Adding your MailChimp list to Twitter

It’s likely a lot of your subscribers will also have a twitter account. We added a field to our signups to enter this, but some people are a little lazy or don’t see the value in adding it.

Twitter has a ‘find friends’ feature that allows you to search email addresses for twitter users though, so it’s quite easy to follow people on your list.

Export your mailchimp list and import it into a new email account. We use Gmail.

Now ask twitter to search this account, click the box in gmail that allows it and twitter will check the list for matching accounts.

We found over 400 people who had signed up but we weren’t following.

This is a useful extra point of contact since some people might have signed up but not realised you also had a twitter account.

 

As a bonus tip you can also import this list into Angel List to easily find out who might be interested in investing capital….

A spot of crowdfunding anyone?

As some of you know we applied to HAXLR8R in November, had several interviews in December and the first 2015 program started last week in Shenzhen, China. They had over 400 applications and had to whittle this number down to just 15 hardware devices. A lot of competition!

We got some great feedback, they loved the idea, they liked the team and they liked the traction they saw we were getting online. We’re now on over 4400 Twitter followers, which is pretty great for a six month old account, about a dozen people are signing up on our website each day and we haven’t really started any promotions yet. We’re hoping that lot of you guys are potential customers and not just hoping to win a free sim.

Now we know that not only is VR going to be huge in 2015 and the first affordable motion simulator that hits the market will be huge. Perhaps you know this too.

Sadly the guys at HAX were not quite as convinced, but they had a lot of applications and it seems we just missed out. They also had several re-applications that they rejected last summer, which were offered a place this time around, and the message we heard was to “keep working on the project” since they want to see it move forward. We’re still in touch with them.

Getting into the program would have been a huge shortcut and we’ve spent the holidays reassessing what we need to keep going. Some people have urged us to start an Indiegogo campaign and fund the project that way, but we think that would be a little premature.

Instead we’re thinking of heading to China anyway to prototype, recruit some more staff and begin looking at partnering factories. We may reapply to HAXLR8R for the summer program but this is yet to be decided, they give not only $100,000 for a 9% slice of equity, but provide mentoring and support. We’d like think that we can perhaps go it alone but we’re humble enough to know when a helping hand is a good thing.

Instead we’ve decided to try a small campaign with Seedrs, an equity crowdfunding site in the UK. We say ‘try’ because they vet every application, so it’s by no means guaranteed but we think we shouldn’t have a problem. This gives our friends, family and a few interested angel investors a route to show interest in the project, while keeping everything legal and easy to manage.

So we’re planning on trying to raise a small, quick round to take us forward to China and this also lets us show our neighbours at HAXLR8R something amazing if we decide to reapply. Nothing beats a pitch for a hardware device like being able to try it in person.

If our campaign is approved then there will a lot more information about the market and our strategy, plus you can ask private and public questions. You’ll also see a video of the team and be able to check our facebook/linkedin pages etc.

But like anything to do with investing money I urge everyone to do some proper research, and if you don’t understand something, don’t invest. Seedrs is a very transparent platform, and we picked them because they’re more concerned with protecting investors than entrepreneurs. Right now they’re limited to Europe but they’re also about to accept funding from the U.S., hopefully in time for our campaign.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in then head over to Seedrs to see what they’re about. If you sign up with our referral code : G5QBJMC8 you’ll also save 50% on any fees, instead of them going to us. It also lets them know that we have people interested in our project which might push our approval through a little quicker. We’ll be letting you know when the campaign is ready.

Even though you can put in as little at £10 be aware it might be years before you see a return on your money, and while we don’t anticipate any billion dollar acquisitions…. you never know 🙂 If you’re considering putting in a little more than that we’d like to hear from you, so we could plan a little better and hopefully keep the momentum going. Feel free to email us with any questions.

We think we’ve got a great project and we hope you do to. We’re still aiming to launch the Kickstarter this year and your name is still in the hat! Please remember to spread the word and feel free to forward our updates to anyone you think might be interested!

Update #3 – We passed the first HAXLR8R selection test!

Shiny

Feel Three is still in the running for HAXLR8R…

Our pitch went well but the competition is fierce

Two of the founders spent an hour yesterday morning pitching to one of the HAXLR8R partners via Skype. It went well, but they have a hard job picking just 15 entries from nearly 400 applicants. At lot of the initial batch have already been rejected, so we cleared the first hurdle. We also asked you guys for your support on Twitter in the last update last week, and quite a few of you stepped up magnificently, but we’ve found out a lot of our mails ended up in spam boxes due to the unsubscribe link being broken. So we’ve moved over to MailChimp in the hope that Gmail, Hotmail and the rest won’t be so harsh. We’re now legal in every country and the unsubscribe button works perfectly.

So we’re asking again for your support, let the guys at HAXLR8R know that the FeelThree is on your shopping list for Kickstarter next year and we’ll show them that we have not only an amazing project but the backers to make their investment worthwhile. Once again, we’ll put your name into the raffle hat 50 more times if you help out before the end of November. Retweets also count so your followers also get to play!

So please spend 5 seconds letting twitter know about the project and pushing HAXLR8R to keep us in mind while they’re still interviewing and picking projects for the second round. This really makes a difference guys!

Link : #RT if you want to see the amazing #FeelThree VR motion sim get a second interview @HAXLR8R and get made in China ’15 j.mp/_FT

Remember that if we get in we’ll be blogging all about the experience, our progress and answering any questions, so this is a great resource if you’re thinking of applying to the program yourself in the future.

So if HAXLR8R doesn’t pick us is that the end of the project? Of course not, it would be a really great shortcut to the kickstarter and production but we’ve got plenty of other options to explore that we’re not able to share… yet.

We’re at 1800 followers on Twitter, email sign ups are still pouring in and the website get more traffic everyday. Something tells us that this is something you guys want.

As you’ve probably noticed we redesigned the base. It looks big but it’s actually the same width as the sphere, so it doesn’t take up any more space. It not only looks far cooler but means the part count is reduced since the four sides are essentially the same. It will probably be split too so it’s smaller to ship.

Thanks for your support guys and please spread the word!

Mark & the Team

@feelThree

Edit: Here’s a 30 second video of the feelThree in action

My Twitter ‘hacking’ worked!!

I wrote about moving our Twitter profile from 150 to 21 when people search for ‘oculus rift’ and then theorising that I could get it higher if the first words of the description were also ‘oculus rift’. Well I was right, we’re now on position 14!

I think the only other way to improve it is to get more followers, improve the follower/following ratio, tweet more or put ‘Oculus’ in the title (we can’t put it in the user name now :p).

“FeelThree Oculus Sim” fits but it seems like cheating to do that… I might give it a week or two and try it as an experiment. 🙂

Better Base Cover

The boxy base was ok, it got the job done and kept fingers safe but it was 8 parts (2 different ones) and didn’t look sooooo amazing. So after a little thinking and figuring out a simple part I came up with this :

Pyramid

Looks LOADS better (I think), is only 1 part (times 4 or 8) and is basically the same size as the sphere so fits nicely in a corner. It might need a ‘no step’ sticker or an actual step though :p

 

What do you guys think? Drop me a comment here or on Twitter.

Finding more backers

Our email list is getting pretty healthy and we’re getting more twitter followers everyday, but will that translate into sales and backers? It’s hard to say until you actually require people to put their hands in their pockets. So, more is more, but where can we find these new people who will be interested?

I’ve played with Facebook ads before for a previous failed start up so I have some experience with it. My initial disgust with paying for something I should be getting for ‘free’ wore off before when I realised that even though I have several hundred friends on facebook not all of them are really interesting in my projects. They might think they’re cool, but not enough to actually want to pay for them.

Instead we can use the demographics built into facebook to reach out to our ‘perfect potential customers’. So, men, living in the developed world, 18-35, single and interested in VR and simulation games. Putting that into the facebook ad generator gives me about 2m people who might want to give me their email for the raffle. I supposed I could include women as well but if my google analytics figures are reasonably accurate the feelThree is a 97.7% male interest. The prices for 1000 impressions isn’t to outrageous, about £0.24-£1.30, or they let you just pay for ‘clicks’. One of the best things though is the ability to use different pictures and see which is the most effective, plus trying the same advert with some slight variations and seeing which is more effective.

All you need is cash! :p

One of the more important things I can do to promote the project right now though is to create a decent 2 minute video explaining how it works and why it’s so amazing, but that will have to wait until I reinstall my broken Windows 7 installation. Then I’ll have to finally figure out how to properly animate the omnichain since that’s what people will want to see rendered…

I also added some tweet and like buttons to each post, at the top and bottom, just making it a little easier for people to share any posts they like and hopefully spread the word a little easier. I also got rid of the ‘DISCUS’ comment system, since I added it I’ve only had a few comments since you have to sign up to write anything, it looks like people couldn’t be bothered. I reimplemented the old system and added a ‘math-captcha’ so you have to solve an easy math problem to post, that should be enough to ward off the bot-spam my site is now attracting….

I also changed the ‘about’ line on out twitter account to read ‘Oculus Rift’ rather than #oculusrift which has moved us up to position 21 (from about 150) when you search for ‘oculus rift’ in twitter. I’m not 100% sure how they organise the list but I think it’s a combination of ‘oculus rift’ in your name, how many followers you have and where ‘oculus rift’ appears in your desciption, since a few people are higher than us and have less followers… It now reads ‘Oculus Rift Motion Simulator! ‘ and will take Twitter about a week to rejiggle the names. I doubt it will give us a million extra followers but Oculus get quite a lot of followers everyday, about 100, so if they search for them and click follow on us too just below them it’s a simple way to pick up potential customers.

Still no word from the HAXLR8R organisers, although they moved the deadline to the end of the month. My email to our mailing list asking for support was moderately successful, 14 people tweeted their support to @haxlr8r, nothing amazing but it shows we’re trying. 🙂