#48: Bowerbags – Kickstarting The World’s First 3-Way Configurable Bag

Coined the “Optimus Prime” of backpacks, Bowerbags is a three way configurable bag that can change between a backpack, messenger bag, and saddlebag that fits on a bike. Inventor Jamie Bowerman joins us to discuss how he got the idea, raised funds on Kickstarter, and the important business lessons he learned along the way.

Topics Discussed:

  • 03:00 – What is a Bowerbag?
  • 05:30 – First version of the bag, knowing you are on to something
  • 08:00 – The “on stage” test with a business idea
  • 09:30 – It’s all hypothetical until you get version 1.0 shipped
  • 11:00 – Hidden challenges of running a Kickstarter campaign
  • 13:30 – Product R&D before launching on Kickstarter
  • 15:30 – Figuring out the price range for backers
  • 16:30 – The Achilles’s heel that made Jamie lose some money
  • 18:30 – Acquiring the first batch of customers through Kickstarter
  • 22:00 – Commodization of e-commerce platforms
  • 24:00 – Version one is better than version none
  • 26:30 – Scaling the production process and handing it off
  • 28:30 – Power of grassroots and building customers one by one
  • 30:00 – Dealing with long lead-times and complaints
  • 33:30 – Reading nonverbal cues from selling face to face
  • 35:30 – Target customer vs. actual customer and the surprise
  • 37:00 – Expanding the product lines and coming up with new ideas
  • 39:30 – Dealing with the self-doubt and criticism from people
  • 42:00 – Should you take investor money when it’s offered?
  • 44:00 – Future of crowdfunding, pre-ordering, and other funding models


Mentions in the Episode:

Episode Length: 47:21


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  1. Great episode. I love hearing from other product and cut and sew people! Cut and sew is a whole other ball game, fun and challenging.

    Grassroots are definitely slow but it’s great to see your own hard work and the seeds you put out in the world grow and flourish.
    I love the line “anything worth doing well takes time”.
    Funny, we had some hidden expectations/hopes when we launched to sell out quickly and are finding out that things will take time. And that’s ok.

    Can you expand a little on what you are doing with either blogs or facebook to create engagement or educate your potential and existing customers? And how are you getting that message out there to people that do not know who you are?

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