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Painting Tutorials

How-to watercolor and sketching tutorials demonstrating tips, tricks and techniques used in the Procreate app, using Apple Pencil and iPad Pro. Also, thoughts about life and architecture in NYC and the Berkshires, MA

How To Create A Kickstarter Video To Explain Your Startup

Kickstarter is all the rage, but don't bother to apply for crowdfunding on the site until you have created a video that explains your idea in a brief engaging way. How do you do that? Well, I recently found at least one satisfying answer to that question in the form of a video made by my favorite illustrator (and frequent contributor to the New York Times), Christoph Niemann.

As the story goes, Niemann was in his car en route to picking up his young daughter at a party when he randomly caught the last few minutes of a Terry Gross interview with Maurice Sendak (click link below). He was so moved by the segment that he went home and created a brief video that honors the friendship between Sendak and Gross, and communicates the ineffable in a timeless way. It's one of the simplest, most powerful videos you'll ever see. So with your kind permission, and with a sincere request for your comments following the post, here is the storyboard for the video planned for the Main and Me Kickstarter application, inspired by Christoph, Terry, but mostly Maurice.



(Look and feel similar to Maurice Sendak video:!)

(Cue the music, but not necessarily Chopin)

"The internet changes the way we shop.


It delivers a world of infinite convenience and selection to our fingertips...


 ...but it doesn’t deliver the whole world. In fact, there is a world of remarkable products and services that still remains invisible to online shoppers: Main Street!

That’s right, despite all our advances in technology, online shoppers still can’t see what’s for sale in the brick and mortar stores around them... even shoppers who would go out of their way to support local tend to default to Amazon and other sites when they shop online.


Or at least they did until now. Introducing Main and Me,


Main and Me is the mobile and web app that solves the problem of making what's for sale on Main Street visible to online shoppers, by making it as simple as snap...


and “check in”...

for resource-challenged merchants and downtown directors to begin putting their individual stores--and their entire downtowns--online in a day.

Once a Main Street store is online, the Main and Me shopper experience consists of three kinds of pages:

Store Pages, featuring galleries of the products and services uploaded from each business...

Community Pages, featuring all the store pages uploaded from your city, town or neighborhood (making shopping your town online a little bit like walking down Main Street itself)...

and Shopper Pages, featuring the local goods and services that shoppers share in the galleries and wishlists of favorite things they exchange with friends. (And when your friends and family share their wishlists, they get what they want, and you get to be a local hero and help stamp out re-gifting!)

That’s Main and Me in a nutshell. The basic service is free for life, so shopkeepers can check in as many photos of their inventory as they wish--and keep updating their inventory for free--forever. Or shopkeepers and downtown managers can subscribe for a modest monthly fee and add powerful features to their free store and community pages, like a customizable feature panel they can use to announce sales and events...

...or ecommerce capability, so they can start accepting credit cards and actually sell stuff online! 

But the main thing is, now online shoppers can discover what’s for sale in the brick and mortar stores around them, without having to default to the non-local sites that have made things tough on Main Street.

Main and Me. What's for sale in the brick and mortar stores around you.

(Author James Akers [that's me] is an entrepreneur, co-founder of Main and Me, storyboard artist and architectural illustrator who invites you to enjoy all the posts on this site and make comments so he can make stuff even better. Thanks!)