59 – What Not To Do: Fulfillment 101 A Crash Course | feat. Maxwell Salzberg
Crowdfunding Uncut | Kickstarter| Indiegogo | Where Entrepreneurs Get Funded
Crowdfunding Uncut | Kickstarter| Indiegogo | Where Entrepreneurs Get Funded
59 - What Not To Do: Fulfillment 101 A Crash Course | feat. Maxwell Salzberg

Cheat Sheet

  • Getting customers is easy. Fulfillment is Hard. Lots can go wrong, especially if you introduce complexity into your perk designs.

  • Having a working prototype is key before you launch. It shows potential Backers that you care enough about the problem to build it first. More importantly, if you complete the prototyping process, it proves to yourself that you have what it takes to complete the project!

  • Not knowing everything is a universal trait of Creators. If you did, you’d probably go straight to Amazon… Embrace it and keep things as simple as possible.

  • You WILL screw up. It’s what you do WHEN you screw up that matters. Do right by your Backers and you will have raving fans for life!

  • Make sure you have put enough margin on your perks to allow yourself to reship your product no questions asked, when it gets lost in the mail, not “if”.


About This Episode

In this episode we are continuing our theme of “what to do when the campaign ends” with Maxwell Salzberg of BackerKit.

Full Disclosure: If you haven’t noticed already, BackerKit is a sponsor of the podcast.

But that is not why Maxwell is on the show.

Of anyone in the WORLD, Maxwell is one of the leading experts on how to fulfill the orders of your crowdfunding campaign.

That’s because he and the team over at BackerKit have helped over 2000 funded campaigns ship perks to their backers.

But Max didn’t come from the fulfillment or shipping world into Crowdfunding. He started as a Creator.

Back in the good old days of 2010, no one knew what Kickstarter or Crowdfunding was about.

Max and his friends had an idea of a decentralized social network so your data and privacy would not be solely controlled by “Big Zuck”.

They heard about the fledgling site, Kickstarter, threw together a “poorly scripted and edited video”, launched a campaign, and told “like three or four people”.

And the project, Diaspora, took off!

Their original goal was for $10,000, as Max puts it “so we could go up to a cottage and hack for 3 months, eat ramen, and not get real jobs for the summer”.

Diaspora ended up raising over $200,000 and was, in fact, the FIRST project to break six figures on the site.

Which is where the problems started.

Even though backers were supporting a software project, the perks were physical products… T-shirts, CD’s, and stickers.

And now a software engineer with no production or shipping experience had to ship items to almost 7000 excited fans.

“I planned to have a bad weekend burning a couple hundred CDs….”

Frustration soon mounted as he was spending all of this time fulfilling t-shirt orders and no time doing what his backers paid him to do… build Diaspora.

From that experience, and watching countless other Creators bang their heads against the wall of order fulfillment, he decided to found BackerKit.

Since then, he has seen every problem that can go wrong, go wrong. From orders getting lost, to shipping the wrong sizes of things, to address changes on three separate orders for the same person, to receiving email money transfers from people after the campaign ends because they want a second t-shirt and “ …that’s easy right? Thanks! – Backer”.

Max will shed light on the “unknown unknowns” in fulfillment so you can avoid having the “ticking time bomb of Crowdfunding” blow up in your face.


Resources Mentioned


The Diaspora Project

The Diaspora Kickstarter Campaign

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