Crowdsourced Product Development

Hello Everyone,

I’ve recently formed a company that uses crowdsourcing to develop, fund, market, and distribute products. I was getting really frustrated with pitching really good ideas to manufacturers only to have them later turned down. We’ve all been there and I believe there is a better way.

I formed Joy de Vivre as a response to this. Basically we’ve chopped out the traditional manufacturer and put the consumer in their place. Our community gets to vote on new product ideas, if they prove popular we send them out for quoting and make them available for pre-purchase. The pre-purchase allows us to fund all the development costs (prototyping, tooling, etc…). You can read more about it here: http://www.joydevivre.org/pages/how-this-works.

I would encourage you all to check out our website and our submissions forum:http://joydevivre.ideascale.com/ .

We have just started out but we have really big ambitions. If you like what you see, I would encourage you to post some of your product ideas in the forum. It is a great way for you to receive some feedback from consumers who would consider purchasing it (do they like the colour, material, size, etc…). As I have been finding out, there is a big difference between your designer peers really liking something and the public.

If you have any other question please fire them my way…

Cheers,

Joel

I think it’s a really ambitious experiment in tweaking the retail model, but there’s a few major challenges - one is the gap in time between selection and receipt of the goods (will people really wait that long for these products? In other words, would people still interact with Amazon if it took 3 months to get the goods - assuming enough people voted to justify production?) Another question is how it attains a critical mass - in terms of audience size - to gain legitimacy? It seems like the site needs to be meshed with something that has a large enough deliverable audience to make it work reliably…Twitter? But again there’s that lack of immediacy to the cycle. It’s almost more like a cause or an affinity group than a market per se - people need some way to engage so deeply in the idea that they don’t mind the long lead time and uncertainly. On the other side of the equation, the low royalty rate isn’t very compelling, at least to me? (2% - that’s a number only suited for distribution of low margin goods at the absolute largest scale).

Good luck with this and cheers for giving it a go! I’m really excited to see where this idea leads.

There certainly are a lot of challenges (already have been) but this does really reinvent the traditional designer/manufacturer relationship.

I am asking to people to send stuff in unlike most manufacturers who might not even accept unsolicited design submissions.

As for the consumer royalty when is the last time you were paid for purchasing a product? The intent is not so much for the initial production run but subsequent runs where the volumes will be much higher. Also, if you as a consumer buy/fund multiple product it would add up quickly.

Anything else I can answer?

Cheers,

Joel

got it - I totally misunderstood the royalty pool payout is to the initial investors / consumers who pay into the presell ‘escrow’ account. That’s really an interesting experiment you’ve set up, because if it works it might be scalable. In fact, probably the bigger the pool of participants is the better the chance it has of working.

I wonder how much transparancy is needed to keep the hybrid investors happy? In a normal model the suppliers of capital are privy to all the key pricing data, while consumers are purposely kept in the dark as much as is legally possible. So some sort of new balance gets struck in your model, I imagine.

What do you pay the designers?

I’m figuring out the transparency thing and have yet to meet any resistance from what I have currently (traditionally quite standard) but will have no problem starting to open up the books a crack as we go along.

Designers are being paid a standard royalty percentage. This may not amount to a lot from the initial production run (the minimum order quantity) but if the product gets picked up by a retailer then the payout greatly increases.

We’re currently in the process of switching our retail provider and building a new site to better reflect where we are. Also tryin to do lots promotion…not enough time…

Thanks for your interest…keep’em coming

J