Re: Crowdfunding vs credit/loans?
My hesitation comes from my lack of resources. I spent the past month or two gathering parts for prototypes, but have been hung up at obtaining the passive components. My problems are largely subjective I'm sure; I seemed to have a lot of momentum when I started and now that I've reached a hard spot I'm kind of pouting.
But I'm uneasy about launching a Kickstarter banned before I can show what I'm doing. I've read pretty much all the advice on Kickstarter and the stuff they link to, but I'm still not quite at the point where I feel comfortable coming up with my own game plan.
Startup costs are hard for me to get a handle on. I think my parts costs should be less than $30 per unit, but I haven't yet put everything into a spreadsheet and worked it out precisely. So by the formulas I've found, my retail cost would be around $75 and I'd need about $800 in parts for an initial run of 25 kits. But I also need to update my tools, my parts estimate doesn't include an enclosure (which this particular project really should include,) and I should have some cash on hand to at least tip my friends and colleagues who have been supporting me with advice, web design, etc.
Then there's one big, very real hurdle. I'm out of work due to chronic health problems and welfare doesn't exactly pay for hobbies or entrepreneurialism - it barely pays the rent, actually. I hate it, and I wish I could do something else, but with my condition it's very hard for me to work a regular schedule; without $1700/mo. in prescriptions I don't stand a chance of holding down any jobs available to me for more than a few months, and I would tank what little health I have in the process. I had to drop out of college for this reason, so my chances of obtaining a full-time job with medical benefits are slim.
As a result, I'm utterly dependent on state assistance, which I would probably lose if people started sending me money for kits. But this is one of the few things I can do independently, even when I feel sick, and I've come to see it as my best chance at remedying this situation without resorting to robbing banks or arch-villainy.
So in addition to the cost of my product launch, I think I'd need to factor in $3000-$5000 for 6-12 months of living expenses, and that's where I start to get really uncomfortable with doing a Kickstarter launch. I feel like my project and the related ones that will come after have real potential for a kitbiz, but if I tip my hand too soon I could end up on the street and with somebody else turning a profit on my idea. Someone could snipe my idea if I do nothing, too, so I suppose that's a poor reason to shy away, but the prospect of falling flat on my face is pretty scary in my situation.
Sorry for rambling, but things are kind of complicated as you can see. I appreciate your consideration.
o/~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o/~