Patrick O’Neill – olloclip

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olloclip

Patrick O’Neill is the Creator and Founder of olloclip, the quick connect 3-in-ONE photography lens for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Hack

I got an equity line on my house and bet the farm on the olloclip because I believed in it completely and knew my parents would love to have me and my family come live with them if it did not work out. We did this to pay for the development of the olloclip rather than get VC money and have someone else tell me their vision of my idea.

Traction

I leveraged Kickstarter as a way to get the company off the ground, build an initial sales pipeline and create media buzz for the company.

Kickstarter helped validate and legitimize the core ideas around olloclip, helped build a customer base, and put us in front of highly motivated people to help spread the word.

Obstacles

Just the need to keep up with the pace of growth. We launched on Kickstarter two years ago in my kitchen. I then waited too long to get an office outside of the house as I wanted the perfect office that was not too far from the house. When I finally settled on a place it was instantly too small. We made it work for 6 months and then moved into a place 5 times the size of it. There are many other issues that come with rapid growth, but we have managed it and it has not been a problem, it is a lot like playing the old game Guns or Butter.

Drive

I like to go to the beach and take some amazing pictures and post them to the @olloclip Instagram feed. We live in an amazing part of the world and I love taking pictures of it and sharing them with our fans.

Caliber

The Kickstarter process was one of the most pleasurable experiences of my career. Not only did it validate the concept, it created engagement with a loyal community that dedication continues to this day. As an avid iPhoneographer, I was confident others were looking for a similar solution.

Funding

olloclip launched through Kickstarter on June 6, 2011.

olloclip received funding within four weeks from 1,300 backers in more than 50 countries, achieving 455 percent of our initial $15,000 funding goal, and finishing among the top-40 highest funded projects for that time period.

Fast forward two years, and olloclip is now sold in more than 90 countries and growing, available through top retailers like Apple, Best Buy, Sprint and Bloomingdale’s.

Motivation

I have had a passion for photography and film since I was a young boy. I still have my original Kodak super 8 camera I got when I was 10. I then purchased my first digital camera about 18 years ago, which of course did not have any add-on lenses and was only 756×504 (Kodak DC50), but I loved it and was forever hooked. Once the iPhone 4 launched, I felt the camera was good enough quality for a lens system. It was the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform that motivated me to evolve the olloclip concept into a reality.

Genesis

Creating and designing computer accessories for more than 20 years, and smart phone accessories for the past 13 years, I had always wanted to develop a product that melded my profession with my love of photography.

Reflection

I have to pinch myself on a daily basis and make sure this is real. I would not change a thing. We are having so much fun and love what we are doing and the impact we are having on our employees and customers lives.

Etc.

The coolest thing for me was finding out that one of my idols, Steve Wozniak, carries an olloclip with him everywhere he goes. That and traveling the world taking photos and documenting it as I go. The @olloclip Instagram feed is really my travel blog.

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