go buy a Walhub! You're not just getting a great product, but you're supporting the beginning of a new brand.

Thanks again and I hope to hear good things from your Kickstarter!
Thanks for the support!