Kickstart my Heart is a semi-regular blog series on Portland Kickstarter projects we don't hate.
Portland designer Casey Hopkins has just created the fastest-growing Kickstarter project to date: he hit his goal of $75,000 in eight hours, raised $165,350 in 24 hours, and is now sitting at $373,714—and he still has 52 more days of fundraising to go.
His "Elevation Dock" project isn't especially mind blowing. It's an aluminum iPhone dock with a few modifications to address gripes Hopkins, who runs small local product design firm Elevation Lab, had with the current model. But apparently thousands of Apple geeks around the world share his ire. Gizmodo said "I'm Tempted to Buy an iPhone Just So I Can Use the Elevation Dock." Wired declared "Elevation Dock for iPhone Embarrasses Apple." In the past week, it's also been featured on GigaOM, Slashgear, Cult of Mac, Electronista, Uncrate and Digital Trends, among others.
WW caught up with a slightly dazed Hopkins over the phone:
WW: So is so special about your product that it went so nuts online?
Casey Hopkins: Well, Apple makes docks. White plastic ones. And they make one for the iPhone 4, but it doesn't work with a case on your phone, you have to take the case off, so it doesn't work with the vast majority of phones. And when you do use it, and you've taken the case off, the phone sticks in the dock, you have to use two hands to undock it, which isn't a very good user experience. There's a lot of other docks out there and they kind of share similar traits. So I got fed up with it and just did it as a personal project, designing my about own a year ago. Testing designs and making prototypes, and got to a point where we had a good one, but it's really expensive to manufacture, especially or a small guy like me, so to raise capital we put it on Kickstarter.
Wouldn't it have been more cost effective just to set up your own site and sell it yourself? Because you have to give Kickstarter a certain percentage donât you?