“I love having the Lucid Note with me because I am more aware of myself and my creative inspiration” - Kaye
I embarked upon the project to create a better notebook while I was a senior in college. Throughout my college years, I kept journals where I recorded everything.
However, there were problems that I wanted to solve… Mainly
a.) Lack of an organized system for recording thoughts
b.) Lack of knowing what to write about.
Plus, I hoped that I could make a stream of income providing the open door to the lifestyle of a digital nomad. Sadly, that didn’t happen, but lot’s of things did… and this is the story.
What are you planning to make?
“A companion for your quest. Space to reflect, remember and build awareness. Journaling designed to bring spirit and energy to your adventurous, creative and exploratory soul.”
We all want to create a life worth remembering, and can do so with the prompts and inspirational hooks that are laid out through these pages.
I wanted to create something that engages, educates and empowers people.
When I turned 21, I wrote a book synthesizing what I learned from a diverse sample of successful people. However, I wasn’t convinced a book was right.
I continued to search for more interactive ways to inspire. During the holiday season in 2014, the idea for the LucidNote came to me. I was trying to give the gift of wisdom and inspiration (journals) to my brothers, who are NOT the journaling type.
This was my pitch to them: It is designed to be the companion to your quest, pocket-sized so it will be handy whenever or wherever inspiration strikes. For whatever journey you are on, whether that involves traveling the world, creating art, mastering a skill or building a business, this is the perfect notebook to help you refine your thoughts and and record your adventure.
I began to collect all my inspirations. Journals, books, questions, etc that would make the best product possible. My team ordered some blank notebooks and my Mom hand-wrote the first version of this concept in May, just as I was graduating from college.
A few friends were the beta-testers of the first version of The Lucid Note. Responses were enthusiastically positive and we decided that it was worth testing on a bigger scale.
We went to the high-end leather manufacturer and made arrangements to do our first run of 50 Lucid Notes. I paid for this run out of my personal savings with a little bit of trepidation and a LOT of excitement! I couldn’t wait to get my product out to a larger audience and see how it was received!
Our first test market for these notebooks was the LEAP audience - attendees at a leadership camp I was coaching at this summer. Initially, we had to explain The Lucid Note, but as the week went on there was enough organic demand that we were inspired enough to push the idea forward.
My mentor told me that crowdfunding might be a good platform to test this idea out.
I brought together a talented group of students who supported the idea and had the skills to make the first kickstarter video. I want to extend thanks to Hungry Media Films, especially my good friend Zach and Arthur for helping make the video. Andres for designing the notebooks. Chloie for easing the whole process by being my right-hand supporter. The greatest help, through writing and design was my mother. I love that woman.
As we approached the 2015 Holiday season, we were planning to do a Kickstarter so we can get the Lucid Note into hands all over the world!
However, things didn’t go as planned. We just were not ready. Plus, doing so would be a logistical disaster. The fact that I thought I could raise the awareness, money, and then turn around and build a product appears comical. At the time, I thought it could happen. I wonder what would’ve turned out if I went for it.
What I did go for was a totally different strategy. I launched in the new year with the idea that people would still be interested because everyone is setting their new years resolutions. I spent the holiday season writing and preparing a new kickstarter video … which you can see here. I want to give a quick shout out to Dan Tilley, who spent multiple nights up till 4 am working with me on this leg of the project.
So, in the month of January, we launched on Indiegogo. I chose this primarily for their analytics advantage. I could tell where traffic was coming from and gauge performance in an easier way than on kickstarter. This turned out to matter little, because traffic was so low. I lowballed the expenses of advertising big time.
Why did anyone care to buy it?
Not many people did. But, for the slight few, I believe it was a great product. Friends and family bought a small amount, but we fell short of the goal by a long shot. It was depressing.
I truly believed that we had a strong value proposition: It inspires us to think. It helps us identify and refine our dreams and goals. It makes journaling easy and organized. It is a vehicle to catch the moments of inspiration and happiness in life so they can be reflected upon later.
Resources: How to Keep a Journal (Youtube)
What came from the experience?
The crowdfunding attempt was a terrible success. I did not hit the financial goal at all. However, success comes in the form of things learned through the process.
I lost my free time during the holiday season, a girlfriend, and a lot of my own money.
I gained freedom after it was finished, a deeper understanding of my values, and joy from seeing people using the product.
If I could talk to myself prior to starting the journey again, I’d emphasize the importance of people. I’d emphasize how important it is to show gratitude for the people who are helping you along the journey. I’d try to show myself the pieces of the puzzle where I made mistakes, such as building a sizeable list, spending a lot more on advertising, and reaching out to media so we could have had a huge launch.
I learned that I want more control. Putting a product into the marketplace is a scary thing, and I was / am not ready to do it again. I am sure that one day I will be ready.
I was put into an emotionally tough time after the crowdfunding experience. Fitness gained my attention and energy because I had control over it and could see gains from the work I was putting in. I gained back my energy with the completion of P90X3 and a strong yoga practice.
I also learned how much I value my mission of creating things that engage, educate and empower people to vitalize adventure, creativity and exploration. It makes sense that the next idea in the line is Muse+Move. The progression of questions from Lucid Note blended with the mind/body awareness that comes from yoga is a great avenue - in fact it’s something that I am incredibly excited about and can’t wait to share with the world.
10/1 - Ah, the hardest thing I am dealing with right now is trying to figure out the minimum we need to raise. I understand what it takes to produce a notebook, but then I have to figure in what can we promise for the christmas delivery, minus the kickstarter fees, minus the shipping. Wait, does shipping play into this whole thing. Argghhh. I am putting my head down on the counter. I don’t know where to go next. At least I have common in the headphones. Smooth tracks keep the mind moving. There is a lot of f*cking mental bandwidth that goes into this.
But, it’s positive. With my current calculations I can take home $100.
Wait, nope. Just miscalculated marketing budgets horrible. I’ll get back to this.
Phew - just rolled through one, correctly, and figured that we’d make about $500 if we go aggressive with our spending. Meaning, we spend as little as possible. Almost no room for error. Probably not the best strategy.
10/5 - I’ve got to look back over my past. But the struggle is that I never get what I want to get done in the amount of time that I have.
Plus, I am inundated with too much information. I should settle into just one thing. What is the one thing… Probably the Business Model Generation book.
11/16 - Fell Way Behind. Argghhh...The process of Making it, putting it into the drive, then the kickstarter, to read it, and find it’s wrong. The process of making then starting over.
Still learning. The most valuable internship experience ever!
12/15 - Well, I feel cool because I set up a landing page today and learned how to mess around with CNAMES and creating custom domains. I also learned how to do a FB Tracking pixel and install that code.
My google search : how to edit header scripts in avada (and dealing with this sh*t)...
1/4 - Launch Day. Holy smokes. So exciting. Have people on board. It will be a success!
Ok, just launched. Wow. The feeling was like wishing everything could freeze. In an instant I was thinking through everything hoping that I made no mistakes.
This is a lot of work coming down to one moment. Seriously.
1/7 - No new contributions yesterday. Has the idea failed? Nobody bought. Why?
Is it that the product is too expensive?
Finish the conversations with the suppliers. See about getting something cheaper.
Give some money to advertising to new groups of people. See if you’re just not hitting your target audience.