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.
In Kickstarter campaign still slowly gaining, I said
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).
The $55k stretch goal is no longer looking likely, but still possible—they would need to raise $780/day for the five and half remaining days. But they have already announced on the Kickstarter site that they’ll be doing clear bulbs for everyone even if the stretch goal isn’t met—so there is no special incentive for the stretch goal any more.
I’m very happy to have been wrong. I managed to time my contribution to put them over their $55k stretch goal a couple of days ago, and they ended up with $61,337, well over the minimum of $20k they needed to get funded and to do a small production run. I estimate that they’ve sold about 3370 boards (adding up the number of backers at each level may be a slight underestimate, as some backers may have ordered multiple sets).
It was interesting watching the progress on Kickspy, which provides a history of their predictions of where the campaign would end up (on the original site, mouseovers give you the daily funding and prediction figures):
Kicktraq‘s predictions fluctuated a lot, and they don’t report their history of predictions for a single project (probably because it is such a wild swing back and forth). But they do report the daily funding:
They did a good job of their promotion campaign, which was mainly done through their Facebook page (and lots of social media sharing). This was not a “family and friends” fund-raising—most of the backers were people that were previously unknown, who were genuinely excited by the product. The campaign also benefited from some good press coverage, particularly by the Santa Cruz Sentinel, which covered them in three separate articles during the month. I’ve collected the media reports I’ve been able to find onto a Futuristic Lights media page.
The Futuristic Lights campaign succeeded much better than I would have imagined (better than the founders thought it would also). Of course, they don’t get the full amount, as Kickstarter and Amazon take out their fees—they probably get a little over 90% of what was pledged. They’re thinking that for the next product they will probably skip Kickstarter and introduce the product directly, funding initial production out of proceeds from the Kinetic sales. That’s still some time in the future, though—for now they have to focus on getting the Kinetics manufactured and shipped.
I think that they are planning one more round of prototypes to confirm a couple of improvements that they came up with during the current prototype run, then full production! They’re still looking at small-batch production (probably 7000 boards, unless they’ve gotten a big wholesale order), but they should get somewhat better pricing than at the 1000-board level (and much better than the 100-board level, which is the biggest prototype run they’ve done). There are generally price breaks at 10000, though, which I don’t think that they can quite reach (again, unless they got a wholesale order).