How Do You Make a Million on Kickstarter? Design a Geek-Baiting Apple Accessory Like the Pebble Watch

How Do You Make a Million on Kickstarter? Design a Geek-Baiting Apple Accessory Like the Pebble Watch
The Pebble smartwatch
(Courtesy Pebble Technology)

Pictured above is the Pebble, the watch that seems to do it all. Designed to sync to your iPhone or Android via BlueTooth, it downloads apps, displays incoming messages, monitors your golf swing, and even tells time. It also demolishes records: The Kickstarter-funded device, part watch, part remote control, part pedometer, has surpassed all the crowd-sourced fundraising site's previous milestones. It reached its goal of $100,000 within its first two hours, and then just kept going.

The Pebble's creators Pebble Technologies have raised about $6.1 million since their fundraising campaign began on April 11, averaging about $20,000 an hour and still going strong, with 25 days to go. The exceptional enthusiasm for this device is due in no small part to the awesome perks that come with being a donor. For $99 or more, Pebble Technologies offered donors their very own Pebble, a $150 value. (That option quickly sold out.) Ten very zealous backers pledged $10,000 or more to receive the Mega Distributor Pack, a super package of 100 Pebbles in any color. With this extra money, Pebble's creators have been able to develop an upgraded, water-proof version — for our part, we'd rather see them add color touchscreen rather than go with the current e-paper design. 

This outpouring of crowd-funding testifies to our obsession with dressing up and accessorizing our treasured gadgets, as three out of four of Kickstarter’s highest funded objects have been accessories designed for Apple gadgets. The fourth-highest funded project is the TikTok+LunaTik Multi-Touch Watch Kit, an iPod Nano dock that fits on the wrist, transforming a soon-to-be-obsolete device into a watch — itself an even more antiquated gadget (as we've previously discussed). It held the title of most-funded for more than a year, raising nearly $1 million beyond its $15,000 goal before being surprassed by the Elevation Dock. In February the charger became the first Kickstarter project to surpass the $1 million mark by promising to solve the harrowing ordeal of plugging in and unplugging your mobile device, and went on to raise a total of about $1.5 million. After only six hours at the top, it was surpassed by an adventure video game. While that last example doesn’t support our hypothesis about the fundraising power of Apple fanatics, it does suggest that Kickstarter is mostly funded by total geeks. 

While upstate New York's Garden Road School hopes to get its community Giving Garden funded in time for summer school, tech junkies continue to divert their dollars towards high-tech baubles. Our Apple products have become as precious to us as our babies, or at the very least as much as our pets. Buying a cradle for your iPhone is really akin to buying your Chihuaha a designer doghouse, isn't it?