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From Kickstarter to Major Toy Deal: The Story of the Hugalopes

Jazz Tigan, co-creator of the Hugalopes, came by our office for lunch yesterday to update me on his progress.  Kevin Coleman also stopped by and recorded Jazz for MixTent's Storybin.  The last time I saw Jazz and his co-founder Cris was 10 months ago.  They were just on the beginning part of a journey to turn their "fuzzy Mr. Potato head" style toy into a reality.  They had hand-sewn some prototypes, and they were contemplating a Kickstarter project.

A lot has happened in 10 months.  Jazz and Cris ran a successful Kickstarter project, raising over $21k -- way past their $8k goal.  Then this past April, they announced a licensing deal with Jakks Pacific, a top five top toy manufacturer that also licenses brands like Disney, Warner Bros, Star Wars, Nickelodeon and others.  From dream to licensing deal, Jazz and Cris credit much of their success to the funding and publicity they got from the Kickstarter project.

I was super curious to get tips from Jazz on how to run a successful Kickstarter project, so he agreed to let me tape the meeting so other entrepreneurs can learn from his experiences as well.  Jazz shared tips not only about Kickstarter, but about being an entrepreneur in general.

In the video, Jazz offers tips around the importance of timing the Kickstarter project, how many tiers to offer and at what amounts, how to make sure you go over your goal and get the project funded, how to (and how not to) publicize the project, and much more.

Pictures From Afghanistan

On Tynan

I'm in Austin, ostensibly for SXSW, but in reality I've spent most of my time at my friend's house, or at Casa, plugging away at my YC demo. The deadline is this Sunday and there's a lot to be done before I'll feel confident submitting.

So that's why I haven't posted yet this week. I intended to post a video of the talk Jason and I gave, but my camera ran out of batteries early into the talk, so I have no video.

My brother, who I wrote about last year, has been in Afghanistan. He's a soldier in the army. Besides shooting with his gun, he's also been shooting with a camera he brought with him. He posts photos to Facebook on a regular basis, and some of those photos have been really fascinating to look at. With his permission, I've reposted some of them here for you to see:

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