Road After Kickstarter, Part 4: Team

The issues that had to be resolved with our team were not issues of conflict, but rather other obligations that resulted in the separation of our members and temporarily prevented us from moving forward full steam ahead with Clipboard+.

  • Problem: As full time college students our team members also had a number of other responsibilities beyond Clipboard+. Maintaining a full credit load of graduate level accounting courses while trying to build a business is certainly a juggling act, but a more serious problem existed as it related to the growth plans of our company. By the time we finished with the Kickstarter orders it was about mid-November of 2012. We wanted to take Clipboard+ further, but all of the problems discussed in parts 1-3 were staring us in the face without clear answers. Essentially we would be starting from scratch. The real issue wasn’t even the problems that needed to be solved, but the other commitments of our team members. I had accepted a full time Audit position with KPMG in Philadelphia and was taking the spring semester off from college to do that. Eric was going to Paris to study abroad for the Spring semester. The Spring was Zhaojun’s last semester so he was trying to figure out what he would be doing after graduation. And Patrick was working full time on starting another company.
  • Solution: We realized that we would have to manage our expectations and do the best we could because of our other obligations during the Spring semester. We put up our ecommerce site using Shopify so that customers could place orders and we could sell the remaining inventory. We did absolutely zero promotion of the site during the Winter/Spring because of all the uncertainty, but we ended up selling out anyway. During the time while I was working at KPMG in the Winter/Spring I started working to resolve all of the issues described in the other posts. I sourced new suppliers for the foam and clip, looked into fulfillment options, and started talking with prospective manufacturers. By the end of the Spring most of those problems had been resolved. We decided on a new manufacturer in mid-June and I moved out to Denver for the Summer to work on Clipboard+ with Patrick and Zhaojun. Now it is about a year since we shipped the last Kickstarter rewards and we have a product/business that can scale, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

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