CKIE.com: A Crowd Funding Platform that Empowers Designers to turn their Designs into Reality


I know I have been teasing all of you about a strategic design project that I have been and am still working on. It is now time for the big reveal with its official launch at 9am this morning PST, about an hour ago. I am super excited and very honored to be part of a team of clever and dedicated professionals.
Check out our new baby called CKIE; a crowdfunding platform created especially for funding product ideas. CKIE is an acronym that has been derived from a formula for Creativity. It goes something like this. C=f(K,I,E), which is creativity (C) is function of knowledge (K), imagination (I), and evaluation (E). I’m not sure where this formula came from but it sounds pretty good eh?
Created by my friends from Yanko Design, my role was supporting them in design and business strategy, profiling personas and identifying possible usage scenarios. These activities finally led to the fine-tuning of the user experience of the website and platform. I also brought to the table my extensive experience in managing the process of industrial design and product development activities and how these processes can be merged or applied onto this new Internet platform. Currently the platform is not 100% perfect and there is still much to be done, but we decided to launch it once it was stable and will continue to refine the site in the spirit of iterative software design.
I do know that there are similar crowdfunding or micro financing platforms out there. Furthermore I don’t often recommend businesses to adopt strategies that actually follow other strategies, but in this case the product we have been working on is quite different.
There are 4 main differences.
Firstly CKIE is focused on funding product ideas only. No books, movies, shows, art etc., just products. This means that 100% of people visiting the site are only interested in checking the latest industrial design, product ideas or concepts.
Secondly, CKIE is an international platform. We are open to designers, creators, entrepreneurs and people interested in backing or supporting ideas from all around the world. Why limited your ideas and customers to one geographic location when the world is your oyster?
Next. We have created a platform that is supported by experienced designers and design managers such as myself. Designers, entrepreneurs or anyone with an interesting idea can come on board and be able to speak to a person for help or advice and not be left on their own. We identified that industrial design and product development is such a long and difficult process that it can be daunting to many people, especially those that are in it the first time. Even experienced designers often have some difficulty navigating the tides of the realization process. At CKIE, there are experience design managers who will be able to support and help people get the best out of their design, the development process and the platform.
Finally, as part of our strategic profiling activities, we identified that most designers are good at the design and creation part but actually poor or clueless about the marketing and promotion of their ideas or design. Considering this insight added with how other crowd-sourcing platforms actually rely on participating designers to be responsible for their own marketing activities, the entire experience becomes a challenging and uncomfortable one. No longer. CKIE will leverage on its sister site, Yanko Design’s 2 million unique visitors a month to help market and profile the products that are going to be funded. This means that by putting your designs on CKIE, there will be a much better chance of getting your product seen, funded and eventually sold.
Well there you go. This is just an example of the range of exciting strategic design projects Design Sojourn has been engaged to work on. Check it out, and do let me know what you think? Even better, let me know if you are interested to join CKIE and I can help get you started. Enjoy!

7 Comments
  • Emmanuel

    April 26, 2011 at 5:46 am Reply

    I like the idea (and the formulae^^)
    Interesting to see another crowdfunding plateform (especially since kickstarter only hosts US projects atm).
    After a round of exploration, it seems simple and well designed (I appreciate to see 4 possible alternates sign-in), I will watch it evolve, and maybe use it in the futur 🙂

  • Tonya van Dijk

    April 26, 2011 at 10:38 am Reply

    Kudos to you guys, @ CKIE! Looking forward to your success!
    It’s good to know what sets CKIE apart from other crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Quirky and so many others. Here’s another article which will help you see what makes other crowdfunding platforms differ from one another, http://crowdsourcing.org/l/505.

  • Emmanuel

    April 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm Reply

    Hmm very interesting comparison
    In the search of the “group of professors in 1977…” which may had invented the equation C = f(K, I, E), I found a quite recent paper talking about that 🙂
    http://www.icaqhe2010.org/Papers%20published%20in%202nd%20ICAQHE%202008/17-Dr%20Zarrin%20Seema%20Siddiqui.pdf
    (with google : “C = f(K, I, E)” 1977)

  • Brian

    April 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm Reply

    @Emmanuel: Thanks very much for thanking your time to write your reply, and also for that brilliant find!
    @Tonya: Thanks for the link, and for stopping by. Please keep in touch?

  • Pankaj Upadhyay

    May 31, 2011 at 5:39 pm Reply

    I’m sure you have seen this as well. http://www.kickstarter.com/
    I just thought that CIKE bears an uncanny resemblance to kickstarter. Unless the same guys have created both the sites, I’ll say that the similarity is downright eerie. Not that I’m complaining (I mean,I am a product designer and, by god, I welcome this initiative with open arms), but considering the fact that Kickstarter was first of its kind and has achieved the quite some mileage in its short uptime, what motivation do I have to post my project at CIKE and not at Kickstarter?
    Also, I think that the presence of people with only an interest in ID will severely bring down the probability of 100 percent funding. Because ID guys tend to be more critical of ID stuff. Take for example, the comments post on Yanko, the negative comments outweigh the positive ones. On the other hand at kickstarter everyone who has a creative grey cell will see my design. Say, if an Industrial designer comments on the usability of my prototype, which in his perception may not be very good, I still have a small non-industrial-design user base who may disregard that same usability issue as just a minor issue. So, it seems, my design may have a better chance of survival, appreciation and funding from the community at kickstarter.
    Is it really a good idea to put all the industrial designer/ID enthusiasts in one room? And, what else is my motivation to opt for CIKE?
    Apart from that concern, I really like CIKE, complements to the chef 🙂

  • Brian

    June 1, 2011 at 11:24 am Reply

    Hi @Pankaj, thanks for your feedback, it is very valuable to us!

  • Bill

    August 29, 2016 at 12:27 pm Reply

    It seems CKIE has not moved very far from crowd source funding. They advertise a POGO camera, just like Kickstarter. Same complaints as well. CKIE claims to not be a crowd source funded platform. But it bears an uncanny resemblance to one.

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