Lessons learned while creating a new outdoor fishing game. CastAway

Lessons learned while creating a new outdoor fishing game. CastAway

If you're reading this it means you have some interest in CastAway outdoor game. I wanted to fill you in a bit more of the background story and the ups and downs that have come as a result of this idea and some lessons I've learned along the way.

It all started with a flash of inspiration and an idea in the summer of 2018. Little did I know at that time that this random idea of a game would set me on path that a couple years later would have me working with patent attorneys, industrial engineers, old high school friends and radio hosts. Hopefully today is just the beginning!


When the idea popped into my mind I had NO IDEA where to even begin. I had no experience with anything related to creating a product and the path from this vision of a family outdoor game in my mind to the reality of physical, tangible product seemed daunting. Nonetheless, I started talking to friends and family and jotted down some prototype designs on an old artboard I had from a college art class. See below- I'm amazed at how the design evolved and improved.

At this early stage I was hitting a wall of inaction created by not knowing what my next move should be. In a serendipitous moment of blind luck I crossed paths with my now friend Brennan who at the time was the GM of a small company that helps develop ideas and get them market. Brennan is what I would consider a "guru" in making an idea a reality an I couldn't believe the luck of it!

Long story short- Brennan gave me some excellent advice and actionable next steps that were exactly what I needed at that time. He also introduced me to another new friend, Jonny, who is now the lead (and only) engineer of CastAway, and a huge part of the progress we've made.

I committed early to see this idea to it's end, whether that end was that we'd move down a path and find out it's not viable for any of the variety of reasons that many products never make it past an idea stage, or we would make a game and try launch a new biz with a goal of enrching people's lives through connection over a fun new casting game.

Either way, I was going to see it through. Below are some images of the very first prototype of CastAway kids fishing game, it was created after some very important biz meetings with my local Joanne's fabric store. :D

Now I went to work on getting a provisional patent filed- which was a whole new world that I learned about along the way. (took forever and a bunch of effort)

Next was contacting factories and trying to explain what the hell we needed them to make for us in large quantities, and having them produce a prototype of what the final game may look like, again all new territory for me. The very first prototype version was inspected by US customs and cut up beyond repair after their inspection! (took forever and a bunch of effort)

Next was creating video and images to share this new idea with the world and trying to launch a Kickstarter campaign. Another new frontier I had no experience with. The campaign failed to reach our funding goal but it was an excellent learning experience. (took forever and a bunch of effort)

Next was working with multiple factories to get quality high and price down- 4 prototypes later we're finally at the end of that journey as of 11/2020. (took forever and a bunch of effort)

Next was developing a direct to consumer website to introduce the product and allow purchases. (took forever and a bunch of effor)

Next was trying to learn more about digital marketing and getting the right people to see your product and try to explain how it will make their lives better. (have a ton to still learn here)

You get the point by now, this idea of a casting game has taken me in so many different directions over the past two years and taken up a massive amount of my time and caused me major frustration. It might sound like I'm complaining, but the truth is I'm far from complaining about it. All the effort, frustration and time spent learning new things has been a rewarding journey so far. One surprising outcome is that all this extra effort has given me more energy and hope for the rest of the areas in my life. The struggle is where the reward has been, our journey is just beginning and I'm looking forward to up and downs we have ahead of us.

In closing, the lesson that's so clear to me now, is that massive action is needed to accomplish anything meaningful in life. If you have something you've always wanted to do, whether it's entrepreneurship, traveling somewhere new, joining a new club or starting a new hobby... don't wait!!!

Realizing meaningful goals often takes much more time and effort than first anticipated and the first step in the journey is the most important. You don't need to know all the steps along path to your destination, just a vision of where you want to go, then take the first step and let the path unfold before you. At some point, you may realize the journey is the valuable part and that both the ups AND DOWNs are where all the good stuff is.


Thanks for reading and I'd love to hear your thoughts or examples of these lessons in your own experiences! Comment below!





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