Developing the Orb

As you all know, we are currently working hard on the development of the Orb. Around 10 dedicated people are involved with hardware, design, electronics, software, supply chain and documentation. 

We are running right on track, even though we have some pretty tight deadlines to follow (#adrenalinerush). However, we sat down to share with you guys some of the highlights from our everyday work!

Wireless and Radios

We want the connectivity of all our devices to be really good and stable as devices should never lose their connection during regular use. Most of these issues from this are either in the software or in the PCB layout and mechanical design, however, it all starts with a good antenna. Making a good antenna in a small design means investigating if other components will interfere with the antenna. This can be easily tested by seeing if they resonate at around 2.4GHz.

Long story short: we nuke components in our microwave to test them ;) The results so far are very promising, yay!

Booting the real deal

We have tested different solutions for our Shade Eclipse wall switch. Our demands are quite high and primarily we focus on creating a long battery life as well as a quality feel. We have now ended up with a solution we really like: the first measurements look great and were the cause of a minor celebration at Shade! Note the pretty signals and the consistent pattern when turning the knob - it’s beautiful!

EMC testing

What else have we been up to? We have also tested a lot on the solution to make sure there will be no negative surprises down the line for you guys :) We can never be 100% certain until final certification, however, all tests look promising: we emit negligible EMC both into the surroundings and back to the power grid. 

All in all, we are right on track and look pretty confident into the future! Shipping of the first batch is still planned for December 2017. We hope you are all looking forward to receiving your #Orb, because we are totally doing this! :)

 

As usual, feel free to leave us a comment or send in your questions at info@shade.one. Greetings from the Shade team!

Running a successful crowdfunding campaign

At Shade, we have had an exciting journey with our crowdfunding campaign: We have campaigned for 60 days and have raised more than $400,000 with the support of more than 1,000 backers. Our campaign is one of the most successful ones in Denmark so far, and we reached our initial goal of $50,000 within less than 20 hours.

How did we make this happen? Was it just luck? A great product? The right team? In this blog piece, we want to share some of our experiences with you on running a successful campaign to bring your product to market!

If you are interested in why we chose to do a crowdfunding campaign in the first place, feel free to browse through a blog post we have done about this.

Getting started

Doing a crowdfunding campaign is quite a task and cannot be done overnight. It requires a lot of preparation, hard work and of course passion for the product or service you are trying to introduce to the market.

What we started out with, was of course coming up with a sensible plan. What needs to be done in order for the campaign to get started in time? Which materials, resources and assets do we need? How many people with which expertise do we need on our team to make this work?

We have been preparing the campaign for around 3 months with around 3-4 dedicated people working behind this. For us it was always important to be very transparent on what we are doing and to bring our vision and passion across. A big part of this, is to bring your message across visually. Hence a lot of work hours went into the preparation of visuals to present the product from every different angle, for every situation.

Of course, we also needed to have a strong and convincing campaign video as it is the first thing people will see and base their decisions on. Our campaign video included many work hours of our own team members and we additionally had some professional help to support us in showcasing the product in the right light.

Choosing the right platform

The next question we asked ourselves is which platform to use for our campaign. We have been using Indiegogo as they seemed to be the right platform for our start-up at the intersection of design, tech and entrepreneurship. We also found the tracking options to be quite nice with this platform (you want to get data out of it such as how your backers and potential buyers found you).

Additionally, we also found it beneficial to make our sales in USD as it is a more universal option that goes well with our global sales strategy. Either way, other platforms have similar and great offers as well, so make sure to dig into the pros and cons of the alternatives before you choose one. 

Indiegogo provides you with a contact person that will help you to coordinate the process and is at hand every time a question arises - and they will :-).

Building up a community

We also focused on building up a community and excitement around our product before we launched. You don’t want to stay quiet and all of a sudden launch the campaign when there is no one who is excited about your product yet. Therefore, we aimed to engage our followers as they also helped to spread the word about our campaign. We kept them updated, provided them with insights from the team, had a launch party - our community is key!

Open communication

We have always put a lot of focus on transparency and always tried to be as openly as possible about what is happening at Shade. We also made realistic promises as we did not want to get hopes up and disappoint anyone in the end.

Also, don’t underestimate the amount of responses and inbound messages you will receive once your campaign launches. Even though you might have done a good job at communicating many aspects about your product and company, people will have many questions. Make sure to plan in enough resources for that beforehand, prepare an internal Q&A document to use for user requests and get back to them as soon as possible. Keeping a soft tone always helps – even if sometimes you might be faced with criticism or even trolls who want to test your resilience :-).

PR and communication

Before and during the crowdfunding campaign we have sought external support in terms of press and media relations. This might be a deciding factor for the success of your campaign as well. We will provide more insights on PR and Communications in one of our upcoming blog pieces, so stay tuned!

Know your backers

You want to know who the people are who have decided to support you, so make sure to keep in constant touch with them. In order to understand who they are and why they decided to make a purchase, we have sent out a survey to our backers to get more details. We also included a comment section where they could let us know about any questions or comments they might have for us. This was very viable for us as we got to understand what is important to them and what we need to consider and incorporate in the development process. We also shared these backer insights we received and published the Q&As as they can be very helpful for your audience.

We also came up with a world map to see where our backers come from. If you are engaging in social media advertising, this might be a helpful tool for you as well.

Post-campaigning

Work doesn't really get any less after finishing a crowdfunding campaign (sorry!) :) Our focus now is finalising supplier negotiations, to keep the development process going strong as well as plan the production for the products.

For us, it is important to keep our backers updated about the development process by using the Indiegogo function or an external provider such as Mailchimp. Many other crowdfunding campaigns fail to keep their backers in the loop and they are left disappointed. They are your customers and you will get to learn a lot from them, so make this a priority!

We hope you found this article helpful and – as always – if you have any questions or comments for us, shoot us a message to info@shade.one!

 

Best wishes from the whole Shade team in Copenhagen!

 

A Year in Review

Last year in June, our founders, Bo and Mathias, got serious and started to work full-time on the organisation they had built up from scratch: Shade.

They began to gather a team of experienced developers and young professionals as well as the financial basis in order to follow their vision of better light – better living.

We want to look back at what has happened ever since and take you on this little journey with us:

Back in the summer of 2016, with our working prototype of the Orb, we could deep-dive into customer validation and start testing them with our test users. Their feedback supported our understanding of customer needs and shaped the Orb as we know it today.

shade orb drawings prototype

We slowly started to spread the word about Shade by participating in various events like the Tech BBQ or the annual Slush conference. We also made sure to get the patents for our cooling system inside the Orb in place. Check!

team shade orb

Over time, we gathered more and more awesome and passionate people for the Shade team which came to look like this by 2017 -->

As part of the Danish Tech Challenge, we were nominated as finalists for the prestigious award. Even though we did not win the first prize, we were still honoured to have come so far and surely learned a lot during our time in the programme. The award ceremony took place in January 2017:

dtc shade orb

In February, we finally kicked off our long-awaited crowdfunding campaign and could not have been more excited!

Within less than 20 hours, we had already reached our initial goal of $ 50,000. Oh, the excitement! People actually love our product :-)

We have been overwhelmed by the positive response we received on our campaign - not only from customers but also from the press: The Verge coined the "cult of the Orb" and n3rdabl3 gave the Orb the label of "Philips Hue on Steroids".

Due to the big success of the crowdfunding, we had extended the funding phase for another 30 days until it ended by mid-April.

Today, our products are still available for purchase via In-Demand.

We are currently busy with finalising supplier negotiations while also focusing on the development process and production. Together with our friends from Shape Robotics, we have moved into a new office and enjoy the constant feedback and dialogue with other professionals. (You can find out more about our internal news in our upcoming blog post and newsletter.)

And here we are today: we can’t believe how fast time flies! The next months will be filled with more hard work and extensive caffeine consumption so we will be ready for shipping by the end of the year. :-)

Thank you for being a part of our journey, we have enjoyed every minute of it. Stay tuned for more!

Living with the Orb

What is it like to live with the Orb? 

We want to create the best possible user experience to make the usage of the Orb as convenient as possible for you. For months now, we have been working closely together with families as our test users.

These families have been trying out our products in their own homes, in their everyday life, and continuously provide us with feedback on their user experiences.
shade orb testimonial

These insights are very valuable to us and directly impact the development process as we believe in the importance of human-centered design. Therefore, we wanted to share some insights on what it is actually like to live with the Orb.

Here are a few things we learned from our test users:

The need for more dynamic light is real

80% of our test users are not completely satisfied with their old lamps due to the insufficient light they provide. Most of them state that due to the wrong or poor lighting conditions, they don’t use their living rooms for all the activities they would like, for example working on the computer.

Where they use it

living room shade orb

The large majority is using our lamps in their living rooms. Many of them like to use a double pendant above the dinner table, leaving enough room for eye-contact and letting pleasant conversations flow.

How they use it

70% of the families have created their own moods for dinner parties or casual dinners with friends. By creating a mood with dim and yellow light, they create a cosy atmosphere that is just right for these weekend get-togethers. Many times, they call this mood the “Red wine light”. :-)

What they value

shade orb app eclipse switch

Our test users highly value that the Orb is able to create light that comes as close to natural light as it gets, creating unique moods for every situation.

They find the usage of the app to control the light quite simple and intuitive. Above that, they also enjoy the fact, that they can use a “traditional” light switch additionally to controlling the light through their smartphones, leaving them with flexible options to choose from.

 

Meet Sofie and Mikael

Maybe you remember Sofie and Mikael who starred in our crowdfunding campaign video. We also equipped their homes with a few Orbs and an S1 to see how they experience living with the Orb.

See for yourself what they say about their everyday life with dynamic lighting:

We hope you found these insights helpful and as always, please feel free to get in touch with us about any questions or concerns you might have at info@shade.one. Thank you for following us on our journey to “Better Light. Better Living.”!

Post-Campaigning - Where we go from here

At the beginning of this week, we have successfully ended our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and we could not be more grateful.

thank you igg shade orb

We:

  • campaigned for 60 days
  • reached 815% of our initial funding goal
  • can count on the support from 1,075 backers
  • and raised a total of $ 407,645 for the Orb

 

What’s next?

arrow shade orb

We realize that this success also comes with a lot of responsibility, especially towards our backers who have invested not only funds, but also their trust in us. Therefore, we will of course keep you posted regularly with news about the development process, our products and the team.

If you have not done so already, please sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop with these updates and also get the chance to receive special offers that might be coming up very soon (spoiler alert).

For now, we want to update you on what happens after we have wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign:

 

Going InDemand

Due to the big success of the crowdfunding campaign, we wanted to meet the demand and provide you with a possibility to keep pre-ordering our products.

Therefore, we have now switched to InDemand on our Indiegogo site.

During the InDemand campaign, you will still be able to pre-order our products through the Indiegogo platform.

 

What is different?

igg indemand shade orb

The InDemand campaign is different to a crowdfunding campaign as there are no fundraising goals or deadlines involved and they are only available to campaigners who have met their campaign goals during the crowdfunding phase.

For you, however, nothing changes in the purchasing process. You just order our products through the Indiegogo platform as you could already do during the crowdfunding campaign. Please note that prices might change over time.

 

How does it work?

Ordering our products works just like during the crowdfunding campaign:

1.    Sign up on the Indiegogo website if you haven’t done so already

2.    Check out our campaign site and read about the different perks we offer

3.    Choose the right perk for you

4.    Make some noise! Tell your friends and family about our product and our vision. Spreading the word helps us a great deal in order to bring better light to your homes.

 

When will I receive my products?

shade orb IGG

We plan to start delivering our products to you by December 2017. Please note, that depending on where you live, it might add to your delivery time. All products are made in and shipped from Denmark.

 

Can I still get in touch with you?

get in touch shade orb

YES! Even though our crowdfunding campaign has officially ended, we will of course not disappear :-) We might become a little quieter on our social media channels, as our focus now lays much more on developing kick-ass products for you and ship them to you asap.

However, that does not mean, that you cannot get in touch with us. As always, we want to be as transparent as possible and are open for any questions, comments and feedback you might have for us anytime.

You can reach us either

Facebook • Pinterest • Instagram • LinkedIn • Twitter

Thank you for being a part of our journey and as always - feel free to get in touch with us if anything should come up!