Don't Kick Em' When They're Down
By Adam Siegel
As I was scrolling through news this morning, I noticed a headline: Energizer’s 18,000mAh phone-battery monster is an Indiegogo flop.
Checking other headlines about this, the news and commentary were equally brutal. One Reddit user said:
That's the thing I didn't get. People wouldn't mind a slightly thicker phone for double the battery. But this fuckin thing was like 6 times as thick, and for that size they couldn't even include shit like a headphone jack? Stupid design.
I’m sure over at Avenir Telecom, the company behind the campaign, there are some interesting conversations happening questioning the decision making that brought this crowdfunding campaign to life. Certainly the way it all transpired is damaging to the brand given the negative press, but whatever is being said, Avenir's shareholders should be elated the campaign failed so miserably.
At some point in time, someone in Avenir thought this phone was a good idea. They then clearly got enough buy-in to build a prototype and showcase it at a major mobile conference, MWC 2019.
Normally, that process would have continued from there. Iteration on the product, marketing, initial inventory development, distribution partners, and onward. An investment surely in the millions. Then they would have launched the product and it would have been a flop. All that time and money, wasted.
Instead, the company went the crowdfunding route after spending only a fraction of what a full product development lifecycle costs. Unfortunately the campaign was a failure, but better to learn that now than after having invested millions and doing far more lasting damage to their brand and bottom line.
In today's business culture we love to preach agility, failing fast, innovation, experimentation, but unfortunately when companies do just that in a public setting, they get ripped. Instead we should be encouraging companies to do more experiments just like this and be a little more accommodating if no one wants what they're proposing.
Want to do your own crowdfunding to test product ideas? Check out Ignite, our crowdfunding platform built for use inside your organization.