Crowdfunding Wednesday: Goodnight Lad (Children’s Book & Interactive 3D App)
If the project funds the future of Goodnight Lad looks bright.
Every Wednesday we will be highlighting a new Utah-launched crowdfunding campaign. If you would like Beehive Startups to highlight your crowdfunding campaign, contact us here.
Brad Grimm is a Sandy, Utah-based software developer with a love for image processing and augmented reality. Over the past few years he has worked on a variety of apps that are marketed under the name Giveway Games and have served over 4 million downloads.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Grimm to learn more about his Goodnight Lad Kickstarter campaign, his background, and much more.
Tell us about your background.
I grew up in Salt Lake City. I attended the University of Utah where I received a Bachelor’s of Computer Science, and a Master’s of Computing: Image Analysis. I have worked full time as a software developer since 2005. After graduating in 2011, I finally had some spare time to try building some of my wild ideas. I have since released 7 apps, with one more currently in the approval process, and have seen 4.5 million downloads of them. I do not have an entrepreneurial background, but have been learning lots of the Google NEXT program which has been teaching me a much better business strategy than simply building an app and releasing it to the world with fingers crossed.
Tell us about Goodnight Lad.
The story Goodnight Lad came from my son Logan and the many sleepless nights we had when he was born. During that time I learned of two things that would calm him down… books and technology. It was the perfect opportunity to use a technology that I’ve dreamed of for years. With a background in Image Analysis, I have seen the potential of the field for a very long time. For years I’ve wanted to write augmented reality books, but the technology just hasn’t been mature enough until just recently, where huge leaps have been made in phones that make it not only possible, but seamless. The beauty of the idea is that almost nobody is doing it, yet everyone wants it to be done. It opens up a great landscape for the future, but only if backers support it now.
Why do you need $12,000? Why did you choose to run a Kickstarter campaign over other crowdfunding sites?
The majority of the money will be going toward the 3D modeling. The middle two pages of the book are finished, but the rest of the pages are not. The remaining funds will go towards printing copies of the book and shipping them to backer’s houses. In all honesty, the funds aren’t quite enough, but I’m happy to make up the difference with funds from my other apps. This helps keep the goal lower, and will hopefully increase the campaign’s chance of success.
I chose Kickstarter for two reasons. First there’s a certain rapport that Kickstarter has among backers. The site really appreciates backers and shows it by small things like free shipping and all-or-nothing on all projects. Second, Kickstarter has an amazing community. I’ve met a variety of people that back many projects, and back all their friends projects too.
Assuming you get funded, what does the future of Goodnight Lad look like? Where do you see the company in five years?
If the project funds the future of Goodnight Lad looks bright, since the modeling will be finished the next step will be to try it out in bookstores and online storefronts. The tricky part from day one has been to get people to experience the magic hands on, and I think there is a lot of potential of book signings and unique in-store displays that will allow experiencing in person. I also believe there will be a bright future for Hidden Worlds in general. I would love to see this technology in existing authors books, and in different kinds of books as well. Imagine being able to explore a hidden world in just about any book you pick up. Imagine learning history and watching the battlefield come to life, or chemistry and the reaction happening before your eyes. I believe it would really stimulate education for all ages.
Is this your first crowdfuding campaign? Do you have any crowdfunding advice for fellow entrepreneurs looking to run their own campaign?
Yes, this is my first crowdfunding campaign. My advice would be, have a spectacular idea, clear your schedule, and reach out.
First, having a spectacular idea is super important. In my case, I was lucky, I didn’t do a lot of validation before I wrote the book and modeled the page. But since I have felt a huge energy as people have experienced the book. Everyone that does, instantly loves it. I can’t imagine running a Kickstarter campaign without that kind of magic.
Second, clear your schedule. I’ve been surprised how much effort this Kickstarter campaign has taken. I spend every waking hour working on it, thinking about it, and stressing about the numbers. I’m lucky to have a wife who is super understanding and has essentially taken care of my life while I’m absent from it. She deserves a lot of credit for how hard a job that is.
Third, reach out. If you truly have a great idea you’ll be surprised the support you receive. If reaching out ever becomes awkward you may want to ask yourself if it is the idea. There is something special about Goodnight Lad, and it resonates with everyone I share it with, and I can’t help but stop strangers to show the book off.
What’s the best piece of startup advice you’ve received?
The best piece of startup advice I’ve received is to fail fast. I’ve had variable amounts of success with my apps, and I wish I had known this sooner. I’ve invested lots of time and money into some apps that would never succeed. No matter how much you love your idea, or how great you think your idea is, you really don’t know how it will be received until you try it. But the faster you can try it, the faster you can fail (or hopefully succeed), and the less time and money you’ll end up spending on a bad idea.