My startup LUMOback, which has developed a smart posture sensor, recently launched a campaign on the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter. Our experiences thus far have reinforced my team’s deep belief in being open rather than stealthy.
More than anything else, Kickstarter has served as a great "test" and validation point for us. As passionate entrepreneurs, we become susceptible to drinking our own Kool-aid and thinking that what we’ve built is the best thing ever. Putting it out there on Kickstarter has been an opportunity for us to test market demand and to get real, unbiased feedback.
Yes, doing this is risky. What if we don’t hit our fundraising goals and fall flat on our faces in a very public way? What if we get negative reviews and comments? What if poor results demoralize team members who have been working extremely hard to get us to this point, and whom we’ll rely on to keep us going?
Despite these trepidations, we decided to go for it. If there was bad news to be had, we’d prefer to know early on so that we could potentially pivot, rather than finding out after investing even more time and resources on the “wrong” path. Thankfully things have gone well, and we have pre-orders of over $175,000, and counting (4 days to go on our campaign!)
Other benefits are that we’ve gotten surprising feedback from people about use cases we never imagined, which has informed our product roadmap. We've also been able to attract commercial and academic partners as well as key talent to the team.
I strongly believe that in most cases, the benefits far outweigh the risks of “getting it out there.” The health sector in particular is ripe for innovation and we stand to benefit by being open and taking risks.
Monisha Perkash is CEO & Co-founder at LUMOback, a health tech startup that has developed a wireless sensor and mobile app for posture and movement. She previously co-founded and exited her startup TuitionCoach (acquired by SimpleTuition where she stayed on as VP Products), and also held leadership positions at Siebel Systems, Pensare, and AmeriCorps. Monisha has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Yale.