Lessons To Learn: Startup Raised $1.4 Mn For Makeover of Bible


Holy books have always been standard, religious books containing sacred texts of various religions. It is possible that one has never found a holy book undergoing makeover. But, for a certain 29-year old, the holy book of Bible requires a contemporary transformation.

Adam Lewis Greene, a book designer from California has raised, more than $1.4 million from 14,884 backers via his ambitious Kickstarter project to refashion Bible. The project, aptly named Bibliotheca, is the collection of biblical literature divided into four volumes for an easy reading and understanding of this sacred text. In a comprehensive interview with biblegateway.com, Greene revealed some of the changes that he will integrate in his project to make Bible more attractive and less exhaustive. The text will be in soft typographic style without any verse numbers, chapter numbers, section headers, references or notes. The idea is to lessen confusion to enhance the experience of reading.”The approach to the design is restraint”, he confesses.

“The approach to the design is restraint”, he confesses.

The project was launched in 2014 with a desire to raise $37,500 to produce five hundred books. However, he ended up collecting over $1.4 million from 14,884 backers. The idea gained steam when, the project received over 100 backers and more than $9000 in less than 9 hours. Soon, in less than 24 hours, 22 hours to be precise, the project had raised more than $25000 and had reached on 25th spot for the most popular project on Kickstarter. The initial goal of $37000 was achieved in less than 27 hours. Such a massive response ensured success and aroused excitement for the volumes. The first book will be launched in spring 2016, much to the rejoice of his backers, who were initially upset with the delay of the project.

What’s more do you ask? As per the promise made to simplify Bible, Greene and his team are devoted to translating the language in a way that it is more regulated for this century and the thick paper that the book will be printed on, will be supplied by four centuries old Australian mill.

During another interview with Inc.com, Greene admits the various responses that he received. This distinct idea raised eyebrows from both, literary and religious academia.

In his defense, he explains, “In the Isaiah Scroll, one of the oldest versions of the Hebrew bible, we see the greatest inspiration for the page layout of Bibliotheca and there is just writing—no distractions. When something goes viral, everyone responds to it and I’ve gotten every kind of response that you can possibly imagine, from overwhelmingly positive to people who think I am the spawn of Satan.”

Lessons to learn

A rare project like his, which is very sentimental to masses, in essence, is a dare dream. From a deeply revered book to a classic book that readers want to enjoy and treasure, Bibilotheca had managed to exceed its donation goal. An overjoyed Greene, accepts the fact that his success of the project is not a bed of roses. This budding entrepreneur has many lessons to teach. Let’s see what he has to offer.

  • Time management– Greene had begun the project in 2014, only to be ready with the product in 2016. This delay of two years with no prototype to present, leads to a mass dissatisfaction among the backers. The more- than-expected fund generated, made Greene believe that he has an amazing idea, little realizing that the demand will increase exponentially, only to be barricaded by the shortage of time to meet this demand. In the same interview with 99U.com, Greene reveals “I am definitely responsible for the delays because I’ve added this more robust editorial approach with the updated translation. I didn’t have a great idea about how long it would take, and I’ve been wrong about how long it will take.”
  • Prepare for the best, plan for the worst– Once again citing the large donation he received, Greene warns about changing scenarios. He advises to be prepared for situations in which, one would barely collect fund needed and for a situation where one collects more than required fund. Plans must always be flexible enough to accommodate the best and the worst of situations and to take actions, accordingly.
  • Change the static- One of the fundamental principle of the science of entrepreneurship, is the principle of changing the static. In the case of Bibliotheca, Greene decided to revamp centuries old eternal sacred book, Bible, which will never run out of demand. What drives the idea is the sheer labor a person puts in, to savor a religious book. Innovating, to ease the pain of understanding a book, is Greene’s smart idea.
  • Be ready to be drained financially- Greene admits to drawing $1000 every two weeks to help him sustain by paying bills and buying food. He lives by the mantra of ‘delivering a beautiful, alluring Bible’ to his loyal customers. He is not scared of walking out of this project empty handed, as long as his customers are satisfied.

With Bibliotheca under production and with hundreds of copies already preordered, one must buckle up to witness the literary Renaissance of 21st century. This story is not only about refashioning a holy book, but is also an example of how varied are the interests of entrepreneurs. Let this story be an inspiration to venture into the unconventional fields and innovate the unimaginable.

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