Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Crowdfunding Product Review: Globe

Browsing the interwebs, I came across this fun Kickstarter for an LED sphere, called Globe.

It's not a particularly flashy product, but I thought the campaign itself was interesting because it looks like a classic DIY project that Kickstarter was originally made for.

These days, many of the high-profile campaigns are just marketing and sales devices for larger companies. A lot of products are already developed and are just using crowd-funding for advanced sales.
While I can't object to the opportunism of using the platform for this purpose, I still lament what it has become and get excited when I see a true DIY project.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the development timeline is very reasonable for a new hardware product and expect the creator, Edward Catley, to be able to deliver on time.

With 5 days to go, the campaign has raised £20,427 of its £60,000 goal (at the time of publishing), so I don't think it'll make it, but I admire Catley's initiative to try and make some money off his hobby.

At its most basic, it's a spinning disk with blinking LEDs.
However, having a spherical display is pretty cool and isn't just limited to the Earth or other planets.

I mean... Nyan Cat

There are dozens of spinning LED kits out there, but the most prolific are the basic 2D displays.
I'm sure many of you have seen the LED clocks:

A 3D sphere is not something I've seen before, but apparently they're already commercialized.
Still, pretty cool that the creator made one himself.

£595 (about $770) is a pretty steep price, but on par with the others I saw.

Most vendors are positioning them as marketing devices. This makes sense as I can't imagine too many individuals paying for one to sit on their desk
But apparently at least 33 people have on this campaign (at the time of publishing).

So it's not very flashy or particularly original, but again, I admire Catley for trying to do something with what I'm guessing is a hobby.
$26,000 is nothing to sneeze at, but didn't reach his all-or-nothing goal. Because it's a pet project, I bet Catley could still sell one-offs to backers, so maybe he could contact backers to do so after.

Side Note: If you're interested in hearing about side projects that turned into significant sources of revenue for people, I recommend listening to the podcast: Side Hustle School.
While not every project is going to be successful or make money, its encouraging to hear about success stories to motivate you to continue hustling.

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