Since I lead the Ubuntu Edge campaign, I have been trying to keep up with other crowd funding projects. I am mainly interested on technology and gadgets, and I have found it hard to navigate Kickstarter, but also to have to keep hoping between Kickstarter and Indiegogo to see what is going on. Specially since now, seems like interesting projects are evently split between them. You might share my friction on this… so I give you Techfunder:
Techfunder is an Android app that provides an easy way to browse crowd funding projects launched across the main industry websites. Techfunder gathers Technology and Design projects from Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Using Techfunder side navigation you can easily switch between:
New this week
Design – Popular
Then you can browse as many projects on a compact scrollable list. Just click on the project you are interested to expand into a full screen view.From there you can tell the world about it using the share button.
If you want to contribute or found out more about it, click on the “browse” button and Techfunder will launch the project page in your web browser. When you are finished, just press the Android back button to return to Techfunder.
I am currently planning to add a favourites/watchlist functionality and looking into a way to select additional crowd sourcing platform. I hope you enjoy it!
It has been over 2 months since the Ubuntu Edge campaign concluded, and I haven’t really blogged about it. I must say, driving something like this was great fun but also a fully immersive 24-7 experience. For that reason, I wanted some time to pass before write some conclusions about it.
One of the things that made the Ubuntu Edge campaign to stand out from previous crowd funding projects was the target: $32 Million. Other successful projects (I will focus only on products) had much lower targets (~$100K). So, why was this the case?
If your company has already raised capital via “standard” funding routes or you are actively pursuing it, a successful crowd funding campaign will reduce the overall amount of equity you have to give away. It can also attract that elusive VC investment. In this situation, your objectives are:
Proof the product viability
Remove doubts from future investors minds
ensure your campaign and your product are perceived as a successes
An early achievement of your campaign target will tick all these boxes. A “sold out” effect in the first week will increase the confidence of future pledgers and investors. In that case, a campaign target of $100K can be the magic number for you.
In the other hand, if crowd funding is your only or main avenue to finance your product, your objectives will be slightly different. These were ours:
Proof the product viability
Finance product design and factory tooling
Finance a fix/minimum production run
An early achievement of your target is still desirable, but your main worry will be to raise enough money via the campaign to deliver on your promises to the pledgers.
Although we raised over $12 Million, we did not reach our intended target. The Ubuntu Edge was a unique proposition that was build on the premise of delivering the latest cutting edge technology. Unfortunately, this meant that we could not pursue what I think is a better approach for 100% crowd funded products: a multi-campaign project.
In a crowd funding campaign, people contribute for different reasons:
The Angels: Angels are interested in supporting new innovation. They might not even necessarily want to own your product, but they appreciate the disruption you are trying to bring to the market. For these reason, they are willing to contributed from a little as $1 to thousands of dollars to see your project succeed.
The Extended Team: These are passionate individuals that understand your product concept and they want one! Not only they are willing to part with some money to get one, but they are also willing to contribute their own time and energy to make your product successful. They are a great source of professional and amateur resources. The contributions we got for Ubuntu Edge ranged from advise on how to run the campaign by serious knowledge people, to PR (T-shirt designs, websites, ads) to product design.
The Pragmatists: Your product might look good, but your project might just be too risky. Crowd funding projects are developing a bit of a reputation for shipping late or even worst, never happening. Pragmatist might be put off from contributing to your project is the perceived risk is too high. Some key questions they would like answer to are: Who are you? What is your proven record? Do you have a proto-type working? Do you have suppliers ready to go? but they all ultimately boil down to one: Can I trust you?
The Shoppers: Although, it should be clear to everyone that crowd funding is not the same that shopping in Amazon, similar motivations may apply. Shoppers will compare backing your project with buying a similar product online. Things they will care about: Are you offering a good deal? How long will it take for me get the product? What warranties do you offer?.
Pragmatists and shoppers form the bulk of the backer community out in the wild. If you are just getting started with your product development, you might find that addressing the concerns of pragmatists and shoppers is just not possible. In that case, financing your product development via multiple crowd funding projects might be a better option.
Target your first project to attract angels and extended-team. Set a campaign target that will allow you to build a prototype and start seriously talking to suppliers. Build up your credibility by delivering the first project on time.
For your second project, you will have had reduced the risk and the time to product delivery substantially. You might now be able to raise the rest of the funding or your might need a couple more iterations. Here is how the people at +Pool are doing it:
Hi everyone, I’ve been talking to a lot of you in the comments on the Indiegogo page, so I thought I’d come on here with a little video of my own computing setup.
I’m going to show you convergence. Although the hardware is getting a lot of the attention, it’s the Ubuntu Edge’s ability to be your phone and your PC that will have the biggest impact. How do I know this for sure? Because I’m already experiencing it.
For over two months I’ve been running Ubuntu for Android on a Nexus 4 phone, and even with its much slower processor and smaller storage than the Edge will have, it’s still made my working life so much simpler. With just a phone I can do pretty much anything that I could do before on my laptop.
I’ve made a quick video to show you a few examples. Remember this code is still in beta – with the final production code and the much more powerful hardware of the Ubuntu Edge, the desktop will really fly.
Since my first steps into QML when the Ubuntu SDK was launched, I have become a bit addicted to it. I decided to try to write a QML declarative game, and I settle on a shooting fighter jet game. Finally had enough content to put out an alpha. Here is the video:
The code for it in on my LP Junk branches, not really ready for review yet 😉 but happy to have help!
You might notice that I am using the keyboard to drive the game in my computer, I have also build a touch joystick that so far works ok in the Nexus 7, but needs some calibration.
PS: if you have some problems with playing the video, try jumping a head 10 secs, it also helps if you play it in HD 🙂