Tuesday 2 September 2014

Kickstarters visiting China - Passing Through Hong Kon

I do like sites like KickStarter and IndieGogo. Projects on there vary from just raw enthusiasm to well thought through projects.

With regards to hardware related projects, they often have one thing in common: outsource production to China. After their campaigns are funded, they often travel over China to work with manufacturers and vendors to bring their ideas to reality.

Many don't seem to realise that in other countries things run well lets say differently. It often surprises me how much learning does not get transferred. Learning with regards to challenges on communication, understanding the way business is conducted, other cultural aspects and the fact that often small orders have low priority for big manufacturers. This besides the normal learnings that come with developing new products.

A number of times I tried to hook with visiting teams to share some insights. Easy, as most of them fly to Hong Kong and then travel to Shenzhen. The easy part is that I live close to the airport, so no issue to pop over for a coffee or so.

One team was curious to hear some insights - though had a tight schedule. As they were writing about their learnings through their updates I decided to hook them up with a friend of mine who is based in Shenzhen. The team is producing Spor, solar powered chargers (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spor/spor-solar-battery-chargers-usb-cables-and-accesso)

I got them hooked up with +Michael Michelini  who is the founder of SocialAgent.me and has spend a fair bit of time in China. He knows Shenzhen very well and as a startup founder is always willing to spend some time helping others.

He met up with the team and they created a podcast out of the conversation, which can be found here at Mike his blog Global From Asia. Listen and Enjoy hearing about the journey of a kickstart project!