The Final Lesson on Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a fun place to window shop. You can learn about amazing new products coming to market or films about to be made.

But it’s more than window shopping. Once you pledge on Kickstarter, you feel like you are part of something. Take it from people who researched hundreds of campaigns, tearing apart every little detail but never pledging – when you finally pledge, you become a child waiting for Christmas. A Christmas that isn’t guaranteed on a certain day but we’re adults and most of us have learned to manage our enthusiasm.

You receive updates on how your gift to yourself is coming along. Some creators update their backers more than others, but in our experience creators are always willing to communicate. Why wouldn’t they want to talk about what they’ve spent the past couple of years creating? Then, you get it in the mail (whatever it is) and as you pull it out of the box you know that you are one of the first people to ever own one. Hey, and if the product takes off, that may be a bragging point one day.

So, the Trivae team urges you to pledge a project on Kickstarter. Whether it be in the art, comic, design, or film section – do it. And if it happens to be ours, great. If tomorrow is the day, wait until 8 a.m. CT, check the product design category, and you may see a product that looks familiar (it’s us!). 🙂


A Beginner’s Guide to Kickstarter II

In our first installment of Kickstarter education we covered the burning question – what is that…thing? In this installment, we’ll discuss why people choose to fund their dreams with crowdfunding. As you’ll soon see, it’s not just because it’s a fun way to do so; it’s because of all the ancillary benefits. But, it’s still a lot of fun.

2nd Kickstarter infographic

Strikingly – the secret weapon in our bag of tricks

One aspect of being an entrepreneur that few people give proper thought to is having to learn a vast number of skills outside of your general knowledge area and, at times, far outside of your comfort zone. This can be very time-consuming and distracting, not to mention daunting, and more often than not, it significantly slows down your overall progress towards the main objective which is to bring a business or an idea to life! This is also likely the reason why so many great ideas never see the light of day; their creators simply give up under the weight of all of the things involved in bringing it out of their head and into the physical world. As co-founders of the company behind Trivae, a multi-functional kitchen tool, we’ve had to become proficient in areas far beyond anything related to the kitchen industry.

A kitchen tool—what could you possibly need to learn? Well, as it turns out, the answer to that is “lots of things” and most of them have nothing to do with cooking or the kitchen. To give you some insight as to what it took to create Trivae, throughout the design process we have become near-experts in: CAD software, prototyping, various tooling, casting techniques, metal alloys, different metal finishes, the international patent process and how to read, understand and draft patent applications…the list goes on and on. And this is all before you even turn to the general running of a business. In the midst of all of this, there is one all-important thing for any business that we haven’t yet mentioned and, lucky for us, this is the one thing we never had to master – the art of website programming.

We’ve been working on Trivae for two years and ever since the beginning, our website has been the key to presenting our business to the world. For a business that lives primarily online for the time being, our website is the face of our brand and is the place where people come to get to know us. As such, it’s the piece of our business that deserves, and demands,  a lot of our attention, all of which is worthwhile because it reflects all of the efforts we have invested into our company.

Thankfully, creating our website has been one of the most effortless parts of making our product a reality. With Strikingly, we were able to create a website that we are proud for the world to see!

With the launch of our Kickstarter campaign quickly approaching (wait, is that tomorrow?), we are especially grateful that Strikingly’s platform is so adaptive to changes. Need to add our campaign video to the website? No problem. With a couple of clicks, we are able to rearrange images and text into new positions without taking any critical time away from running our business. These easy to use features allow us to showcase our invention effortlessly in a visually compelling manner. Strikingly provides us cost savings by allowing us to forgo expensive programmers, time savings, and also makes us feel like we’re not alone. Their people are always there to answer our questions while being wonderfully pleasant to work with!

We’re big about showing gratitude to those who have helped us along the way and Strikingly was the perfect partner for us. While learning the ins and outs of the design, manufacturing, marketing and all the other processes associated with bringing Trivae to market, we didn’t have the time or resources to create a distinctive website from scratch. Fortunately, Strikingly was there to help us and made sure we didn’t have to make any sacrifices!

Don’t believe us? Check out our website at!

Life experiences are just a question away

In this day and age, it’s easy to forget simple mantras that we used to live by as kids. I can’t recall the last time that I actually thought of “The Golden Rule,” something I was reminded of constantly as a kid. After so many years of reinforcement, these phrases become embedded into our daily lives and are often executed subconsciously. But what about the mantras that have been forgotten?

One that is often times forgotten, but is very prevalent in daily life, is the notion to ask for what you would like and many times it will be granted to you. In business, it is amazing the kinds of things that you can experience and the doors that will open for you if you simply ask.

A great instance of this is when we went on an adventure throughout Omaha to find a specialty engraver for an entirely customizable Trivae that will be offered through our Kickstarter campaign. We stopped by an old, established engraving place, Herman Engraving Co., and asked to speak with someone, even though we were hesitant given we didn’t make an appointment. We ended up speaking with the president of the company (Mike Hahn), getting a tour, and seeing great pieces of history that one would never guess originated in Omaha.

When we were walking through the shop, we were able to see the 2015 Daytona 500 trophy being made. Mike even stopped to describe the entire process the trophy goes through when it’s in their shop as well as how long they had been involved in making it.

Then, at the end of the tour, we ended up at a cabinet filled with relics from the past. Mike pointed out a strange looking piece in the top corner and told us that they were the ones who actually made the mold for the very first computer stand frame that Steve Jobs used back when he was starting Apple.

It's the weird looking thing in the top left corner of the cabinet.

It’s the weird looking thing in the top left corner of the cabinet.

The pride that Mike takes in his work was evident throughout our whole visit. He was open to entertaining ideas and questions while teaching us about their work and Omaha’s industrial history. In short, he was incredibly inspiring. Meeting a man who has worked hard and taken pride in every second of it gives us another goal to aspire to. Who wouldn’t want to one day inspire others?

Experiences like these are just a question away and can be found throughout every city in the world. There are always stories waiting to be told.

The Journey

When people think of entrepreneurship, generally an image of a cool product or driven business person comes to mind. What people don’t realize is that entrepreneurship, before anything else, is a journey.

It is a journey in which you not only create something from nothing but accidentally reinvent yourself in the process. When we first decided that we wanted to create something, we had close to a million ideas. Many nights were spent deciding which product had a chance of surviving in the market. When we settled on Trivae, it felt like we had really made some progress.

Two years later, we realize how minute that first initial feeling of progress was. After many sleepless nights, countless phone calls, and many encouraging words from our loved ones, we have finally arrived at a place where Trivae is almost a reality. And yet, it still seems so far from reach.

We have had to become more patient in this process, both with ourselves and with others. We have had to learn new skills and, when we couldn’t learn on our own, we had to reach out to those who could teach us. The world is brimming with possibilities the moment you realize that simply asking can help you to overcome most obstacles.

In all honesty, becoming entrepreneurs has been one of the most terrifying and rewarding experiences of our lives. We wouldn’t trade it for all the sleep in the world (even though we could really use some).