Thar she blows!
Both functional and handsome, the whale stapler gets the job done while looking like a totally awesome whale. Attaching two pieces of paper has never felt so majestic.
House of straws.
Patrick Martinez’s LINX project allows anyone to build mesmerizing structures from drinking straws using specially designed plastic connectors. Hyperallergic posted a great review of Martinez’s new installation at Parker’s Box in Brooklyn, on view through February 17.
Holding it in your hand, it’s amazing to think that it was designed and assembled by an independent hardware startup funded by Kickstarter…
Pebble’s charming simplicity and fundamental competence inspires confidence. It’s so good at what it does now that it’s easy to imagine all other things it might do in the future.
Lilou the cat is entranced by the Bestiarium, a hand-made mobile project inspired by animal depictions and medieval myths.
A big year for ElevationDock.
At the beginning of 2012, ElevationDock became the most popular Kickstarter project to date, raising over $1 million.
With gratitude, excitement, and nearly two miles of raw material, the team behind the project takes you through their year in review.
Pebble watch starts shipping today!
A project is born.
“A few months back, before FlipBooKit, this fellow from MAKE magazine named Matt Richardson met us at the San Mateo Maker Faire. He immediately took an interest in our mechanical flipbook art and there was enthusiastic talk of interviews, articles and kit ideas. That was June 2012.
Matt finished our interview in September, and with a little-twinkle in our eyes, we started imagining how to build a kit. ‘Why not launch a Kickstarter campaign on the publish day of the MAKE article in October?’
We came up with a name, purchased the DNS, and sat with a few guys at CRASH Space talking about box materials. After a week it all came together and our eyes were twinkling away. Then a phone call from Matt saying, “The article will publish in January, not October”.
(our plans were dashed)
We were just about to postpone the project when Mark decided to call the folks at the NY Maker Faire. “Have a look at this art… there was gonna be an article… and we had this plan… Can we get a last-minute booth?” First we received a tentative maybe… then a YES! We were ON! We had two weeks to finish prototyping, build a booth, and create a Kickstarter campaign. Whew! You know the rest.
Now we can announce that the MAKE magazine issue is out!”
The story of a patient Kickstarter backer and the project that was worth the wait.
A Year Later, or Why Sometimes Good Things Come To Those Who Wait
About a year and half ago I was in the market for a Bluetooth speaker and ran across this Kickstarter for the KNOB+…
The speaker design was simply nothing short of stunning and Raul, the creator, seemed dedicated to creating a product that really bucked the trend of poor sounding Bluetooth speakers. Plus, it only cost $120, which was about the price of a Jambox. The project still wasn’t set to deliver for 6-7 months, but I figured given the attention to detail that was being paid—it would be worth the wait.
Now, let me back up a bit. The KNOB+ was one of the first few tech Kickstarter projects I’d backed. It was funded a while before we started to see technology projects miss deadline after deadline (after deadline), so I really had no reason to believe that it wouldn’t deliver on time. There’s since been quite a bit of debate about delivery, and policy/product changes within Kickstarter itself, but that’s another discussion for another time.
February of last year came…but the KNOB+ did not. May rolled around…nothing. I think you get the point. I checked in on the project from time to time and came to find that Raul was running into all sorts of problems, not only with production of the units, but with the actual quality of sound that the speaker was producing. I found myself getting pretty frustrated about the late delivery after about 6 months, but after I was on the site one afternoon I had a revelation…
See, with all the press the Kickstarter has gotten the past couple years, I’d began to think that all these products (and campaigns) were created equal. Lots of these products and ideas were raising millions of dollars, getting crazy press and had teams of several people to help not only scale for demand, but handle the logistics of delivering on time. But this wasn’t a $10,000,000 Pebble campaign, or $950,000 Hidden Radio—this was one guy. One guy who raised less than $50k (seriously not a lot of money to launch a product as ambitious as his, handle the expense of flying back and forth to China for QA, product testing, etc.) and when put in that context, I actually felt pretty guilty about how angry I had gotten about a measly $120*
Well, fast forward to a few nights ago. I’m on my way home and my wife texts me that I have a package. I had put the KNOB+ pretty far out of my mind, but when I got home there it was…my package from Raul. My (now named) Croon Audio Original! A year late, but here.
SIDENOTE: I got my Hidden Radio a few months ago, and while it definitely LOOKS beautiful, it really feels like absolutely zero attention was paid to how the thing should actually sound. That being said, let’s just say my expectations were low.
I take it out of the box…just stunning. From the wooden feet to the acrylic enclosure, it screams attention to detail. But again, I figure I have another beautiful, but ultimately useless object to sit on the shelf of my office.
And then I fire it up.
To say the thing sounds amazing would be an understatement. My wife & I own a B&O Beolit 12 that we use every day, and while it doesn’t sound quite as full as the Play, the Croon has an incredible fullness and richness to it. The mids are full and the highs are crisp. The fit and finish are fantastic and the materials are gorgeous—and this all from a speaker that cost me $120 (Not one that costs $799 like the B&O)
Well it looks like I’ve rambled. I just wanted to do a quick write up about an awesome Kickstarter product that one dude brought to being. A guy and a dream, as it were. But I guess the whole point of me writing was this: It’s easy to get anxious, and even angry, about Kickstarter projects not delivering on time—but before you freak out, just remember that sometimes good things are worth the wait and quality should always trump “getting something fast”.
Anyways, thanks Raul. Thanks for following your dream and building such an awesome product.
If you’d like to get one for yourself, you can check it out here.
*Not that $120 is measly, but in the grand scheme of how much we spend on tech & gadgets, it really wasn’t that big a deal
The Made Collection is a line of practical household objects designed and produced in Los Angeles.
After creating several acclaimed products for a variety of companies and purposes, Made marks the first in-house project by up-and-coming designer David Okum. These functionally beautiful goods are the Project of the Day.
Turn analog film into digital photographs — instantly.
I just went for the scanner personally, I figure $40 is a no brainer. And it means I can bring the scanner with me when I pick up negatives and post a few from my phone easily on the go. FTW.
Exciting news from CES today…
Pebble watch creator Eric Migicovsky took the stage to thank his 68,929 Kickstarter backers and announce a ship date of January 23rd. The team can produce and ship 15,000 Pebble watches per week, which means that backers should receive their watches in the next 6-8 weeks.
The stream from CES is live right now.
More fun than Tebowing, and odder than Planking, will #ostriching take 2013 by storm?
If the reactions of backers to their first Ostrich Pillows are any indicator, then #ostriching is well on its way to a bizarre life of its own. Worst case scenario, the Ostrich Pillow just makes sleeping in airports much more delightful — for snoozers and viewers, both.
The merits of this compact sound system are perfectly clear, but the “Transparent Speaker” is more than just a pretty face.
The team just played the device for a crowd of audiophile critics and got a very positive response. The Sweden-based designers are currently seeking funding for an initial production run, reaching 80% of their goal with another month left to go.
Nothing better than style and substance.
The best present of all.
Christmas came a little early for the creators behind AJOTO, a pen crafted by a band of UK-based designers. Congratulations on reaching — and surpassing — your funding goal!
To all those celebrating today: Merry Christmas!
And a Happy New Year all around.