Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Elevation Dock Breaks Kickstarter's Fundraising Record

Elevation Dock is a simple to use, quick undocking dock for your iPhone made from beautifully precision-machined solid aluminum and it comes in a gorgeous set of surface finishes, setting a new bar for quality and something that looks really good on your desk.

Not only is it expertly crafted, but it is also a record-breaking product — record-breaking before it has even shipped. That is because the Elevation Dock has broken the all-time Kickstarter fundraising record. The design firm behind the iPhone dock is called Elevation Lab, and was started four years ago by a fresh-out-of-college guy named Casey Hopkins. For the past four years, Hopkins has been working with a number of startups, helping them with the designs of their products. Although this paid the bills and was rewarding – Hopkins described it as “a feeling like no other to see something you made sitting on a shelf somewhere” – Hopkins decided that contracting out wasn’t enough.

The Elevation Dock started out with the plan of only creating one for personal use, that would sit on Hopkins’ desk but that was not to be, as his friends and family all wanted the dock, so off to market he went. The problem with bringing a hardware product to market is one many startups face. To normally bring a product to market, it would cost at least $100,000 up front, and that is only for the first run of the product prototype.

After seeing the LunaTik project take off on Kickstarter, Hopkins realized that the fundraising site would be perfect. Not only would it be an excellent marketing channel for a virtually unknown design firm, but it would also negate all of the risks associated with an untested product.

So far with Kickstarter, Hopkins has seen success that he didn’t expect. While his original funding goal was $75,000, he has now gone far beyond that. Just north of $964,000 as at the time of writing this post and it still has 61 hours to go, making the Elevation Dock to surpass the LunaTik record of $940,000.

Hopkins mentioned that he has thousands of messages to go through, with hundreds of companies contacting him to help them with their designs. However, Hopkins currently has plans on shipping 10,000 Elevation Docks before moving on to his next project which he declined to elaborate on what they are.

With the success so far, the one thing he is waiting patiently for is a call from Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, Jony Ive telling him well done.

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