The Journey: Success from the Ashes
2015 was an amazing year for Ripple. After only being an idea back in 2012, 2015 became a breakthrough year for this company. After years of discouragement, pain, and growth, Ripple emerged as a successful, international social good company. Many of the failures and learning experiences that were endured this year inspired a new, relentless company culture that edified what makes Ripple what it is today: A movement all about making a difference.
- One of the best parts of creating Ripple’s Kickstarter was creating our video. Believe it or not, the original script was rehearsed with an acting coach on three separate occasions until we finally achieved the enunciation, tone, and emotion that we originally envisioned. Another cool note about the video was that we actually shot it at 5 AM. This created an amazing lighting result and a sunrise that was meant to represent the growth of what Ripple would experience - pretty cool how that vision would later become our reality! The learning portion: sometimes you need to sacrifice sleep for really good lighting.
- Another really awesome learning experience was that you can never do things alone. It always takes a team. And this team ranges from your family, your friends, and your advisors. Without a strong foundation to call upon, it’s hard to constantly have your accountability and motivation in check. Without my support group, Ripple would have never achieved the successes that it had this year. For that, I learn to always ask for help, because they will be there even when you think everything is going south.
- Communication! - This was one of the best examples of Ripple’s maturity. Ever heard of Murphy’s law? It’s the assertion that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong - and boy did sh*t go wrong. However, even with a ton of things going sour, communicating with our backers who supported us on Kickstarter became our priority. With our various dialogues, it was clear that people were understanding of our situation, and that they only wanted to see us succeed. We made a few mistakes on our suppliers, a few mistakes in shipping, yet with great communication and honesty, Ripple was able to ensure that our mission stood by our products and promises.
- After four years of really hard work, Ripple launched its first attempt at a Kickstarter campaign. I remember staying up until 3 am that Sunday night just to make sure all the photos came out spectacularly and that the wording was flawless. That next morning, we launched. It was one of the best feelings of my life — seeing a vision I had created two years before manifest in front of me. Nothing was more satisfying than seeing people congratulate me in person, expressing their happiness and support for Ripple. After so much persistence, I even woke up one morning and started crying because I could look at myself in the mirror and say, “I did it.” This happiness was short lived. Ripple ended up only achieving 15% of its $15,000 goal. This was a humbling experience, yet reminded me of how I got to where I was: persistence. We learned from our experiences, and three months later, undeterred, we launched again.
- There is always a problem with logistics. Once we achieved our funding goal in September of 2015, our celebration was short lived. We now had to deal with fulfilling $6,000 worth of orders in the thick of college applications and winter sport try-outs. We unfortunately didn’t choose a great fulfillment company to begin with, so we had shipments over a month late, sizing errors, and even printing errors! It was a huge blow to our confidence, yet looking back on the importance of communication, we were able to take accountability for the issues and regroup from there.
- There is no more satisfying accomplishment then having a public failure, learning from it,
trying again, and nailing it! That’s exactly what Ripple did 3 months after we failed. We changed our funding goal, put more emphasis on our product versus our causes, and educated our buyers on how to use Kickstarter. Within two weeks, Ripple hit its funding goal. I’ve never felt such an empowering feeling than the excitement and exuberance that accompanies a relentless approach. Thanks to our backers and to our causes, Ripple emerged as a successful funded social-good enterprise.
- Ripple was created on the idea of helping others make a huge difference through their purchase. After the Kickstarter campaign, Ripple was already providing funding to various programs with our partners! This included providing 400 meals to children living in Zimbabwe, 60 hours of service dog training to individuals with disabilities, and 5 people access to clean drinking water in India. Check out our full impact and accountability report here.
Looking Forward to 2016
- One of the most exciting developments ahead of 2016 is our newest design release. In
short, this thing is sick. We worked with an awesome illustrator to create a design that represents the improved quality of life that comes to a community when they are provided a water well. We are beyond excited to get this design in front of our customers and begin promoting Living Water’s programs.
- We are currently in the developmental phases of designs for Operation Freedom Paws. The design consists of a concept that depicts how the help from a dog to someone suffering can provide immense freedom and emotional support.
- Our newest goal for 2016 is to get Ripple into an incubator in Silicon Valley. We’d love to have the opportunity to work with some of the brightest entrepreneurs around the world, and have access to hundreds of mentors all working to see Ripple’s success thrive. We will keep you updated on any developments in this sector!
Thank you for reading! Please share this post, we’d love to have all of our progress we’ve made this year shared with a ton of people!