Mark Jeffery bests a self-destructing robot, delivers a physical product for the first (and last) time

Shipped after two grueling years. @markjeffery of goodwoodglobes went the crowdfunding route to fund and validate his product. He's not alone. The global crowdfunding market is expected to triple by 2025. And it's easier than ever to secure a significant amount of funding now that the SEC raised the offering limit to $5 million in November.

It was a struggle for Mark, but after years of sleepless nights and self-destructing robots, he was finally able to deliver his crowd-funded physical products. Here's why he's going back to software:

Two years back, I decided to make a physical product. I launched it with a crowdfunding campaign, taking customers' money without even knowing for sure that I could make it. And I promised to deliver it within a year.

I'm used to software. I know how to estimate how long a project will take. You just take a guess and double it, right? As it turned out, I should have done that.

The issues that were out of my control were the most stressful. Like the wood-carving robot that took months to arrive, and then decided to self-destruct.

In the end, I managed to deliver the three-dimensional maps and 6-inch globes to my crowdfunding backers within a year. But not the more time-consuming 9-inch globes.

I got burned out. Adding a stressful side-hustle to a stressful day job and a stressful night job had left me exhausted.

The solution was simple. I had to slow down. But making that decision was hard. I left it until I knew that there was no way I could meet my delivery deadline, even if I worked all day and all night, every day and every night.

At that point, I let my crowdfunding backers know that the remaining globes would be late. Very late. I felt terrible. But because I'd been communicating with them so regularly and openly, I'd built up enough trust that I received nothing but encouragement in response.

Two years after my crowdfunding campaign, I just delivered my first 9-inch globe, and the rest are almost ready to ship. I don't regret taking on a physical product. There's something special about physically holding something that I made myself. But for my next project, I'll be going back to software.

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