Electronic Product Design

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 00:00 Written by 

To Kickstart, Or Kick-On?

12-01-16 funding money 200Kickstarter has undoubtedly created a wealth of opportunities for those inventors and creators to reach their goals. A marketplace designed to broaden the appeal of basic investment opportunities, it allows those with a new product to reach their core users, giving them an opportunity not only to invest, but also partly shape the final product.

Kickstarter was originally developed as a much needed platform for artists and other creative media projects that may have otherwise struggled to gain recognition or funding to continue. It has proved successful in this account. As the platform grew, more creative electronic projects appeared, with varying success.

Is Kickstarter the right move for your electronics project? Or are there other options you could consider?

Kickstarter

A Kickstarter project has the undeniable potential to reach millions of base level investors. These investors are usually very interested in the project, may well have a good understanding of other items in your product-space, and are likely to have a vocal core, advising you on how you should proceed in product design, project management, and anything else in-between.

A major advantage of any crowdfunding platform is the digital-social side. With the right marketing, and the right product, your project could become a viral hit. This means your project will attract attention and investors from across the entire Internet, and your project will likely hit its primary target, plus a number of stretch goals (if applicable).

A Life of Its Own

Getting your product into the world is a difficult process, so you’d imagine having it splashed across the Internet would be a massive help. In some cases, it is, but as many project leaders have found, the sudden surge in interest can cause its own problems. Once a project takes on its own momentum, keep in mind:

  • Material Availability: If you project uses a specific material, is there enough to fulfil the growing order list?
  • Shipping: Does your current setup allow you scope to ship to all of these people?
  • Execution: Does the new scale of the project allow you to continually execute the product as you have described?
  • Timeline: And, relating to execution, will any alterations cause major setbacks in your delivery timeline?
  • Experience: Do you honestly have the experience to deliver a product to so many people?

Not that the latter should turn you away. After all, there is only one way to gain that experience, and you are now uniquely positioned to learn. But consider that you now have a growing pool of vocal stakeholders to contend with, and a delivery timeline to attempt to stick too. It is no wonder we see so many major Kickstarter projects seriously underestimating the task ahead of them.

Just Kickback

We have detailed a few common issues Kickstarter projects run into. It might not happen to you, but if you have an exciting new electronics product, it is worth considering all of the possibilities once your baby enters the world.

Not keen to Kickstart? Check back for next week’s article on some of the alternatives you can pursue!

 

Image courtesy of anankkml / freedigitalphotos.net.

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