October 20, 2014

Daily Crowdfunder
Daily Crowdfunder

If there’s one thing to take away from this post, it’s that Daily Crowdfunder has launched. It’s your crowdfunding savior, making sure you don’t miss out on the best campaigns, by featuring one campaign every day. If that’s too much for you then there’s also a weekly newsletter. Can’t go wrong with that.

Or, in the words of the site’s own description:

We’ve all been there, noticing an exciting crowdfunding campaign way too late. Our friends are showing off their latest smartwatch, game fitness band, book, album, or whatever it is they were a part of thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, and we’re left out. Or rather, we’re left behind, because the deals aren’t as sweet when these remarkable products hits the shelves and become available for the rest of us.

Our idea is simple. We find the best and most interesting crowdfunding campaigns, and feature one every day. That way you won’t miss out.

That was the important parts. Now, let’s dig deeper, shall we?

At Odd Alice, the agency where I’m the founder and CEO, we’ve got something called satellite programs. This is an incentive that helps our employees to launch projects, while Odd Alice has their backs. There’s an ownership split between the project owner(s) and Odd Alice, and a letter of intent that’s signed when the project begins. It’s all very friendly, very enabling.

The process works like this. Someone within the company gets an idea, and a short pitch is prepared and shared with the rest of the company. Since we’re a talkative lot, a discussion’ll follow. Then we vote on the project, and if the majority are for doing this thing under the Odd Alice banner, the satellite project gets greenlit and the letter of intent is signed.

It doesn’t stop there, though. The project owner (let’s assume it’s just one for clarity) is the driving force behind the project. He or she will run the project just like any other, within reason, since we still have client work to take care of. The rest of the company employees will help out when they can and want to. Odd Alice picks up the tab. What this usually means is that we’ll all get involved, sometimes more and sometimes less, depending on what kind of project it is.

We’ve got our first alumni in the wild, being BlankPage, with Jesper Bylund as the project owner (disclosure: I’m an active partner). It’s in beta but launching for real, if you can call it that, this month.

We’ve also got Tech Troopers, which is different kind of beast. Here, Odd Alice and its employees aren’t the only parties. It’s complicated. (Disclosure: I’m on the board of Tech Troopers’s parent company.)

And now we’ve got Daily Crowdfunder as well. Compared to the other two projects (a distraction free writing app that inspires you to write more, and a crowdsourced tech support service), it might look like a somewhat light thing. And it is, editorially driven as well, and sometimes that’s the right thing to do. I truly believe that Daily Crowdfunder will help people crowdfund more and better things. There’s a lot of tweaking to be done, both to content and site, but that’s how things go. We’ve got features planned, and yes, there’s a business plan, and no, it doesn’t involve tricking you into funding the wrong things. First and foremost, we keep things nice and honest, with Daily Crowdfunding as well as everything else we do. It’s better that way, and everyone rests a little easier.

Daily Crowdfunder is, in many ways, the perfect side-project. I realize I might be a bit biased here, but the process was incredibly smooth.

First there was the idea, that’d been simmering for a while. I felt like doing something over the weekend, to build something for myself that wasn’t just a new design for an existing site (like this one), and Daily Crowdfunder fit the bill. We had a brief chat about the concept, got it greenlit, and then the ball was rolling.

Alexander Danling, graphic designer at Odd Alice, got the idea right away. He didn’t have anything in particular planned for Friday – this was two weeks ago – so he started doing simple wireframes. We go back a long time, so it wasn’t surprising that this phase was short and to the point. During Friday afternoon and evening, Alexander sent me design drafts on our internal chat platform (we use Slack at Odd Alice), and we did some back and forths. It was a really smooth process, and sometime after midnight I got a Dropbox link with the design files.

Despite being thrilled about the prospect of building the site from Alexander’s design, I didn’t get into the office until noon on Saturday. With some assistance from Malin Jonsson, we were up and running, and the development went on until ten in the evening, with a short sushi break and an Archer episode on the projector. By then Daily Crowdfunder was 80% done.

Sunday was basically tweaks and fixes, as well as some design critique with Alexander. I did a few tweaks on Monday as well. Then we let the project sit tight, since other work and the Apple October event stole the show. Last night we finalized the necessary content for launch.

Which brings us to today, and the launch of Daily Crowdfunder. The process was smooth and lean, with a no-nonsense approach. There are improvement, ideas, and things we’ve left out. We’ve done so not because of lack of time or funds, rather because it makes sense in this iteration. Some features just won’t be useful until late next week, for example. Besides, it’s always better to get a product into the hands of the users to collect feedback, thus avoiding to spend time on features nobody wants.

So there you have it, the story behind Daily Crowdfunder, and where it, as well as BlankPage and Tech Troopers, come from. Now the real work begins.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.