On halfway-through-Kickstarter-feels, Maker Faire, and gratitude

We are now halfway through our Kickstarter campaign, with 14 days to go!

(This project update is going up on my personal blog, because let’s face it – this project means so much to Alex and I, there’s no way in hell things don’t get kinda personal and vulnerable and scary and delicate.)

At this halfway point, we’re at a little over 1/3 of our funding goal. If you do the math, this means that it’s not impossible, but that it’s definitely going to take a strong push for us to reach our funding goal. But I’m confident we will get there, we’re pushing so hard for it. And yes, hard work isn’t always rewarded, but surely it counts for something. And oh god, I want it so bad.

Over the past weekend, team sketchmi went to Maker Faire Bay Area! We were super lucky that the Stanford Design Program got a booth at Maker Faire and opened it up to student teams.

sketchmi at Maker Faire!

With multiple teams under the same tentage, it wasn’t always easy to attract the crowd over. We were there all 3 days of Maker Faire pitching sketchmi to anyone and everyone who came by our booth, which as you can imagine (and might have heard) was incredibly tiring, socially draining, and mentally exhausting. (San Mateo was also unexpectedly super duper windy and cold) There might have been 1 or 2 of those nasty troll fellas. Alex and I lost our voices, and definitely had to spend Monday morning recovering. Unfortunately, we didn’t really get to see most of the Faire since we were manning our booth most of the time.

But! We got to talk to lots of people and see kids (adults too!) use our product to create really awesome things! Also, it’s always been one of my dreams to present a product at Maker Faire, and I’m really happy to be able to cross that off the bucket list :] All in all, I’m glad we did it.

This post comes late at night and after yet another round of emails to blogs and networks, so do forgive some of the sentimentality, but –

This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve done in my short life. Amidst the long, sleepless nights and against the enormity of the task at hard, it’s easy to feel discouraged at times. And so, some things to remind myself:

  • I am not my product design; my self-esteem and personal happiness shouldn’t depend on that status bar that tells me how many % we’re funded
  • The generosity of my networks does not in any way speak to the strength of these relationships
  • Support and help comes in many different forms / guises

And most importantly, we have come so far. I’m not saying that this is a good stopping point, that’s not what I mean at all. I’m saying that where we are right now with funding is nothing to sneeze at, and that has been largely due to the generosity of friends and family.

To all of you, thank you so very much. Throughout this entire journey, I have been overwhelmed again and again by the generosity of friends and family, filled to the brim with gratitude towards the people who have supported us. It is such an incredibly humbling feeling.

For backing us on Kickstarter, for spreading the word to your personal networks, for the Facebook Likes and Twitter Faves/RTs, for listening to me talk about sketchmi (yet again? ok), for encouraging me when I’m feeling down, for offering constructive & genuine feedback, for offering to grab late-night boba, for dragging me out of my cave to unwind (or joining me in my Kickstarter cave), for your care and concern… Thank you! All of you! You know who you are. This entire experience has certainly taught me the meaning of gratitude.

What’s more, I get to go through this crazy awesome journey with Alex, who is such an amazing and talented designer / design-thinking-across-cultures-facilitator / human being! Thank you so much for keeping me grounded, for the hthts, for awesome pep talks, for random humor… Ahhh. I couldn’t think of anyone better with whom to go through this journey with.

Yeah so, the next two weeks are going to be real rough, not much sleep will be had, but we’ll get through this. More importantly, we will get there.

Cheer us on – I won’t hold it against you if you decide to pun on my last name. Go sketchmi!

On halfway-through-Kickstarter-feels, Maker Faire, and gratitude

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