In 1879 Thomas Edison patented the incandescent light bulb. Over the next hundred years the light bulb largely remained unchanged. It was inefficient and it used an excessive amount of energy. Thanks to Phil Bosua and the team behind LIFX that's all changed.
According to LIFX founder Phil Bosua, "LIFX is the world's smartest energy efficient light bulb." LIFX is a Wi-Fi enabled, multi-color, LED light bulb that's controlled by your smartphone. By connecting the LIFX light bulb with your smartphone and your home Wi-Fi network, you have complete control of the lights throughout your home. While this may sound like an unnecessary luxury, there's a tremendous amount of practical applications for this technology.
You can set the mood for a romantic candle light dinner; you can dim the lights for movie night or you can change the color to match your mood. Coming soon, you will even be able to set a nightlight to dim in a remote room of your home. This is perfect for naturally adjusting your body for bedtime. LIFX is also perfect if you're throwing a party and want to groove in style. LIFX creates a mesmerizing multi-dimensional light show that moves right along with the beat.
But wait, there's more! LIFX lasts up to 25 years and uses 4 times less wattage as compared to a standard incandescent light bulb, allowing you to save money on your home energy costs.
There's no doubt that LIFX is an incredible and useful product, and behind every great product is a great story. LIFX was launched on Kickstarter in September of 2012 and raised $1.3 million in just six days. Unlike many Kickstarter success stories, the success of LIFX wasn't generated by a PR blitz. According to LIFX founder Phil Bosua, the team didn't use any marketing or PR to launch their Kickstarter project. So how then did they raise $1.3 million in just six days?
Icanbesociety.com chronicles the stories of Internet elite's like Phil Bosua, who have turned their passion into a lucrative business. I had the opportunity to interview Phil, where he shared LIFX's journey to Kickstarter success as well as a few encouraging words of wisdom for aspiring inventors, entrepreneurs and crowd funders.
What were your business goals and objectives for your Kickstarter campaign?
"The goal of our Kickstarter campaign was to first find out if people liked the idea. We really wanted to know if it resonated before we built it. Secondly, the pledges help fund your first production run so the money we raised was a big part of it."
Why did you decide to seek funding on Kickstarter as opposed to seeking funding from investors or other more traditional sources?
"I was only just becoming aware of the more traditional sources of funding. We're from Australia and we don't have the same well-worn paths to investment that exist in the US so Kickstarter was the only real choice."
Many crowdfunding campaigns have difficulty gaining traction. Did you do any marketing or promotion to draw more traffic to your campaign?
"We didn't use any marketing or PR for the Kickstarter project, not even one out bound email. This was a conscious decision. Early on I remember saying that all the effort we were going to put into PR and marketing should be put that into the Kickstarter project itself. If the product and the project was good enough, people would back it on its own merits."
You surpassed your Kickstarter fundraising goal by over 1,315%. What do you attribute this to and were you surprised by your campaigns' level of success?
"We raised $1.3M in six days and were definitely surprised by the level of success we achieved but it's hard to know exactly what to attribute this to. It was probably a combination of many things. If I had to pick one I'd say through LIFX, people discovered a new way to look at the light bulb. We wanted to create a light bulb that was fit for today's connected world, very different from a traditional light bulb that had not really been innovated in over 100 years."
To review the full Q&A interview with Phil Bosua, visit: icanbesociety.com/lifx
Michael Price is an entrepreneur and author of What Next? The Millennial's Guide To Surviving and Thriving in the Real World endorsed by Barbara Corcoran of ABC's Shark Tank. An advocate of ideas for radical change, he has received critical acclaim for his lessons in education, career, entrepreneurship and personal finance.