Since we needed to do so much in so little time, we initially planned to design a mockup graphic of an online storefront. Being able to open an actual online storefront that would accept customers' money and allow us to ship them physical story beads would surely be outside the scope of a weekend. To open a store you'd need enough time for coding, design and testing, and the knowledge of how to accept payments online, manage your inventory and ship physical products to customers.
With sky-high goals and mountains of enthusiasm, we quickly split into teams to work out every part of the business. We had makers prototyping wild creations with clay and 3D design software, programmers fleshing out a story engine to create fantastical universes, and a business team strategizing on our business plan using the Lean Canvas.
Everyone was in the zone and our goals were being achieved fast. By late Saturday afternoon, as our 3D printed prototypes were being made and plans for focus group testing with actual kids were coming together, the business team focused on creating an online store but were overwhelmed with where to start. But then we remembered that one of the sponsor of the competition, BigCommerce, offered a free 45 day trial to Startup Weekend participants.
Opening our store was as easy as point and click and our site was set up in no time. On Sunday morning, we got our first sales from some of the parents at the focus group, who used their iPhones to place an order on our BigCommerce store. During the Q&A part of our presentation, one of the judges asked to buy two sets of custom made griflens, so we directed him to our online store.
We have now almost sold out of our prototypes from the weekend and are taking preorders for custom griflens. Check out our store now to place your order!
Blog post by Einar Johannesson