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The biggest Kickstarter ever failed the first time around

The biggest Kickstarter ever failed the first time around


Here's what it did differently

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The Coolest, a tricked-out cooler with a built-in blender, speakers, and USB charger, just set the record for the most-funded Kickstarter campaign ever. At the time of this writing, the project had raised $10,388,188, or 20,805 percent of its goal.

Ten million dollars for a beverage container is an amazing feat. But it's even more astounding considering creator Ryan Grepper launched almost exactly the same campaign ten months ago and failed. He only raised $102,188 on a $125,000 goal.

"When I launched my first campaign for the Coolest last November, I thought that if you started with a good enough idea, people would find it and success was inevitable," Grepper told GeekWire. "When the campaign failed, I took a hard look at what went wrong. I did not give up."

So what did he do differently? Not that much, it turns out.

But the small differences, plus the wisdom of launching a campaign for an outdoor accessory in August rather than November, added up.

Here's Grepper's take:

1. People are much more interested in coolers in the summer rather than the winter.

2. We had a group of passionate supporters from our first campaign, ready to take up the charge and share among their friends.

3. We improved the COOLEST design, took a more targeted marketing approach and focused our video on all the great features offered.

The videos for the two campaigns are almost exactly the same length and feature much of the same footage.

The rewards are very similar, although the new campaign featured a $165-level for "early bird" backers who could get the cooler, and made $2,000 the highest tier rather than $5,000.

The first version of the Coolest had an attachable grill, which Grepper got rid of in version 2.0 due to safety concerns. Otherwise, the second version of the Coolest boasts all the original features as well as a few extras, including built-in storage for utensils and plates, wider wheels, and a USB charger. (The charger was suggested by a backer from the original campaign, and seem like the only feature that may have made a difference, but what do I know.)

Other changes: Grepper asked for $50,000 instead of $125,000. The Kickstarter video shows a final screen that asks people to "please share the video now." The second campaign also featured GIFs and a lengthy FAQ section.

Here are the two videos, with their descriptions. See if you can guess which one was successful.

"Why can’t my cooler blend DRINKS, play MUSIC, carry GEAR, and GRILL food?! Here's the perfect tool for all your tailgate & outdoor fun!"

"The COOLEST is a portable party disguised as a cooler, bringing blended drinks, music and fun to any outdoor occasion."

This project will be picked apart as a Kickstarter case study for years to come.