If you haven’t visited my son’s Kickstarter campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1955422282/the-kinetic/) for the Kinetic motion-sensitive microlight, check it out—it really is a cool product, and they’ve done a nice job of explaining and demoing it.
In Kickstarter campaign continues strong, I predicted
I’m expecting to see a bit of tick upwards on Boxing Day (26 December) as people are given monetary presents and decide to get themselves the lights, and perhaps another uptick on Jan 2 or Jan 5, as people go back to work.
The first of those predictions was not met. According to Kicktraq, there were only 2 backers ($378) on Dec 26, the second smallest day they’ve had (Dec 23 was 2 backers and $338). Dec 27 was better (5 backers and $905), even though it was the weekend—though some of that uptick may have been from the demo of the Kinetic near the lighthouse in Santa Cruz Friday night (they announce their demos on their Facebook page).
Kicktraq and Kickspy projections of how much they’ll raise have diverged quite a bit, with Kicktraq suggesting $54k–$63k and Kickspy being much more optimistic ($70k). The Kicktraq projection looks like a linear extrapolation from the past few days (with an error cone), while the Kickspy projection is a k-nearest-neighbors approach that builds in the common pattern of fast starts and ends to campaigns, with a slow middle. I think they’ve saturated their immediate social media neighborhood, though, so unless some other positive press comes out soon, the number of backers is not likely to surge much at the end. (I still hope for a small surge on the back-to-work days.)
The $55k stretch goal is looking feasible, but not a shoo-in: to get there from $47,621 in 14 days and 15 hours, they’ll need to average $505 a day for the rest of the campaign. They’ve done over $500 on 3/4 of their days so far, so as long as things don’t taper off too much, they should make it.
They are now up to 2630 boards pre-sold (based on adding up the backers at each level on the Kickstarter site). I suspect that they’ll make about twice as many boards as they’ve pre-sold, for a manufacturing run of 5,000 or 6,000, which doesn’t get quite as good a manufacturing discount as 10,000. I think that the Kickstarter campaign would need to bring in $90k for them to get to the 10,000 manufacturing level—not even Kickspy thinks they’ll make that much. If they could pre-sell 4000–5000 to a distributor, they could go for the 10,000 level right away. Of course, their markup would be much lower selling to a distributor that selling directly to customers, so it would only pay off if it let them increase volume enough to lower production costs.
Even if they top out at only $50k for this Kickstarter campaign, they should be able to make enough money to pay off their development expenses (though not yet enough to pay themselves any salary—it’s a good thing that their living expenses are still covered by parents). If they make money on this product to pay themselves, it won’t be from the Kickstarter campaign, but from subsequent sales, which I suspect will be substantial, once the initial buyers start demoing the lights everywhere—they really have created the best of the microlights on the market.