Kickstarter, the crowd-source funding platform for creative projects, is moving into the mainstream. Last week, two projects – Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Adventure, and Casey Hopkins’ Elevation Dock: The Best Dock for iPhone raised over a million dollars each in just one day.
Kickstarter is democratizing the product development process by putting the decision of whether or not a product should be funded in the hands of the consumer, and consumers are coming out to vote. A new generation of makers (prefer makers over inventors) is responding to the opportunity.
Jon Atherton (t: @tunes) is a maker that recognized the Kickstarter opportunity early. He successfully used Kickstarter to fund jaja, a pressure sensitive stylus for iPad, and he’s at it again with AppTag – Laser Blaster for iPhone.
AppTag brings first person shooter console gameplay to smartphones in the real world by combining the smartphone with a laser tag like system. You can use AppTag with the included pistol grip or attach it to any blaster (a Nerf gun for example) that has an accessory rail. You can read all about AppTag on Kickstarter; Jon does a better job of describing his product than I can – and because it’s a great product, I’m sure the project will be funded. In a post on his blog, Jon talks about how Kickstarter is changing the way he does business.
Kickstarter is going to disrupt a lot of businesses! Previously an inventor like me would pitch inventions, then the toy company has a bunch of committee meetings, they then decide to evaluate it with an option, if they then proceed they offer a small prepayment and an eventual 5% royalty on wholesale. They cover all marketing and manufacture. Inventors can do really well with the right toy!
So for example with the jaja pressure sensitive stylus (which we pitched as a kids coloring in toy) we have now had over 1000 backers, and raised enough to do the tooling and final development work ourselves – we own the IP, and we can sell direct online for a cheaper price with a greater margin.
Now with Kickstarter, I can develop an idea and do the same work as I pitch to the toy companies (create a movie and do a presentation). I then upload it to Kickstarter – where thousands of people evaluate the product! Real customers put there money down if it is good! – Jon Atherton / AppTag 38% Funded – LOVE @Kickstarter
AppTag is the first Kickstarter project I’ve backed – probably because it caught my ten year old son’s attention and he can be pretty convincing. I’m not sure why I haven’t backed a project before. I’ve definitely benefited from the platform – I love my olloclip: iPhone Lens System.
Good luck Jon, and thanks for inspiring me to back my first Kickstarter project. Keep making.