Aug. 18, 2022

The Easy Money Era is Over

Why entrepreneurs are turning to crowdfunding


The venture capital fundraising landscape is shifting, and entrepreneurs looking for fundraising avenues outside of venture might want to consider crowdfunding. Nora chats with Becky Center, the new CEO of Indiegogo, one of the OG crowdfunding platforms, which has hosted over 925,000 funding campaigns since its launch in 2008. They discuss the new opportunities Becky wants to make for the company, how Indiegogo has evolved, and how crowdfunding fits into the creator economy. For more info on our presenting sponsor, check out realvision.com/businesscasual

 

Host: Nora Ali

Producers: Bella Hutchins, Olivia Meade   

Video Editor: Sebastian Vega

Production, Mixing & Sound Design: Daniel Markus

Music: Daniel Markus & Breakmaster Cylinder

Fact Checker: Kate Brandt 

Senior Producer: Katherine Milsop

VP, Head of Multimedia: Sarah Singer 

 

Full transcripts for all Business Casual episodes available at https://businesscasual.fm

Transcript

Nora: For Morning Brew, this is Business Casual, bringing you conversations with people you know and some you may not know yet, to make business less intimidating. Because money talks, but it does not have to be dull. I'm your host, Nora Ali. Now let's get down to business.

The venture capital fundraising landscape is shifting. After over a decade of relatively easy money, startup founders are being forced to do more with less, with investors prioritizing efficiency over growth. Entrepreneurs looking for fundraising avenues outside of venture might want to consider crowdfunding, the method of posting a campaign online with a fundraising goal, and asking potential customers and fans to contribute, getting a perk from the company in return, whether it's a prototype, the product itself, or even a shout-out on the fundraising company's website.

One of the OG crowdfunding platforms is Indiegogo, which has hosted over 925,000 funding campaigns since its launch in 2008. Indiegogo's new CEO, Becky Center, stopped by to discuss the new opportunities and bold bets she wants to make for the company, and how crowdfunding fits into the creator economy. Becky shared advice for entrepreneurs looking to break into the industry, and talked about tools to heighten their chances of success.

A lot of the most successful campaigns, for example, use a marketing coach. There's a lot that goes into a campaign before it even launches, like building suspense, teasing what's coming, and building a story around your product that gets people invested in you and your success as a founder. Indiegogo has an admirable mission-driven backstory, that people should decide. The way to access finance capital and supporters should be based on merit and what you want to accomplish, versus your privileges in life and the access that you inherently have. And you might be surprised at what the people have decided is cool on Indiegogo. All that is next, after the break.

Well, Becky, it is so great to see you. I'm really excited to talk about Indiegogo with you, and also your journey as a relatively new CEO for the company. But before we dive in to Indiegogo and your story, I'd like to start with a little icebreaker, and it's for a segment we call Professional Pet Peeves. So if there is any commonly held professional courtesy, something we do at work, if you could wave a magic wand and get rid of it, what would it be? What is your professional pet peeve, Becky?

Becky: Wow. What a great question. I'm trying to think. I have one, but I don't know if it's quite in the spirit of courtesy, but it's...being a data person, I do have a pet peeve on, yeah, people not knowing their data, or kind of like what their metrics mean. That one's a little top of mind for me right now.

Nora: Oh, yes.

Becky: Let's see. You know what it is for me? It's the snarky emails. I don't think we need them. I don't like it. I just really prefer people to treat everyone with kind of respect and kindness. You can get to the point and get what you need without the 'tude, so I try to watch myself on that one as well because we all slip into it.

Nora: Watch the 'tude. I do agree on your data one, though. I think that's a really good one. I was a stats major so I feel you. I feel you 100%. Okay. Let's get into Indiegogo. To start, just explain Indiegogo and crowdfunding, at the most basic level. So what are you sort of paying as a supporter? What do you get? How long do you wait? What are the risks from both sides? Just start from scratch. What exactly is Indiegogo?

Becky: I'll actually start with the kind of brief founding anecdote, because, as you mentioned, I'm coming in new as CEO, but the company's been around since 2008, and we really pioneered this space of what everyone now knows as crowdfunding. So I think it's so fascinating. The original cofounders who are very much still on the board and we're in contact and very supportive and involved, but they just had this kind of view of the world that people who had access and maybe certain levels of privilege, they were seeing, they were able to get financing, just due to who they knew or where they were in life, and it kind of started out in film. And so they were seeing that filmmakers were able to get financing to tell their stories, and sometimes, those who don't have that access and privilege have the most interesting stories to tell, or unique perspectives, or something different.

So there's this very kind of beautiful mission-driven backstory that is like, the people should decide, and the way that you should be able to access financing and capital and support and supporters should really be based on your idea and your merit and what you're trying to accomplish, versus maybe like privileges in life. And so, that has evolved to what we now know as perk space crowdfunding. It's not just film. There are books. There are games. There's art. There's quite a bit of physical products. And actually, what has happened over time is physical products are probably the biggest category on our site. People who say hey, I've got something interesting that I want to build, and I'm looking for my kind of fans and my backers and my supporters. And so they'll come to Indiegogo with this idea. So if it's a film, it's a description of what their story's going to be, what they're trying to make, and usually, people are in different phases of the process. But usually, at this point, the idea's pretty well fleshed out and they're about ready to get going. And if it's a product, I've got a prototype or I'm pretty far along in my ideation. But again, that does vary.

Then they go out and they use Indiegogo as their outreach platform, and it allows these various entrepreneurs and they're able to use Indiegogo to create a landing page that tells their story, explains what they're trying to accomplish, and then it's perk-based fundraising. So what that means is if you're now on the other side, you're a backer, you're an enthusiast or a supporter, you're coming to our site and you're seeing these projects or campaigns, and what you can do is back a certain amount of money. So it might be, if it's a film, my sister-in-law is a filmmaker and she does this, so you might say I'm going to give $50 to help you towards your goal and in exchange, maybe I get my name in the titles. If it's a physical product, it's often that product, as it comes to be, when it comes to be, so you're not an owner. It is not equity-based. But you're giving money to support this idea, and in exchange, the entrepreneur is kind of promising you something. And so, that's the basic construct of where we're at, and of course, there's all the details to it.

Nora: So much to get to. And Becky, since you brought up this idea of equity crowdfunding, there are relatively recent new rules from the SEC that allows private companies to raise more money via equity crowdfunding, so regular people like me can invest in a company that's private and get a certain amount of equity in it. Is that something that Indiegogo has considered, or are you purely focused on the perk space model?

Becky: It's funny. I think one of the original visions was to get into that space, and it was just not possible, at the time, with legislation and what was required to be an accredited investor. At this point, like you said, there are a lot of other companies doing it. Right now, the way we see it is our entrepreneurs are kind of like our clients, can use us as almost their first step to show Proofpoint and show interest, get some real revenue, and then they can move on to, whether it be equity-based crowdfunding or traditional VC or a friend and family raise. We are seeing all sorts of people who use our site and then, maybe are able to then go to that with other platforms. And so, we've got other platforms that we're friendly with and that we see people go to, but right now it's not my primary focus.

Nora: To that end, there are so many options now for founders, for people who are just trying to sell a product. As you mentioned, Indiegogo was founded in 2008, and it feels like even just anecdotally, we heard more about crowdfunding campaigns in the 2010s. It was a very popular route for founders to go. Since then, startups maybe have turned more to these more traditional investments. VC money has been relatively easy until maybe recently. What would you say is a state of crowdfunding right now? Is it still a very popular option for entrepreneurs?

Becky: It absolutely is. I think you're right. We did hear more about it when it was new and kind of different and maybe buzzwordy, but we're still seeing quite a bit. I would say, again, what's interesting is most of our projects would potentially not be great candidates for VC at the time that they're with us. So it's complementary more than competitive, and what I mean by that is the dollar amount you're raising. You might only be raising a few thousand dollars. You might be raising $100,000. That's quite common, and then the scale that you're trying to get to...and so, I always kind of say, typically, like if you watch Shark Tank, sometimes you'll see them say hey, I love what you're doing. I think what you're doing is great. It's not investible for me because I don't think it's got the growth trajectory that like I would need, but you should keep doing it and it's a lifestyle business and you can support yourself and have a great business. I think that's a great framing. I love that. I think we all love that show.

But there's just all different kinds of businesses and the size and the scale and the growth potential, there's like a space for all of it. And so that's what we see. We do have the bulk of campaigns and people coming to us. The amount they're raising, it's just the most absolute user-friendly, quickest way, and then you've got the kind of amazing and beautiful benefit of your funding. But you're also building your audience space at the same time. And so I think that's what's really interesting and unique about crowdfunding is you're not just finding capital, but you're finding your supporters, your early adopters, your people who are going to post about you on social media, and they're going to continue to be your customers as you grow and that's just a really big value prop as well.

Nora: I have so many follow-ups, Becky. But we're going to take a very quick break. More with Becky when we come back.

So you mentioned that sometimes, because of the amount that needs to be raised, that would make crowdfunding more appealing for an entrepreneur versus the VC route, for example. You and I also talked about some of the categories and types of companies that tend to thrive on Indiegogo. I think you mentioned niche tabletop games. There's lots of coffee enthusiasts, for some reason, on Indiegogo. So what are some of those interesting categories that have really thrived on Indiegogo so far?

Becky: I mean you hit on one, the coffee. I affectionately say the coffee snobs or the coffee enthusiasts. We just see such interesting things with grinders and all sorts of cool things around coffee. I love that. We've also got a huge, huge following of environmentally conscious backers. So e-bikes just took off, especially early Covid, kind of like e-bikes and e-scooters and this idea of environmentally friendly transportation.

We've also had home composters, really interesting sustainable products has been huge. There's just like all of these interesting kind of niche trends that we see take off, and that's actually one thing that I'm looking forward to building some, maybe more content and things around those, so that those fans can kind of like find their spot.

Nora: And it's something that the big corporations, I think you also said this to me, might not even understand. It's like you're a big VC firm. You don't know about these little niche pathways within the coffee enthusiasts industry. Right? It's like we want to find those people who very specifically know what you're going for.

Becky: Yeah. No. It's an interesting comparison is like people talk about the macro influencers and the micro influencers, and how there are people who have just this huge, huge following and it's kind of broad. And now, like in marketing, the tides are changing a little to find your micro influencers who have a smaller following but they're really dedicated and they really believe in you and what you're doing. I don't know. That's just how I think about it.

I'd say another category is just video game accessories. Again, like niche. If you are just super into it and you want the best headset, maybe that's not a huge, huge market on paper, but the enthusiasts want to support it and they want to see these things happen and they're passionate, so it's kind of a cool, special thing there.

Nora: Totally. Yeah. Since you brought up the macro and micro influencers, I know part of your goal, as the CEO of Indiegogo, is to take these bolder bets and focus on categories like the creator economy, where these creators, they have their followings. They're trying to create and sell products to their built-in audience. So what does that look like for you, in really trying to rejuvenate that category for creators on Indiegogo?

Becky: So the biggest thing is crowdfunding allows you as an entrepreneur/creator to tell your story and to be authentic, and authenticity is one of our core values as a company. I think it's one of the core values of the industry. We're always saying crowdfunding is not shopping. It's not e-commerce. And there's a lot of things that make that the case. But one of the things that's really special is this story behind who it is and the journey they're going through, and people kind of post their struggles and what they learned, and that content and that authenticity of how hard it is to be an entrepreneur and what people go through, that's what resonates with your backers.

And so I think what's cool, and we spoke about this is, as we're now seeing in the greater society, this interest in like supporting your...like the creator economy to me is basically people saying, hey, I love what you're doing. You're largely doing it for free because you're writing interesting things or whatever it might be. I'm going to pay you to help support you so that you can make this your job and you can continue doing it, and I think it's really similar for us. It's like we all want to see innovation out there. We all want to see the independent people succeed and take risks and just do really cool things and so we want to support. So yeah. Just bringing some inspiration from what we're seeing in the creator economy to our entrepreneurs and saying hey, put your content out there. Put your story out there. Sometimes people are scared to say "This was harder than I thought. Materials cost more than I thought. Supply chain has slowed down more than I thought." Right? Don't be scared to say it. Be open, because that kind of vulnerability and transparency resonates, and that's something that we're learning, we're seeing in the past few years.

Nora: Yeah, and I think that kind of vulnerability probably works better with crowdfunding than going to a VC's office where they're looking for high growth, high growth, how confident are you in the success of this company, versus being very transparent of, "These are the struggles. We need to pay for this. Please help a gal out." But in addition to that sort of authenticity and storytelling that's important for these people on Indiegogo, what are some of the characteristics of the most successful campaigns that you've noticed over time? What do some of the most successful startups raising money on Indiegogo have in common?

Becky: What they're doing varies so, so, so much. I mean, it's like all over the map, and sometimes it's so interesting what really takes off and resonates. I think the biggest thing that sets you best up for success is a lot of prep work. So it takes hardly any time at all to set up a campaign. You can self-serve. You can do it quite quickly, but the prep work takes a long time. You have to work on your story. You have to make sure you're explaining it while you have so much...I mean it is really putting together a business model or a creative plan and storytelling. You're gathering up your audience. There's just a lot of teasing that goes out there ahead of time, because part of what makes crowdfunding successful is that it's time-bound, and so you really want to go out day one and hit this big wave, and you want to have like enthusiasts and loyalists ahead of time that you've been like, it's coming, it's coming, it's coming, so that you can have a launch. So just being mindful of that work that goes into it. A lot of successful campaigns do use a marketing agency or crowdfunding coach that helps them through. That's probably a surprising thing to me that I wouldn't have expected. Again, these are for people really looking to raise on the high end. People go out to their family and friends first, just as you would for anything, and ask them to be your supporters, to post on social, to back right away day one, so you start to gain momentum. Things like that. But then, also, the people who follow through the most are the ones who continue on after the campaign to be the most successful.

Nora: Is there a particular type of campaign who uses these coaches? Is there anything in common with the ones who maybe would benefit from either a coach or a marketing agency? You mentioned it's maybe for some of the larger campaigns.

Becky: Actually, I see it in all the different categories or verticals. You might choose a different agency or type of coach who has really like worked in this before, or sometimes it's just someone who had a really successful campaign on their own and now they're paying it forward, or they're making a small side business out of helping others, so I actually see it across everything. I mean, you've got big tech products. You've got film. I mean, there's definitely coaches helping to say hey, you're trying to get to $30k, $40k to really hire actors and get equipment and produce a film. There's people who help with strategy there. Books, for sure. That's like an interesting one, and there's just like different strategies. So I think finding what looks like something you're trying to do and what has worked for them. And our team—I'll just do a quick plug, we have a team of campaign strategists. That's partly what sets us apart from others in the space, is that we're pretty hands-on and we're pretty helpful and we help our entrepreneurs make sure that they're ready to go and kind of provide services and advice and things to kind of help them out as well.

Nora: So a lot of legwork goes into it before launch day, and I like this notion of building the suspense. We see that a lot on social media. It's like, I have a big announcement coming up. I'm dropping something soon. So that translates as well into these campaigns. Another very quick break. More with Becky when we come back.

Becky, let's get into your story a little bit more. So you're a relatively new CEO for Indiegogo.

Becky: Absolutely.

Nora: You started in April. An exciting time, probably also a stressful time. When you start at a company as their new leader, their new chief executive, how do you determine what your first few months looks like? How do you plan it out? How do you figure out who you need to meet, what you need to do, what goals you need to set? Just take me back to when you first started and how you start to plan it out.

Becky: I did a pretty structured plan, as you can imagine. I spoke with several other CEOs ahead of starting. I read some books, read some articles. I did kind of the scrappy old-fashioned research and I put a 30, 60, 90-day plan together. And what that looked like was what is commonly called a listening tour, which means I spoke one-on-one with probably 20, 25 people in the first two or three weeks from my team. I spent full, half-day sessions with each of my direct reports, just getting to know them and trying to understand their areas and what they worked on. I read all of our old board memos. I looked through the data. I sat on some sales calls, spoke with some clients, read through user research. So I really just tried to get myself as caught up to speed on the industry and the business as possible.

And then, at some point that shifted into, hey, I need to take a crack at what do I want to change here? What is my strategy and my vision? I did a couple days of an off-site with my executive team, and worked through looking at our mission and our priorities for the year, thinking about the user value props on both sides and what they are today and what we want them to be. Just basically trying to systematically structure what we should focus on. There were a few things that, you know, I pivoted or made some changes, and then the third phase of that was more on operations. So how do I want to structure like weekly or cadence of business review meetings? How do I want to structure some of the team like fun time meetings? How do I want reporting to look? And so I kind of had framework of all the things I wanted to do. And I would say I was like pretty successful. And then, there's a few things that just linger and I'm still...you know, you do your best and then a few months later you're like, I really didn't understand that. I didn't understand that fully at the time, and I just like give myself grace and make a change.

Nora: I want to know what these fun time meetings look like. I think that's something a lot of leaders are trying to figure out now, especially in this hybrid remote phase that we're in. How do you create camaraderie and nice social interactions at work?

Becky: Yeah. It's so hard. We're fully 100% remote, which I think is amazing, but it's hard. What we do, and most of this was in place before, but it was kind of like me putting my spin on it. So every Monday, we have an all-team Monday morning meeting, and it's kind of like, get people a little pumped up and talk about the week and talk about things going on, and I think that just like can grow a little stale. Like you're doing the same. You're just like showing up. Things like that, I'm like no. We have to be very intentional. We want these to be valuable. We want them to be interesting, and people to like kind of show up and get ready. That transition from weekend to work is hard when you're just still in your house. So like that, Slack channels. Every other week we do a Friday fun and demo where people demo things they've been working on and play some games. So we really try to keep like the camaraderie, but it's quite hard. And so another thing is making sure we have budget for getting together in person and prioritizing team bonding things. That's, to me, the hardest part of being remote is the difficulty in the socializing. I just was a big proponent with former teams of like, hey, every other month we were just going to do a whole half-day and go bowling and have burgers and beer or whatever, and like that stuff just matters. People have fun and then it's easier to work together and you end up talking and getting through some things, so that's the hardest part. So we're trying to be intentional, but yeah. It is hard.

Nora: Yeah. Yeah. Nothing burgers and bowling can't fix, at least temporarily. That sounds nice.

Becky: The socializing matters.

Nora: It makes a huge difference. Even at Morning Brew, we had a recent get together in the summer, and it was the first time a lot of people met each other in-person and just the vibes are different. The next day, when you get back on Zoom, it's like oh, I feel like I actually know you instead of just your Zoom face, so I respect that.

So you did spend time as VP of HealthJoy. That's a healthcare app. Also eight years at Groupon. And when you and I were talking before, you said Groupon is sort of like crowdfunding. There was a lot of learnings there to apply to Indiegogo, so talk to me about how your past experiences helped inform your path forward and your plans at Indiegogo.

Becky: Absolutely. I always say this opportunity to lead Indiegogo and join this was so beautifully meant to be for me, because it really is the combination of so many things that I've worked on and learned in the past. I think we talked about this a little bit, but in my career, I just have always kind of like taken the next interesting thing and figured as long as I'm learning and challenged and having fun and accomplishing, there's so much that can change as long as it's within that framework.

And so it was just really funny coming in, and as I went through the interview process and realizing, wow, Groupon started, you know, at a really similar time and you've got...At Groupon, we were trying to help small, medium businesses to get their audience, in a way, get their early supporters. There's just so much to the infrastructure of how this works and how hard it is when you're fragmented on both sides. I mean it was very hard at Groupon to reach all of these small, medium-sized businesses and have the variety on the site. We had hot dog stands next to fancy steakhouses next to nail salons next to skydiving. There's just like...But yeah. What drew it all together is the passion for local and the passion for supporting and it's just so similar at Indiegogo. When I say, oh, we've got your home composter next to a cool video game headset, it can feel random. But the thing that draws it together is the spirit of it, and the other thing is...I mean, Groupon doesn't get, I think, sometimes, the credit it deserves. It's just a really big, large public tech company that grew super fast that was able to attract incredible talent, and I was able to learn from so many people who are so well-accomplished and did amazing things prior and after. And so, I mean the experience working there was phenomenal.

Nora: Yeah. I mean you have incredible experience. It's a big role to be the CEO of a company like Indiegogo. Where do you draw your confidence from at the end of the day? Where does Becky Center go to? When you're feeling down, you're feeling maybe a little imposter syndrome, where do you get your confidence?

Becky: That's really hard. I try to be very open about that. The imposter syndrome is so true. It's so hard. It takes a lifetime of working on it to overcome. Every kind of step along the way feels a little out of body. Yeah. I think right before, like even going through the interview process, I was like, "This is amazing. I love it. I'm having so much fun. I'm never really going to get the job." And then I got it and I was like, amazing. But then I was like, oh my god. I have to do it now. What am I going to do? How is this going to be? And then I thought back and it's true. It's just like you kind of have that feeling of, what?! I sometimes think back—I'll just take a quick segue. I went and got my master's at Stanford and I just remember being in the orientation. It was before I'd heard of the concept of imposter syndrome, and I remember someone getting up and saying hey, everyone who's sitting here feels like they tricked the admissions committee. You all think that somehow you tricked your way into here and you don't belong, and you're looking around. I was like, I do feel that. How did they know? Like, I do feel that way

Nora: Yeah. We're all feeling like it.

Becky: We do, and it's so hard and it can be...I mean, it's lifelong, but it's also fleeting. It's good to remember, oh, I felt that way before, and the only way to get through it is to get through it. And so I kind of looked back and I'm like oh, I felt that same way when I started Stanford. I felt the same way coming into this role. And now I'm four or five months in and, not to say I got it covered because it's still really hard and I'm still learning a lot, but the imposter syndrome is settling and I'm like wow. I actually have been able to apply a lot of things I've learned and done before, and can bring a lot of that value and can see myself in this role. Yeah. I guess like the question who do I draw strength, I mean a lot of times it's my family, my partner and my friends and also having a network of other...you know, right before I took this role, I met a couple of other female CEOs and they were so incredibly supportive and they were just like, you can do this. I've got your back. You reach out anytime. and they have stood by that. Like I text them, hardly know each other, never met in-person, and I text them and they are there for me like immediately.

Nora: That's awesome.

Becky: So that's really lovely.

Nora: That's so important, and it's also just a sign of growth, is getting jobs where you never thought you could get that job. I've experienced that. I've switched careers a lot. I'm like, I went on this interview. That was fun. I'll never get the job. And then you end up getting it. So that's a sign that you're doing the right thing and you're pushing yourself. So I love hearing that, Becky.

Okay. Now it is our time for mandatory fun times. Just like you guys do at Indiegogo, we're going to have a little bit of fun. So before we let you go, we have a little segment called Shoot Your Shot. So I want to know, what is your moonshot idea? This is your wildest ambition, your biggest dream. It could be personal, work-related. It is your chance now, Becky Center, to shoot your shot. Go for it.

Becky: I have a business I would like to create at some point, when I have the time, and it is not a big tech company. But I love to do art and in all my spare time, which is very, very little these days, I love to paint and create, and I find a lot of fulfillment and enjoyment out of that. And so, I actually had a girlfriend who asked me, I think this was last summer already, if I would come over to her house. I have a big painting in my home that I did. I was like, I have a vision of what I want on this wall and I can't afford it, so I said I'm going to paint it myself. And so she was like, can you do something like that for me, for my house? And I'd love it if you could actually involve the kids. And so I was like, send me some pictures of art you like. Just Google it and I will figure it out. I will buy all the supplies and I'll come over and we'll do it with the kids and me and we'll all do it together. And we did it and she has it up in her house. It's just this like lovely art that can be in your home forever that you know your kids helped make. You've got pictures. So that is...when I am someday able to take a little bit of a break, that's my business I will build out.

Nora: That's your business. Incorporates a family for very personalized artwork. That's amazing. I love that.

Becky: Yeah. And I feel like there could be like, oh, it's your parents' 50th anniversary. The whole family spends the day together like making this painting or something.

Nora: That's awesome. That's awesome. Okay. It is our last segment now, Becky, and it's a game and we like to call it Two Beats and a Miss. That's just our business way of saying two truths and a lie. So yeah. I'm going to name you three companies. Two of them are real companies that have raised funds on Indiegogo, and one of them is fake. So you have to let me know. And obviously we know you, as the CEO of Indiegogo, are not meant to keep track of every single human being who has raised any funds on Indiegogo, so this is just for fun. If you get it wrong, who cares? Okay. So I'm going to read you the three things. The first one is called Bake On: The Gourmet Baking Kit. The tagline, "Ever watch Great British Bake Off and wish you could make what their baking?" That's the first one.

Becky: I mean, I would back that one. Yeah.

Nora: Okay. Okay. The second one is Ritot, the first projection watch, and the tagline is "Inspired by future technologies, we wanted to create a completely different original time piece."

And the third one is called Musik Mask. Wear your own soundtrack on your face. The tagline: Why listen with headphones when you can blast your personalized playlist through your face mask? Okay. So Bake On, Ritot, Musik Mask and that's Music Mask with a K: Music Mask. Which one is fake, Becky?

Becky: I mean they all sound like winners. I'm going to say the watch is the fake one.

Nora: Interesting. Unfortunately, it's real. And in fact, Becky, it raised 2,800% of their goal. So they raised $1.4 million out of their $50,000 goal. So it's a watch that projects the time onto your hand. I guess that's interesting.

Becky: That's interesting. That's super cool. Yeah.

Nora: Do you want to guess between Bake On and Musik Mask?

Becky: Not if I'm not going to get it right. I think the mask one sounds more silly, but I also feel like that one seems very potentially real. I'm going to guess that the baking one is the fake one.

Nora: Oh my gosh. No. It's real. It's real. So they...

Becky: Well, I think they all sound great. I would back all of those ideas.

Nora: That's great, Becky. Just spend all those dollars on fake companies. Okay. So the Bake On raised only 20% of their $50,000 goal.

Becky: Okay.

Nora: So not quite a success. So Musik Mask is fake. I made that up last night at 10pm.

Becky: Good job. You should do it. You should totally. Okay. I don't know, I'm just going to reveal, it's something so embarrassing, but I'm totally one of those people who wears an eye mask to sleep because I don't want any sun interrupting my sleep. I think, why not good music? I don't know. Let's do it.

Nora: You're right. I was envisioning like a mask, a lower-half of your face kind of mask, not an eye mask, but I like your idea better of like put on like a calming little spa tunes...

Becky: Oh. You were thinking of like a Covid mask.

Nora: Totally. Yeah. But I like your idea much better.

Becky: Yeah.

Nora: Becky, maybe we need to start a business.

Becky: I think sensory deprivation, no sight, just sound, the way music was meant to be.

Nora: Oh my gosh.

Becky: I don't know.

Nora: I love it. That was so much fun. I'm so glad I bamboozled you because I was like oh, this is going to be so obvious, but I'm proud of myself. Awesome.

Becky: Surprise.

Nora: There's some weird stuff on there, I'm sure.

Becky: That's the beauty of it. You know if enough people like it, it doesn't have to be for everyone.

Nora: Yeah. Exactly. Just find your fans. They exist somewhere. All right. On that note, Becky, this has been so much fun. Thank you so much for playing along with us and for being on Business Casual. We appreciate it.

Becky: Thank you for having me. It's been great. Thank you so much.

Nora: This is Business Casual and I'm Nora Ali. You can follow me on Twitter @NoraKAli and I would love to hear from you. If you have ideas for episodes, comments, thoughts on episodes you loved, even fun segment ideas, feel free to shoot via DM and I will do my very best to respond. You can also reach the BC team by emailing businesscasual@morningbrew.com, or call us. The number is (862) 295-1135. And if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to Business Casual on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, wherever you listen. And if you like the show, please leave us a rating and a review. It really, really helps us.

Business Casual is produced by Katherine Milsop and Bella Hutchins, with special production help on this episode from Olivia Mead. Additional production sound design and mixing by Daniel Markus. Kate Brandt is our fact checker. Sarah Singer is our VP of multimedia. Music in this episode from Daniel Markus and The Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder. Thanks for listening to Business Casual. I'm Nora Ali. Keep it business, and keep it casual.