NOT COOL COOLEST COOLER, NOT COOL
Everyone by now has heard of Coolest Cooler, the second largest Kickstarter campaign and biggest fail. Coolest comes complete with a high-performance blender, waterproof Bluetooth speakers, USB charger, LED lid light, cooler divider/cutting board, bottle opener, reusable plastic plates and a ceramic knife – I mean, what doesn’t sound cool about that? After raising $13 million from over 60,000 backers with its Kickstarter campaign, Coolest’s success quickly went down the drain. But what happened, why was Kickstarter’s second largest campaign an epic fail?
Plain and simple Ryan Grepper, CEO and founder of Coolest Cooler, did not have all of his ducks in a row before launching his Kickstarter campaign in 2014. Grepper made amateur mistakes from the product design phase and supply-chain management, all the way to production. Most crowdfunding campaigns fail because of young entrepreneurs who have no understanding of the industrial design and manufacturing process.
Coolest was originally slated to begin shipping its cooler to Kickstarter backers in February 2015; however, due to Grepper adding new features, shipping was pushed back to July 2015. This is a big no, no. No matter how cool the additional features might be you can’t advertise a product, raise $13 million and then decide to change your product.
The mistakes don’t end here, Coolest failed to factor in high shipping costs and Kickstarter’s payment processing fee and 5 percent cut, which ended up taking quite a chunk out of its initial earnings. Also, spending $2 million on design and engineering alone is kind of high. Given that there are multiple features, there should not have been such a ballooned cost for development – none of the features were exactly “cutting-edge tech.” This suggests that Grepper was either fickle, constantly changing the design, or was swindled by the product design firm he hired.
Currently, Grepper is dealing with a strike at his manufacturer’s factory, where Coolest’s blender motors were being manufactured, and has completely halted production. Grepper has now taken to Amazon to try and sell his cooler at full price, in order to raise the necessary cash to fulfill the rest of his backers’ orders. Not cool coolest cooler, not cool.