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Springfield, MO

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Startup Corner: Jesse Tyler and Giancarlo Ospina

Springfield's startup community is here. Take the pulse.

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Minimally viable product …
Biblical scripture in pocket-size books formatted like a novel.

Problem solving …
According to Barna Group, 58 percent of adults in America want to read the Bible more. Traditional Bibles are daunting and difficult to carry on the go, and reading on a phone is distracting. We don’t want to be the most luxurious Bible; we want to be the Bible people are most likely to read.

Seed money …
We spent a little less than $5,000 leading up to our Kickstarter campaign. [Editor’s note: At press time, the campaign to publish the four gospels had raised $21,900, nearly double the goal. It ends Nov. 28.]

Hurdles overcome …
Some challenges thus far have been finding a printer we could trust with our vision, securing the translation and making decisions on how to format the text. All of this (happened) while trying to sustain ourselves through other work.

Next phase …
We’d like to print the entire Bible in pocket-sized volumes. We have our eyes set on the rest of the New Testament and the wisdom writings, or poetry books of the Bible: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.

Pivot …
We wanted to use a soft linen cover that would have been beautiful. This added a tremendous additional cost, though. We decided that our primary value was the format, not premium materials. Now we can achieve extremely low costs with scale, making our books perfect for large-scale distribution for churches and nonprofits.

Biggest mistake …
We spent way too many hours doing a bad job of proofreading and changing the text to our unique format for samples. We’re leaving that to professionals for the production run.

Best advice …
Industrial designer Dieter Rams said, “Good design is as little design as possible.”

Food for thought …
We believe in being honest and generous and putting people before profit. We’ve believed in this for a while, but I think publishing the Bible keeps us honest.

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