So here is a bit of learning and discussion I think we can all benefit from. Recently Project Keyboard has canceled their group buy for GMK Rocket. I think as a community we can learn by constructively looking at what we know about the cancellation to hopefully gain insight about running keysets and the difficulties they have.
First. What is GMK Rocket?
That’s GMK Rocket right there. A red white and blue set. If the blue was darker I’d say it could have been retrofitted as a US Flag set. Since the official page is down on the projectkeyboards website,
here is the link to the GH GB Post:https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=102257.0
More Notes: Using all stock GMK Colors means that the MOQ to hit was 150. The price for the base kit was $125.
So this was posted the other day by Rise of Project Keyboard:
And some further poking around led to this picture of their final purchase numbers.
This keyset was to be run until the end of the month. 1/3 of the month through and 1/3 of the sets sold to meet MOQ. While technically on track to meet MOQ, that is definitely a tough climb since most sales happen either at the beginning of the group buy, or the final 48 hours.
So why did GMK Rocket struggle to hit higher sales numbers? Could there have been any other extraneous factors that Rise mentioned in his Discord post that led to this final outcome?
I believe that the main struggle for this set was marketing - the lack of it. I honestly did not know this set existed until I did research and poking around for my weekly news show, This Week in Keyboards (self shill ). Before that I had no clue this set existed. I’m usually pretty tapped into the community on what sets are coming out when, so the fact that this felt like it came out of left field to me must have possibly meant it seemed to come from outer space for others.
The marketing presence was weak. There was not a sufficient amount of renders of this set. I believe this can single handedly be pointed at the reason for the failure of this set.
While competition this month is quite fierce, I believe there are currently less sets running than in August (as of 9/10/19). While it can be said that a lot of people are probably tapped out of funds from last month, that is more speculation than not since we still don’t have a good way of assessing the keyboard purchasing power of the community yet (maybe that would be a fun project to work on… what do you think @jshufelt?)
Is this a point of proof demonstrating the transition to the post MOQ world is a tough one indeed? Is this simply a result of market pressures being too intense? Is this an example of the importance of marketing in our community?
I’m curious to hear what you all think.