Road to Kickstarter #09: "The Hero's Planner"
In this week’s edition of our Road to Kickstarter Newsletter series, Ryan & John take a week off from blogging so that Nick, Kyle, and Renae can take center stage. Join us while Nick discusses the first prototype, Kyle reflects on our goal of fulfilling the campaign before 2024, and Renae shares some magical updates about her quest to scry potential social media allies.
This week we submitted the files for the first factory prototype of the Hero’s Planner (Which, is the official name of codename: Project Gertrude—no big surprises here). Creating a brand new product, even one as deceptively simple as a planner involves a lot more work than it may seem. Sure, there are many good planners out there, that I’m sure we're hastily formatted and sent off to a printer. But the delta between good and great is massive. And while I believe we are on our way to making the greatest planner of all time, I also keep in mind that perfect shouldn’t be the enemy of good. The truth is, no matter how perfect the first edition of The Hero’s Planner is, it will still need to be revised. So, I’m also holding to this piece of sage advice from Reid Hoffman, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late.” All this to say, it’s important to look at the right things as we build the first edition.
Truthfully, it can get overwhelming to have this idea of what the final version of something should be, only to get a prototype back that is a far cry from what was imagined. What works best is I’ve found is to focus on a set of major things first, and then slowly improve all the other lacking parts on the second or third iteration. So, here are the 5 things we will be focusing on when we get the prototype in our hands.
1) Size (Is this something that fits nicely on the desk of every hero? Can it be carried easily?)
2) Paper Feel (Can the paper hold ink well? Can the pages be colored with no worry of bleed through?)
3) Cover Durability (Does the cover hold up if dropped? We will get to the design later!)
4) Coiling (Does the coiling function well? Do pages get caught? Will they hold up over time?)
5) Tab quality (Will the plastic tabs be a natural and easy way to navigate the planner?)
Okay, so we might be a little obsessive about this… But, we plan to print thousands of them. And we want every single hero to feel like they are holding the greatest planner ever made. We may not get there on our first iteration (see Hero’s Journal v1 😅), but we will improve with each printing to give you the best hero experience we can.
We are now a couple months away from launch day and the realities of the logistics of the campaign are starting to set in. It feels like a good time to go over some of our expectations for fulfilling the Kickstarter. First off, one of the most important things to us as a company that launches products on Kickstarter is to get our products into the hands of heroes as fast as possible. We are not perfect, but in 2021, 90% of our products were fulfilled within 6 months of our campaign closing and that is a massive badge of honor we carry. Secondly, planners, whether dated or undated, have a yearly connotation to them, so we want to have these planners to heroes before the beginning of 2024, which is a tall order, but I think we are up to the task.
If you are wondering how you can help us fulfill faster, when the campaign closes we will be sending out surveys to get your shipping information, and one of the biggest obstacles we face is when people use a secondary email address that they don’t check. I know we are a ways out, but if you could make a mental note to use an email you check often, we will be able to get your planner to you faster!
This week I’ve been scouring YouTube and Instagram to see how other people use their planners to get ready for the Hero’s Planner launch. To say it was overwhelming is the understatement of the year. There are so many different kinds of planners, with all kinds of features, colors, and accessories for them. It was overwhelming.
In the midst of that chaos, one of the most helpful channels I ran into was Rachelle in Theory. Rachelle’s content really focuses on breaking down planning into functional components and it was really helpful to know some of the things people look for in their planners. I think this quote from Rachelle pretty much sums it up: “Your planner is like a living breathing document of your life; it’s proof that you did all these tasks and set up all these habits and achieved some of these goals and didn’t achieve other ones. As you change throughout the year, your planner is going to change too.”
Funnily enough, I got an ad for the Hero’s Journal on the first video I clicked on from Rachelle’s channel, so I guess it’s a sign!
Have suggestions or feedback you’d like to share for The Hero's Planner? Let us know in The Hero’s Guild!