Diary of a Kickstarter. Day 29. Working on Post-Mortems.

postmortemIt’s day 29 of the Kickstarter for The Hawaii Project, Thursday, April 30. $11,415 pledged, 32% funded, 147 backers.

Last Commercial Interruption: The Hawaii Project brings you books and book news you’d never have found on your own, by tracking hand-selected sources of great books, uncovering things that match your favorite authors, personal interests and current events, and bringing them to you daily. 10% of our revenue goes to 3 great literacy non-profits. If this sounds great to you, back us on Kickstarter


At this point, there’s not much to do that’s not already been done, in terms of outreach for backing.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have an opportunity to do a guest post on a big startup-oriented media outlet, about my last startup, goby. I spend most of the day working up a post-mortem for goby – what worked, what didn’t, what we learned. It’s surprisingly difficult to distill 4 years of your life into 500 words. Mark Twain famously said “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” (actually, it was Pascal who said that, not Mark Twain, but Rule 17: Never Let the Facts Stand in the Way of a Good Story). This needs to be short, so it’s going to take some time.

I start a brain dump, don’t even finish the brain dump because my hands and head hurt, and I’m at 1859 words. And a lot of fun times recalled. But Damn. That’s a lot of editing to do.

The super TL/DR version: the “things to do” app space has structural problems preventing a new brand from owning it. You need a daily use case for any consumer product to take off – or a MASSIVE marketing budget. Don’t do search, do personalized, contextual recommendations. I’ve tried to bake those and other learnings into The Hawaii Project. In addition to being fodder for future press activities around The Hawaii Project, this article is a good way to step away from the day-to-day of THP and see what lessons I took away from goby, and which apply to THP.

It’s also getting to be about time to do a post mortem on this Kickstarter campaign. Figure out what worked, what didn’t work, what to take away from it, and what to bring to future activities on The Hawaii Project, which will go forward in any case.

I start to organize my thoughts on that for a bit, then call it a day.


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