When we first stumbled across NowPresso: The World’s First Truly Portable Espresso Machine on Kickstarter, we knew this was an idea whose time had come.
You can tell Idea Plotters are coffee lovers already, right?
I’m sure any coffee drinker has dreamed of such a device when out of reach of a convenient source of caffeine… but that’s another story.
We wanted to get real insight into what it takes to come up with such an idea.
Now to John Rochecouste…
Idea Plotting staff recently took advantage of the opportunity to ask a few questions to the creator of the NowPresso, a portable espresso machine that we fantasize bringing with us on the fabled desert island of our dreams.
Let’s jump into it.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My Name is John Rochecouste and I have been conducting business in China for over 25 years.
I specialize in the electronic consumers industry. I have experience in supplying major global retailers with electronic accessories.
I’m also guy who really likes my coffee and I don’t like when I can’t get a good coffee, especially since I travel so much.
Can you briefly describe your Kickstarter project?
Our Kickstarter project is launching the first cordless, portable espresso machine that can boil water. We also include a one stop recycling solution for Nespresso® Capsules, called the EcoPress.
The idea for the product emerged naturally from my product background and a severe grumpiness that would overcome me when I was traveling all the time and couldn’t find decent espresso…anywhere.
So, I decided to created this product basically to solve my own desire to never have to experience terrible coffee, or worse–a no coffee moment–ever again.
Tell us how this whole Portable Espresso Kickstarter project, the NowPresso, got started; did you have a plan from the get go or…?
The idea really took off 4 years ago and I have been working with a team of engineers for the last two years on this project.
Being a frequent traveler I wanted to have a great coffee on the go, mess free with little effort to make. I wanted to feel at home wherever I was in the world.
What makes you so passionate about coffee and even more the ability to be able to get a quality shot of espresso wherever you go?
Being from Melbourne and with a French background I have been drinking coffee from a very young age.
I am very passionate about drinking a quality shot and creating the NowPresso the main criteria was to express a high quality shot on the go.
Why did you decide to start a campaign on a crowdfunding platform? Why Kickstarter?
I decided on the Kickstarter platform because it is raw and real. I believe it would be a great platform to get feedback and raise funds.
What kind of rewards did you come up with? What would be your advice to others regarding the rewards?
The rewards we came up with were incredible discounts for individuals and bulk buying on an innovative and well-engineered product that boils water with lithium battery technology. We extended our early bird discounts. We then included a free car plug for our early backers, something we have now decided to extend to everyone.
One of the great things about doing a crowdfunding project as a way of bringing your product to market is the feedback you get from the crowdfunding community.
For example, many backers reached out to our team with concerns about the environmental impact of the the coffee capsules the espresso maker will use. We were aware of these concerns but even more we wanted to be a part of the solution to decreasing the environmental impact on the planet.
So, I searched for a solution that we could provide our backers and made a special deal with a manufacturer of a patented product that makes it easy to recycle the coffee capsules.
The EcoPress the device is called. It was not part of our initial award offering when the campaign launched but, personally I’m very concerned about the environment and the other day I discover the EcoPress and got a licensing deal, it is patented, so now we have added the EcoPress at no additional cost to all the rewards for all of our backers.
The EcoPress is one stop recycling capsule solution where all XSPROFIX backers receive a device that recycles their Nespresso® capsules in seconds.
And, additionally, thanks to feedback from the Kickstarter community, we’ve even begun the development of reusable coffee capsules so that users can create their own coffee mixes for use in the NowPresso.
What would be your advice regarding creating a project on Kickstarter in general? How important was the video?
The video is very important and the key message should be WHY you created the product and showing how this product will solve a problem and add value to one’s life–that’s what I love about being in the product business over all these years, seeing how people get excited about things and how products can really change how one experiences life.
For example, with the NowPresso, anyone can enjoy a great shot of espresso anywhere. Some of our team members have even jokingly said the product will work in space. We haven’t tested it yet.
What were you expecting on launch day, how did you prepare?
We expected 30% of our target which we did get. We did a lot of pre-marketing prior to launch.
What have been the results so far?
At the rate we are going we will definitely meet our funding goals. But, I think we can do better. I know we will do better. We’ve been talking to a lot of others who have had wildly successful crowdfunding campaigns and we know we can be one too.
Project fully funded surpassing goal of AU$75,000. [editor update June 14, 2017]
Since this is my first experience in actually being in charge of a campaign, there is a fairly steep learning curve. Our whole team are quick learners and we have some surprises coming up.
How long did it take you to prepare for the campaign. Anything you would do over if given the chance?
We spent 3 weeks in pre-marketing and in the future launch we would allow more time for the pre-marketing to enroll more email sign-up’s prior to launch.
What has been your biggest challenge so far biggest challenge?
Trying to find and get the true Kickstarter backers to our page. Now we are doing a lot of media outreach and listening to feedback from the community. We’ve got solid traction and we’re ready to take it up a few notches.
If you could offer just one tip that would help someone you really care about succeed in their crowdfunding, what would recommend?
I would recommend that you allow more time for pre-marketing. Also working with people very familiar with Kickstarter during the pre-marketing stage is crucial.
What do you know now about crowdfunding that you really wish you’d known when you started?
I wish I knew that the pre-marketing work was as important as the marketing during the campaign. This is the first time I have launched a product on Kickstarter, it’s an amazing learning experience and I love the enthusiasm of the Kickstarter community.
If you could suggest one simple ACTION that crowdfunders’ take to make their campaigns more successful, what would your recommend?
Preparation meets success and allow time to build the pre-marketing so you launch with a momentum and with a solid plan of connecting with the Kickstarter community and other creators.
When did you launch and why did you choose that exact moment?
We launched when we did so our products can be available before the Christmas buying season. With physical products, you have to make plans and commit to orders from the manufacturers months in advance.
Anything else you want to add?
Pretty much covered it all.
Be sure to check out NowPresso: The World’s First Portable Espresso Machine.
After speaking with the NowPresso team, I’m even more convinced that the secret to creating a product that you’ll love to work on and has a high likelihood of success is to scratch your own itch, it’s talked a lot about in the entrepreneurial world to solve problems that you have not hypothetical problems that are seemingly had by others.
John’s story here is the perfect example of the scratch your own itch discovery method for getting ideas to build your own business. For him, travel and lack of decent espresso were the crossroads, the novelty, that sparked the creation of this fascinating battery powered portable espresso machine.
The Campaign is live now, ending July 5th.
You can see where John’s idea is starting to pay off when you watch the video on his Kickstarter project page >>>