Decoding Design

Kickstarter, also known as the iAccessory Preorder Store

Kickstarter, also known as the iAccessory Preorder Store

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No longer is Kickstarter just for hopeful, arty entrepreneurs who still live with their parents. The crowdfunding site is serious business.

Back in February, I wrote about a quirky experiment, called the Cryoscope Haptic Weathervane, by a young designer named Robb Godshaw. The idea is that people could use the metal cube as a tactile thermostat for checking the outside temperature. Like I said, quirky.

But the concept was also strongly panned by some readers, here and elsewhere. Godshaw emailed recently to tell me he'd started a Kickstarter campaign to explore whether there might be a market for his invention. Well, there isn't; the campaign failed. Looks like the critics won.

If only the Cryoscope Haptic Weathervane could be wrapped around an iPhone. It would probably have generated three times the $80,000 being sought. Or maybe I'm just being conditioned by headlines and stories such as this, this, this and this, to think that if it's an iPhone or iPad accessory and it's on Kickstarter, it's going to be a phenomenal success.

Clearly, Kickstarter isn't just about feel-good social enterprise projects and boot-strapping, entrepreneurial high-schoolers anymore. In fact, I wonder if eventually it may not longer be about those campaigns, at all.

That would be a shame. But certainly, the platform is evolving into a big business incubator of sorts. In the video below, IEEE Spectrum does a good job of explaining how and, to a certain degree, why.

Image: Kickstarter screenshot

Via: IEEE Spectrum

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Mary Catherine O'Connor

Contributing Writer

Mary Catherine O'Connor has written for Outside, Fast Company, Wired.com, Smithsonian.com, Entrepreneur, Earth2Tech.com, Earth Island Journal and The Magazine. She is based in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure