When we launched IgnitionDeck beta two years ago, we were the only WordPress crowdfunding plugin in the market. Crowdfunding was still in its infancy, but we had a very clear vision. We wanted to build a product that would enable entrepreneurs (like us), to raise money without having to follow a set of guidelines that may or may not be in their best interest.
And while many of our early customers had great success doing exactly that, it didn’t take long before we started receiving requests for a different kind of product, one in which entrepreneurs could build their own crowdfunding platform, ala Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and later, more niche platforms like Watsi and Teespring.
Sure, we may have offered some resistance initially, often for very valid reasons, but after having the opportunity to dig deeper into the problem, we relented in part, realizing that crowdfunding platforms could offer opportunity not provided elsewhere. A force multiplier if you will.
Shortly thereafter, we released the free Theme 500 crowdfunding framework for WordPress, which has served as a great entry point for parties interested in building crowdfunding platforms and is already being used by notable entrepreneurs on both a solo and platform basis.
But still, it wasn’t enough. The bulk of our crowdfunding consulting and support requests came from an audience that felt they were still being ignored. They required more advanced tools to support their cause of building white label crowdfunding platforms.
So we got to work.
The Pain Points
We spent the last few months listening, asking questions, and having internal discussions about how we could make this tool that so many were requesting. To be clear, we knew ‘how’ to build it, but we wanted to find an approach that would not increase the price so as to put crowdfunding out of reach for musicians (1, 2, 3), indie developers, and nonprofits.
In addition, while the needs of our two customer groups were similar in nature, the means of achieving them are completely different. We want the tools we build to be perfectly suited for the job they need to do.
Based on discussions with customers, clients, and potential customers, we determined that a solid white label crowdfunding platform required the following elements:
- A front-end display for multiple projects
- A way for users to create and submit projects for approval
- A way for administrators to manage users across multiple campaigns
- Analytics for both the administrator and project creators
- A way for the administrator to sustain the platform, such as a processing fee
- A mechanism for integrating with non-profit payment systems
- A way to deliver rewards
- Compatibility with WordPress multisite network activation
Clearly, this was a vastly different product than the current IgnitionDeck offering, and one that needed to be treated as such. So we came to the conclusion that we could not combine the two products without making serious sacrifices to both products; a course we would not accept.
Thus, IgnitionDeck Enterprise was born.
We were already working on a WordPress membership plugin called MemberDeck, knowing that at some point, it would painlessly integrate with IgnitionDeck. So we had the membership part figured out.
We’d also been working with a client to develop a Stripe Connect integration for IgnitionDeck, which would help us solve the problem of platform sustainability.
By this time, we’ve had numerous requests for First Giving integration, which solved the non-profit payment system problem.
That left front-end submission and multisite compatibility, two of the most sought after features to date. While the task of supporting front-end submission and multisite compatibility are not simple, they had been made simpler as a result of MemberDeck.
Voila! Things were finally starting to come together.
The IgnitionDeck Enterprise 1.0 Release
Unlike our initial IgnitionDeck launch, we don’t have 18 months to iterate in a beta cycle, so we want to make sure that IgnitionDeck Enterprise is stable from day 1. As such, we’re setting the bounds early so that we can get it released as soon as possible. Here’s an early look at the initial offering (for a updated rundown of where IgnitionDeck Enterprise is currently at in it’s cycle, please go here) :
- Network activated multisite compatibility (90% complete)
- Stripe Connect integration (60% complete)
- MemberDeck integration (90% complete, still kinds to work out on pre-orders and pre-approvals)
- First Giving integration (5% complete)
- Front-end submission (5% complete)
- Basic platform analytics (5% complete)
As you can see, there’s still plenty of work to do, which is why we need your help.
How You Can Help
Just last week, we launched a new campaign to accept pre-orders for IgnitionDeck Enterprise, among many other potential products. If this product is something you’re interested in, we ask that you pre-order now to lock in your license at a 30% discount. In doing so, you’ll be one of the first to get your hands on this exclusive software, and you’ll have the thanks of the community that has waited so long to see this happen.
Why ask for pre-orders instead of just building it? There are two reasons for that:
1. We don’t have the resources available to build this product while maintaining our pace with the core IgnitionDeck product.
2. We’re asking you to show us that this is something you really want before we dedicate the time and resources into building it. In the event that funding fails, we’ll know that it isn’t something truly sought by the community.
Oh, and we also strongly believe in ‘dogfooding’ our own products, which is why we’re using IgnitionDeck + MemberDeck to create this campaign.
If IgnitionDeck Enterprise isn’t for you, but you think it’s neat, then please share it with as many people as you can. And of course, if you have any questions about the product or story behind it, feel free to leave a comment below. We’ll do our best to answer them as quickly as possible.
Thanks for all of your support. We wouldn’t be here without you.