I’ve been visiting Kickstarter for a couple of years now, and it’s always interesting to peruse the various projects.
Kickstarter is a website that helps people get funding for an idea, project or product. Anyone can choose to donate to the project, and each project establishes funding levels that can offer rewards that are fulfilled if the project reaches its goal. I’ve backed a few projects in the last year or so, from a unique soap design, to a large tablet stylus and even a video game. The funding levels I chose were enough to get me the product, but not enough to break the bank. In most cases, the goal of the project is to get enough funding to bring the product to retail, so backers are often given the chance to get the product at a reduced price along with other possible rewards.
The last and most recently-funded project I have backed was for the Pebble Smartwatch, a wrist watch that connects to your smart phone via Bluetooth. The phone can display incoming call alerts, text messages and other notifications. This kind of thing comes in handy when I don’t have my phone nearby, or I can see who’s calling or texting me without having to find my phone. The watch can also control the phone’s music player. The Pebble also has customizable watch faces (like the one below) which can be loaded onto the watch from the smartphone.
Since it’s a brand new product, the Pebble isn’t completely finished, software-wise. Some of the promised features haven’t yet been reazlied, but that should change once the software development kit is released in the next month or so. So far, I’m really enjoying the Pebble, and I’m looking forward to improvements.
While I’ve had good luck with backing Kickstarter projects, not all of them meet their goals, and of the ones that do, not all of them are successful. Kickstarter is a bit of a gamble. The actual Kickstarter website does not guarantee that your investment will result in a reward. The only guarantee is that if a project does not meet its financial goal in the established time, your money is never taken. So there are projects that have turned out to be scams, and projects that have become bogged down in unexpected delays and challenges.
But despite the risks, Kickstarter is a pretty cool way to be involved in the development of a new project and see how the process of bringing a new idea to market works.