Scott Wilson Tweets about his Kickstarter Adventure

I’m sure most of you would have probably heard of Scott Wilson’s little entrepreneurship adventure on Kickstarter, the TikTok and LunaTik iPod Nano watch? FastCo Design, then Cool Hunting and Gizmodo picked up the project and as a result, Scott raised USD$91K in two days. At the time of this article’s writing, 6 days since the launch, the project has amassed USD$276,984. Much more than the USD$15K originally asked for. Congrats Scott!

This comes hot on the heels of another successful Design Entrepreneurship venture The Glif, which is a tripod mount for the iPhone 4. Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost asked for $10K and got a cool USD$137,417 instead. Congrats guys!
So one is a highly famous Industrial Designer running his own consultancy and the other, a pair of spunky super tired (looking) designers.
Right, now back to the TikTok. As I know Scott is on Twitter I shot him a tweet in the off chance he might reply. Here is the conversation trail on Twitter.

@scottwilsonid I’m curious, could u not have self funded your project?less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

This is probably the number 1 question on the top of everyone’s mind!

@designsojourn Interested too – I’ve always seen kickstarter as a platform for those at the bottom of the pile – @scottwilsonidless than a minute ago via web

@jasecoop I’m having similar thoughts as the post. I suspect they are pledging production NOT manufacturing. $15k is low I suspect.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

Scott, who is a mutual friend on Twitter, probably caught wind of the conversation and replied using the Twit-longer app. I’ve reproduce the full reply below:

@designsojourn @jasecoop Good “?”. Actually not. We are a 6 person studio. Funding tooling, minimum order quantities from factory, travel to factory, etc costs more than a small firm can cover/risk. $100k+. Plus this is the new way things will be funded in the future. Empowering creatives of all levels to make their vision without the need for big corps. I hope this inspires designers everywhere. Plus it’s just preorders. Old school way for designers/inventors was to give away over half your company for money.

I continue to banter with Scott and then probe by asking him a second question that everyone probably wanted to know as well.

@jasecoop as suspected 15k is production preorders. @ScottWilsonID thanks for sharing, why not ask the full 100k. The 15k threw ppl off.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

Again Scott answers via Twit-longer reproduced here below:

@designsojourn @jasecoop actually 15k was the tooling. Min orders were 7500 pieces plus packaging duties, Ecommerce site coming… Adds up. Kickstarter recommends keeping $ lower in FAQ. Also if we only raised enough for tooling then we would have had to raise money for inventory and given away big % of equity. As it works out now we don’t! Designers stay in control!

@ScottWilsonID awesome! I like that designers stay in control. A direct path to the consumer without middle men.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

So there you go. I know a lot of people had raised an eyebrow at the thought of a well-known Designer jumping on a bandwagon traditionally seen as one for the struggling design entrepreneur. The thought of someone subverting a system that he is obviously overqualified for is rather painful. However if you look at this as a glass half full scenario, this is a great inspiration for all designers looking to create that self-designed product you never could afford to.
As a Design Entrepreneur myself, I do feel kind of stupid though. Maybe I should be looking at such platforms to fund my projects rather than self-funding them all? Well you live and learn!
We should look beyond, Kickstarter and Scott Wilson, and ponder on the fact that it has now become a level playing field in Design. Design is now democratic if you like. With the Internet, good design can now come from anyone and anywhere, designer and non-designer. You don’t also need a lot of money to fund your design, just passion hours. Even better, you get to validate it without having to pay someone or launching it in the market and learning the hard way. Really, nothing stopping you except yourself.

1 Comment
  • shane

    November 23, 2010 at 9:23 pm Reply

    alot has been said about this and the Gilf recently.
    I think I’ll have to hold my final opinion till the process is complete on these projects as to whether it’s something I’d consider ever supporting though.
    Personally for now I’d rather do it the old fashioned way (and the way you have taken) self funding the tooling and doing it all yourself. Relying on a stack of unknown investors is not something I’d like to take on.
    As much as this empowers designers, it is not that different to the ‘old method’ you are still relying on big corporations (kickstarter and amazon) but also have the scenario where you are throwing your ideas into a market before you have a product. With all the interest and $$ that the Gilf and TikTok have generated, I have no doubt the copycats are already hard at work, and have a good chance of beating the real thing to market.
    I see this tool as a great way for bands to fund albums in the age of internet piracy, but I’m not convinced it’s all that great for ID.

Post a Comment