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Episode Info: Smart Nora is the revolutionary contact-free snoring solution that earned a spot on Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2017. Its CEO and co-founder, Behrouz Hariri, talks about how they raised over $1M in Kickstarter and eventually grew to $8.5M in annual sales. Visit https://www.leadquizzes.com/podcast for the complete show notes of every podcast episode.     Topics Discussed in this Episode: [01:32] How Smart Nora came to be [03:17] Smart Nora as a product solution and the product design process [08:04] Some of the feedback that they got that led to changes in their product design [10:58] How much they invested in testing and designing their product [12:55] What they did to prepare for the $1M in pre-orders that they got [14:21] The Kickstarter process and their next steps after creating their Kickstarter video [17:54] Behrouz’s tips on what to do on the PR side [19:24] How they sold their pre-orders on their Shopify store [23:33] How they got their product manufactured and how long it took [26:38] How they managed the quality of their product and what they did about IP protection [29:17] How they shipped their products and how they made their next million in sales after the pre-orders [31:49] Switching their focus to marketing and making more sales [34:09] How Smart Nora landed on Oprah’s Favorite Things [35:09] Getting into corporate wellness programs as a next step [37:09] The one thing they did that had the biggest impact on their growth [38:08] The areas where Behrouz personally had to evolve and grown in to grow their business   Key Takeaways: When you’re a user of your own product, it really accelerates the feedback process. The great thing about Kickstarter as a format is there are so many examples you can follow. There’s a nice formula that people have perfected over time and it’s such a good place to get inspired. In any Kickstart pre-order campaign, your delivery date becomes the last thing that people remember. The freshness of the pre-order fades after a few months and it can get very contentious between the funders and the campaigners. When your Kickstarter campaign is ending, there is a lot of momentum toward the end, coming from both social media word of mouth and press coverage. Good decisions move you forward, but a lot of conversations that don’t end with a clear strategy leave a lot of people stranded.   Action Steps: When you’re a startup, look at your options and the real feedback that you get from people and let that pull you into the next step. When you start a Kickstarter campaign, make sure you have a great video that will serve as your centerpiece. When you do a pre-order campaign, have realistic updates for people and set good expectations. What to do on the PR side: Draft your press release and select outlets that you know are interested in a product like yours. Send them the press release on the condition that they will not publish it until the day of your campaign. Pick a goal that you can actually del...
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