Small Business

6 million in 20 days

BY Carl Thompson 2 May, "12

Designer/makers with great ideas are getting millions of dollars worth of funding through social funding websites like Kickstarter. Ideas like the Pebble E-Paper Watch who have now raised an excess of six million dollars through Kickstarter in only 20 days.

Taking a great idea to a viable product is a long and expensive process. Social funding websites are great places to validate ideas, grow a customer base and access funds to get things going.

I’m sure we all have conjured up fantastic ideas we think could change the world or at least make us some cash; a new dive watch, a twitter feed printer, stylish 3d glasses …

Social funding websites are now enabling everyday people to validate and financially back these ideas and help turn them into real products.

“We believed we had a solution to messy cables. Kickstarter allowed us to test the idea with thousands of people. We had an overwhelming response and pre-sold over 16,000 units which gave us almost $145,000 USD in capital to kick things of.” - David from Recoil Winders

David is now about to drop his first shipment of Recoil Winders and we wish him all the best with the new venture.

We love hearing about these success stories. Everyday people backing great ideas from other everyday people. Turning dreams into reality one might say.

We see this huge trend of designer/makers emerging thanks to social funding and modern technologies, such as 3D printing and laser cutters, becoming more accessible and affordable.

One of these emerging companies is Lazerwood, who create iPhone and headphone covers out of wood using a laser printer. Intricate designs are cut into the real wood veneer with laser precision.

Lazerwood is about to go through a huge growth spurt with international distribution deals underway.

Apryl from Lazerwood says “The cost of laser cutting has come down enough to make our products financially viable. We couldn’t do this type of business a couple of years ago, the cost was just too high.”

While talking to a number of designer/makers we have also heard some concerns. Companies like these need to be aware that growing fast also brings with it a number of logistical and administrative issues.

Michael from Planet Obo, who create interchangeable toy characters, expresses his concerns. “We launched our first characters on Kickstarter and at a toy tradeshow. We doubled our estimated sales and have now grown bigger than what spreadsheets can efficiently handle.”

Having product validation and funding is great to kick things off, but if you don’t have the systems in place to deal with the administration and inventory control then you are doomed to fail. A sad end to such an amazing opportunity.

These are the problems we at TradeGecko are solving. What companies like this need is one central control system that manages their inventory and orders in a simple, intuitive solution that’s enjoyable to use. A solution that takes them off spreadsheets and helps them through these growing pains.

We now have nearly 100 businesses waiting for TradeGecko to be launched. A select few will be invited into our closed beta launching shortly.

Please get in contact with us if you’re interested in becoming a beta customer or you’d just like some advice. We’d love to hear from you.

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