Startup Challenge, Week 7 – The Launch

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Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

 

Previously on the Startup Challenge:

  • We decided that we would make a RedBubble store dedicated specifically to t-shirts called BDC (short for BOYS DONT CRY).
  • We decided that our mission statement would be to make designs for shirts as opposed to the popular notion of making shirts for designs.
  • We continued to develop our marketing through a twitter account dedicated to BDC (@boysdontcryllc).
  • We struggled to find some time to work on the project

Now, for the newest updates:

 

It’s all done

So this is probably two weeks overdue, but the most important part is that we finally got to the point where all shirts are now finalized! Will they look good on a person? No idea, the designs are only simulated – but they appear that they’d look good, so I think it’s now time to get passed the product stage and on to our final stage: launch.

It’s clear that my window for launch is either this week or next week. I know that, personally, I won’t be available from Friday Oct. 5 to Tuesday Oct. 9. Now the question is whether I should do it before the break or after the break…

Benefits of before: I get it out fast and wake up to the results on Tuesday. Benefits of after: I can spend even more time refining and answer any questions that might arise as soon as I get them. It seems like my natural (though limited) entrepreneurial experience is telling me to go for the latter; it might be more time to wait for a launch, but at this point I think the only person who is anxious about it is me, so the further delay shouldn’t affect anything.

As you could probably tell by the dates which I won’t be available, there will be no blog post next week. Instead, the week after that, we’ll do a post-launch roundup as well as some key takeaways and next steps for the launch.

Anyway, that’s really it for now. As always, you can continue to follow my progress by following this blog or my Twitter , which will be consistently updated to reflect new progress.

Startup Challenge, Week 6 – Slow Gains

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Photo by Joel Magenta Mathey on Unsplash. A tortoise, because tortoises are slow (also, what’s the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? Is there one?)

Previously on the Startup Challenge:

  • We decided that we would make a RedBubble store dedicated specifically to t-shirts called BDC (short for BOYS DONT CRY).
  • We decided that our mission statement would be to make designs for shirts as opposed to the popular notion of making shirts for designs.
  • We began to develop our marketing through a twitter account dedicated to BDC (@boysdontcryllc).
  • We began to prep for the Season 1 launch

Now, for the newest updates:

Slow… but Steady?

Alright, this is probably going to be a super short blogpost. Reason being is that, well… I didn’t actually get anything done this week. And I don’t mean I didn’t get anything done in general (trust me, I got a LOT done) it’s just that when it came to simple priority, the startup wasn’t high on my list… take that as you will. My reasoning for it is that right now separating attention from the startup isn’t really going to kill it; the twitter account is still gaining followers, and we don’t really have any customers or product yet to manage. Whereas when it comes to other things on my calendar, they have a much greater make or break capacity. So even though there will be a point where I’ll have to put in much longer and more consistent hours into the startup, right now it appears totally fine to keep it on the backburner for at least a little bit.

There is good news out of this, however, and it is that my schedule is finally normalized! Yup; no weird, out of place 8pm meetings anymore. Everything set on my calendar now should be like that til at least the end of the semester, which means that I can more easily devote time to BDC. Which means that (and this is TENTATIVE) hopefully the launch will be at the end of this week! Pretty much everything product wise is exactly how I left it last week; there’s just three minor edits I need to make, and then we’re ready for launch. Let’s hope things go smoothly from there.

Anyway, that’s really it for now. As always, you can continue to follow my progress by following this blog or my Twitter, which will be consistently updated to reflect new progress.

Startup Challenge, Week 5 – A Bit of a Break

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Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash. I don’t make sunglasses but I’m running out of pictures so here we are.

 

Previously on the Startup Challenge:

  • We decided that we would make a RedBubble store dedicated specifically to t-shirts called BDC (short for BOYS DONT CRY).
  • We decided that our mission statement would be to make designs for shirts as opposed to the popular notion of making shirts for designs.
  • We began to develop our marketing through a twitter account dedicated to BDC (@boysdontcryllc).
  • We decided that we would delay our launch from Week 4 to Weeks 5-6.

Now, for the newest updates:


Some Leeway

 I’ve made quite a few products on Redbubble in the past, and there’s always one constant; whatever you make, no matter how much you follow the steps, still doesn’t look good. A decal is always cut off on a shirt, or a line of text is way too small no matter how much you try to fix it.

However, with the launch of BDC, it looks like Life (just this once) wanted to give me a solid. For the first time in my entire history of using this site, all of the shirts in rough draft form look totally fine on the shirt, which is kind of crazy. The only real final draft edits that need to be made is in re-aligning the image to look best on the shirt, which is something that pretty much always happens, and is pretty easy to fix.

Overall, I’m thinking things look positive for a launch sometime next week. All I really need to do now is find some time to make those small adjustments. As for marketing, things are beginning to speed up, which I’m happy about; the one good thing about the constant delays is that, since we’re getting new followers on the Twitter page every day, we have just a bit more traction for launch.

Right before launch, I also just want to do a pre-test of sorts where I predict our total amount of interest and sales from the launch and see if it matches up to what is reality. I’ve done quite a few creative-based launches in the past (some much bigger than this) so I do wonder if I’ve actually learned anything by this point.

Anyway, that’s really it for now. As always, you can continue to follow my progress by following this blog or my Twitter, which will be consistently updated to reflect new progress.

Startup Challenge, Week 4 – Startups are Hard

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Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

Previously on the Startup Challenge:

  • We decided that we would make a RedBubble store dedicated specifically to t-shirts called BDC (short for BOYS DONT CRY).
  • We decided that our mission statement would be to make designs for shirts as opposed to the popular notion of making shirts for designs.
  • We began to develop our marketing through a twitter account dedicated to BDC (@boysdontcryllc).
  • We decided that we would launch at the end of the fourth week, though things are about to change…

Now, for the newest updates:


A Small Delay

As work continues on the t-shirt designs, I’ve begun to realize I might not quite hit the launch milestone we were planning on after all. In response to this, I’ve decided on three different things: a) I’m going the lower the number of shirts released in Season 1 from six to four, b) I’m going to release all the new shirts at once, and c) Season 1 will be delayed by at least one week.

My reasoning for these moves is this: first of all, I want the release to be based more on quality than quantity; this is especially true if more seasons are planned for the future. I definitely need some more time with some of these shirts to make sure the concepts translate well (they often don’t!). As for releasing all the shirts at once, this is more of a personal decision. I think it makes more sense to release all of a season at once, then allow a couple of months to pass, rather than to consistently be posting new shirts.

This is really the only update I have for now. You might have noticed that the name of this series has changed from 30DayStartupChallenge to just Startup Challenge; that’s because this will no longer be within 30 days! Whoops, sorry Ben Tossell. However, I believe good things are ahead. At the very least, I’ll get these shirts out god damn it.

 

As always, you can continue to follow my progress by following this blog or my Twitter, which will be consistently updated to reflect new progress.

30DayStartup, Week 3 — The Ramp-up

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This is an Unsplash image by rawpixel. For some reason, it won’t let me copy the source this time.

Previously on the 30DayStartup Challenge:

  • We decided that we would make a RedBubble store dedicated specifically to t-shirts called BDC (short for BOYS DONT CRY).
  • We decided that our mission statement would be to make designs for shirts as opposed to the popular notion of making shirts for designs.
  • We decided that our marketing would be through a new twitter account dedicated to BDC (@boysdontcryllc) and through my own instagram account.
  • We decided that we would launch at the end of the fourth week, which is now getting uncomfortably close.

Now, for the newest updates:

Design: Things are Rough

Things aren’t rough literally speaking (well, not yet at least); they’re rough as in the first few rough drafts of season 1 t-shirts are now finished! These designs still need to be optimized for Redbubble prints, but they’re successful translations from the concept art. As of now I have 3 shirts still in concept stage, 3 rough drafts, and 0 final drafts. This may or may not be good progress for launch (which is coming up now in two weeks), but I guess we’ll find out.

This has also made me wonder about how the season 1 launch should go in general. Should it be incremental, with say a new shirt arriving every week til the end of the season, or released all at once? Things to think about…

Marketing: A Slow but Steady Climb

As for Twitter, things are going… smoothly. I guess. It’s been awhile since I got my AG twitter (@astukagaming) up from 10 to 370+ followers. As far as I know, I’m following the same strategy and so we should be seeing some major boosts coming in soon. Will the boosts come in time for launch? Probably not… but I don’t think that matters. Besides, we still need to do the work of converting followers into buyers, which will be a challenge all its own.

 

So that’s about all my progress for this past week, and it’s what I’m focusing on. This next week will likely be dedicated to getting everything into rough draft form and beginning to convert to final, as well as keeping up the twitter work. As always, feel free to follow this blog if you wish to see more, or follow me on twitter (@astukari) for more updates on progress.