November 2, 9, 16

Catching up a bit here. The last few weeks have flown by and the EPD class has made a ton of progress. It is so exciting to see the costs and manufacturing leads firming up, the product stories mature, and the designs evolve in response to real world constraints and stimuli.

On November 2nd we outlined the remaining weeks of the course. I'll rehash those here. A good portion of the class announced big course changes, entire projects cast aside for more feasible "plan-b" endeavors. In every case these changes were the right thing to do.

We explored the Kickstarter interface and at this point everyone should have their kickstarter project page entirely drafted. Give your rewards some good thought. It is not necessary to offer more than your main product.

On November 9th we reviewed scripts and storyboards. We swapped scripts and took a crack at writing a pitch for a classmate's project. Hearing your project described in someone else's words is a great way to think about phrasing, the order in which you are delivering key ideas, and tone.

We reviewed prices formulated two ways; as bottom up (built up from the detailed costs that you've assembled in your break even analysis) and top down (what your product should cost based on the pricing of comparable products on the market).

Last we looked at design refinements. While several of the classes designs are very much buttoned up, complete with specifications that align with intended manufacturing processes, many are under developed. As a whole the class needs to make a very strong effort to reach completion in this area.

November 16th, Today, we will view first cut videos, edited to 2 minutes. The expectation is that these are totally complete video story-telling efforts that include (as applicable) narration, soundtrack, and high definition imagery.

We will not meet on November 23rd. There is no class because of Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, this is the due date for prototypes. To complete your prototype you will need to have already defined (in 3d models, sketch models, orthographic drawings, bill of materials) exactly what you are planning to produce – no gaps or missing details.

We need works-like looks-like prototypes done before Thanksgiving. These should be real material prototypes. Pre-production prototypes are what we're really after, in an ideal world.

Between November 16th and November 30th, you should be working constantly on your page (video, pictures, animations, copy, rewards), finalizing all of your production and fulfillment plans. Having your finished prototype is essential for shooting all of the video and capturing the photography.

Our second to last day, November 30th, will be a working day. That does not mean a day off. Take advantage of the presence of your peers and the assets of the school to capture studio photos, edit second cut video in the presence of other editors, stage photos with actor/peers, get help with tweaking calculations, have extra eyes on your copy for proofing. As we discussed today, the 30th is a good day to come in ready to be in photographs.

December 7th, You will deliver your project as a ready-to-launch Kickstarter campaign. Aside from sharing the page (video, images, copy, rewards) with us on the screen, you will demonstrate your prototype, explain your pricing (bottom up and top down), describe your suppliers and the degree or confidence you have in them, and illustrate your project timelines.

One timeline will be on the kickstarter page (your public timeline) explaining your campaign, production, and fulfillment timelines; the other timeline will be your private schedule, governing your community engagement, preparation, promotion, and update schedule. This timeline begins before the launch and extends through the production and fulfillment phases. Set aside at least an hour to think through this timeline.

December 14th is your deadline for reviewing and commenting on each of your peer's campaigns. You will have the entire length of the break to make the necessary improvements to your campaigns in preparation for launch.

We will launch campaigns immediately at start the Spring semester. We will schedule one-on-one meetings on January 15th and 16th to review your final pages. Our launch celebration will be held January 18th, on our first day of scheduled classes. The location is still to be determined.


All of your projects are looking amazing!!!

ClassesTed Burdett