In a previous post, I talked about my son’s company Futuristic Lights being about to launch their Kickstarter campaign. Well they launched it at noon today (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1955422282/the-kinetic/), and within an hour they had made their $20,000 goal. According to the comments on their Facebook page, they made their goal within 15 minutes (probably not a Kickstarter record, but a real achievement nonetheless).
As I write this post, they have pledges of $34,511 from 203 backers after only 10 hours, with a corresponding commitment to make and ship 642 regular Kinetic boards and 1264 limited-edition boards. This easily takes them over the 1000-unit price point for parts and assembly (the assembly is the same for both the regular and the limited-edition boards, as the differences are in the firmware and the appearance of the board). With 29.5 days still to go, they’ll probably go way over that.
I wonder if they’ll get enough orders to make 10,000 boards (which is probably the next price point for manufacturing). Given the usual Kickstarter project trends, they are unlikely to make 5 times their first-day sales, unless the Kickstarter staff decide to feature them (making one’s goal in 15 minutes is good advertising for Kickstarter!) or they get some other lucky press coverage.
If they do get enough backers to make 10,000 boards, they may have to rethink their plans for fulfillment, as what I had overheard of their planning may not scale up that high. Still, the drop in manufacturing costs may let them afford to use a commercial fulfillment company.
I’m planning to order a set, but I’ve not decided whether to get a limited edition set or a regular set. Probably I’ll wait until later in the campaign, and get a limited-edition set only if they haven’t sold out of them—no sense depriving some glover who might really care about the limited edition.
I’m also wondering what I’ll do with the set when I get it, since I’ve no real need for gloving lights other than as a proud parent to say “My son designed these!” At least, they should make good presents—but for whom?
The company has put together a fine web page for the Kickstarter with lots of demo videos and pictures of the boards. The founders (Zohar and Abe) can be seen in the intro video at the top of the page. Zohar is the CEO, the originator of the idea for the company, and the main force behind the marketing effort. Abe is the CTO (chief technical officer) and the engineer for both the hardware and software.
I’m very impressed by what this team of young entrepreneurs has accomplished—even if the project had failed to make its goals, the amount my son has learned about engineering, manufacturing, and business management is far more than most kids get in 4 years of college (and he’s only 1/12 of the way through college at this point). I just hope that this early success doesn’t distract him too much from college.
Update 2014 Dec 13: Abe and Zohar wrote an article about the company that was published in Santa Cruz Tech Beat: Glowing Art Form – What’s Glove Got To Do With It.