Basecamp InQb8r FAQs
Why did you start Basecamp InQb8r?
I got the idea back in 2012. Nearly all of startups that I have consulted to, mentored or advised did not need a consultant to do the work, just someone to guide them so they could do the work and minimize their consulting costs.
That lead me to develop my knowledgebase and publish online on my website so that it is an efficient way for startups to get the learnings and for me to give them the knowledge.
But I also wanted a way to monetize my knowledgebase so that lead me to productize it into my Lean & Agile Framework.
But some startups wanted more one-on-one from me, so that lead me to create my startup incubator as a structure to provide more assistance.
I have been posting on my website since 2008, began productizing my content in 2012, and launched the incubator in 2017.
Other reasons for the incubator are as follows:
- I don’t see many companies in consumer products using the my growth approach (The Growth Stack). I see a lot of wasted time, effort and money on legacy approaches that are not designed for startups, but are designed for existing, large incumbents.
- I have not seen the knowledgebase approach that I have put in place, which allows for startups to be anywhere and use it on their time table. Existing incubators and accelerators are focused on bringing companies together from which to provide location-based services. I see value in a distributed, non-centrally located approach where startups can be anywhere. That is not to say existing incubators or accelerators have the wrong approach. There is value in bringing startups together in close physical proximity for more relationship building. Also, many programs have a goal to help their local economies. I don’t necessarily want my incubator to be a replacement for other incubators or accelerators. My goal is that it fits in by being the first resource an individual or pre-launch startup considers to help them grow and would help better prepare them to be accepted into an incubator or accelerator.
- I think a big problem with existing incubators and accelerators is the exclusivity, which is designed to pick only a few. I would like to see the knowledge get out to as many startups as possible.
- I do not like the focus of incubators and accelerators which is to primarily fund startups. There should be a path that startups can take to self-fund and not seek an exit event, but to operate privately and profitably. I think our economic ecosystems would be much stronger if startups were taught to operate privately and profitably, first. I have tried to build my incubator with this goal in mind.
But the marketplace is also changing, which I wish to tap into to help startups. Consider the following:
- The Internet continues to create and open up niche markets and ways to reach them, while the population of online users continues to grow worldwide and exiting users continue to increase their time spent online. This connectivity is a huge opportunity for consumer product companies, whether they are niche focused or mass market.
- Technology continues to advance and get cheaper to use, while the sophistication continues to increase so that even the smallest companies can get access to enterprise-level technology that is affordable. And that is not just software but also hardware in the form of micro-production capabilities.
- Where consumer products have been built on economies of scale, which benefits the large incumbents, that is beginning to change as niche markets, ways to reach them, software advancements and micro-production is making it possible to be smaller and more profitable.
I want the incubator to leverage these marketplace changes – niche markets, ways to reach them, software advancements and micro-production – to help startups get a highly profitable business, with much less risk, that is sustainable and competitively defensible.
What do you get out of it?
I like being an operator, working in a startup, not necessarily being a consultant or investor. But I want to leverage my expertise to helping others, and hopefully profiting from that, while not giving up the operator side where I like to be.
Setting up the incubator as a way to transfer my knowledge seems like a good approach for me to continue to be an operator but leverage into other startups.
But I have also found that my writing and creating the knowledgebase, I have become a better operator because the writing forces me to think through what I am putting out for others to read.
And working with other startups makes me a better operator because I can learn what others are doing, the problems they face and their solutions, which I can apply to the businesses in which I am a part of
What will membership to the incubator cost me and explain your thinking behind your pricing
My goal is for as many individuals and startups as possible to access my knowledgebase through online distribution. I want to make it very cost-effective for me to offer it this way and very cost-effective for startups to access it. Here is my thinking:
- Cash purchase for the entire knowledgebase. I have priced out access to the entire knowledgebase at an astounding price of only $30. That is access to my entire knowledgebase organized into eight core sections and three additional sections, with more than 45,000 words in 180 pages of content. In addition, there are more than 40 tools in the forms of models, spreadsheets, SOPs (standard operating procedures) and diagrams. Click here to see exactly what I wish for you to receive. I have deliberately priced access to be extremely affordable in almost any country and marketplace. I don’t want to restrict access to my knowledgebase to developed countries, but if I priced it accordingly, then people in emerging and frontier markets would be priced out. I also want people who just have an idea to access the knowledgebase, because knowing how to turn that idea into a company greatly informs the development of the idea.
- Cash purchase for specific sections of the knowledgebase. I have priced access to individual sections at only $8 because for some startups, all they need is very targeted knowledge.
- Advisory services. Beyond paying for access to the knowledgebase, advisory services is an additional service that members can apply for if they wish, but it is not required. At this level, operating my incubator in the context of an advisory relationship seems like the best way to make that happen. As advisors in companies normally get somewhere under 1% in equity compensation, pricing .5% (one-half percent in the form of stock options) seems to feel right. But equity is only monetized if the startup sees a liquidity event (sale or IPO), which is rare, so I wanted a way for the incubator to benefit from the success of the startup. Revenue-share seems the right way to do that. But my goal is not to try and win-big from each startup or keep my claws into them forever, which is why I have set a total payout of only $7,500 on the revenue-share, payable on only 1% of adjusted gross sales (gross sales minus returns, cancels/declines).
All purchase options can be found on the paid content page.
Is there legal documentation I need to sign to gain entry into Basecamp InQb8r?
Only for advisory services. Access to the knowledgeable requires no agreement.
I have structured an agreement that models a basic advisory agreement and tried to keep it very short and simple. There is also a mutual 2-way non-disclosure agreement.
Why is access limited to one year?
I realize that people may have other full time jobs while they work on their startup, so I want to build in a good length of time to help accommodate them, which I think a year does
But a year goes by fast so members can’t exactly sit on their hands.
A year allows me to keep the membership manageable and I do not want old inactive accounts that open up the potential for security hacks.
Beyond the knowledgebase, what else can I expect from Basecamp InQb8r?
A potential long-term vision is to make the technology platforms that I have customized available to any incubator member at no additional cost.
At present, if you want to install the core platforms I use (the Operations database, the Consumer Product Customer-Ecommerce-Marketing Database and the Consumer Product Ecommerce Sales Funnel) then you have to hire developers to do that by replicating the writeups on them that I have included in the knowledgebase. But cost to replicate my platforms in their entirety should not cost you more than a few thousand dollars, especially if you use the developers I have used.
But I would like to see my platforms become a template that members receive free (not including the monthly SAAS subscription fees that these platform companies charge).
Because technology is so integral to operating a company, getting this piece automatically in the incubator can be a huge help for startups so they can focus on using it and growing, not trying to re-invent the wheel themselves with their own technology installs.
But along with that, I am hoping that the incubator will then get access to each startups data – anonomized, of course – so that the incubator can learn from the data and then use it to enrich the knowledgebase to help other members. The data that could be helpful is marketing performance metrics, what is working in marketing and how consumers are responding to the marketing that is of interest.
I also have goals to create “Deep Dives”, which are more timely reports to help incubator members. Whereas a lot of the knowledgebase might remain evergreen, Deep Dives will help keep current with the latest on developing, launching and growing consumer product companies.
Finally, I may want to evolve the incubator to a full-fledged fund. Its roots will still stay in the knowledgebase, maintaining it and giving as many people access as possible, but for those members that start to see success using the Growth Stack approach, then they might become eligible for accelerator-level funding ($5,000 5- $50,000) or more (up to $3 million investment). I have also come across startups that for a vareity of reasons, the founder is not able to move it forward, but would be an excellent opportunity for me to license their IP and take over the operations of their company.
For me personally, I would still want to be an operator, spending 80% of my time maintaining the knowledgebase, and 20% on the funding side. As a result, the incubator would need to add more people and expertise, especially in due diligence and fundraising, which are areas I have little expertise and have no desire to head up.
All Startups should attend my FREE Growth Stack workshop, where I teach the basics about my Growth Stack, because my knowledgebase is designed to support my Growth Stack. I include a link at the end of the workshop where you can pay for access to the incubator content and access the application for advisory services.