With only seven days left of their Kickstarter campaign (it seems that we can’t stay away from the crowdfunding projects here at RiotACT this week), The Light Clock are one of the campaigns that have reached their goal. This isn’t always guaranteed.
The Light Clock is a decorative piece that uses light to tell the time. You can control the colour of light, the style of lighting and various embellishments using an app from your smart device. It honestly is a stunning piece and deserves its place on the ‘Kickstarter Staff Pick’ list.
I spoke to Joe Craddy, one half of the Light Clock team.
Why the Light Clock? Where did the idea come from? When did you have the idea? The project started as a way for Chris to learn more about programming. The original plan was simply to build something cool, and hopefully learn a thing or two along the way. The idea to build a clock specifically, really only came about because he had a general interest in watches and clocks. In fact, once he had a functioning clock, the idea was to give it to his grandfather as a Christmas present. As interest grew, Chris, being an engineer, was very taken by the idea that he could take a product all the way from “idea” to “manufacturing solution”; this is sort of what he does in his day job, but only gets to work on small parts of the process at a time.
What came first, the team or the idea? What made you want to build this together? As much as I’d like to say otherwise, Chris had the idea well and truly started before I came on board. While we were at uni we had spoken a couple of times about how it would be nice to work on a project together, but never had the time or the idea to develop it properly. Fast-forward a few years and Chris had built a prototype and was posting pictures and updates to his personal social media pages. A number of friends got in touch saying that they’d love one too and was he interested in selling them. This was really when I first got involved. I had a background in marketing so Chris had asked me to proofread a few things for him, which before we knew it had turned into me helping write the content for the website. A few days later Chris approached me formally, asking if I’d like to come on board; I jumped at the idea and here we are. It’s been a great opportunity for us to catch up and really has been a lot of fun working with each other.
Why did you pick Kickstarter over the other possibilities? Why Kickstarter is a question we’ve been asked a lot recently and basically all I can put it down to is because they’re the most well known. Other platforms offer different ways of running the campaign, different fee structures, etc, but whenever we asked someone about a different platform, they’d invariably reply with something to the effect of “oh, you mean like a Kickstarter”.
What’s been the hardest part of running a crowdfunding campaign? That hardest part in running the campaign so far has undoubtedly been in the preparation. There a so many little details involved in running a successful crowdfunding campaign and even more conflicting ideas on what works and what doesn’t. From our own research we knew how crucial that first day would be to our overall success. Essentially, people are hesitant to back a project early as nobody wants to be the first backer. All of our communication efforts were therefore based around getting that early traction. We held two launch parties, one in Canberra and one in Wodonga (where Chris works), plus we had people skyping in from all over the world to join us. Once we finally hit the button to go live, a huge number of our supporters jumped on and got us under way. We managed to hit over 40% of our funding goal within the first 24 hours; this was double our expectations and we were ecstatic with the result.
What have you enjoyed the most about running a crowdfunding campaign? The most enjoyable part of the campaign has absolutely been the consistency we’ve achieved. Every couple of hours we get another email from Kickstarter saying that someone has backed our project and the feeling is amazing. Knowing that there’s so many people out there who value our idea and want to see it become a reality is just wonderful. Getting the Staff Pick badge so early on in our campaign was also a pretty great feeling.
What are your favourite crowdfunding campaigns at the moment? As part of the preparation for launching our own campaign, we watched so many other’s it’s not even funny. We learned a lot from another Canberra-based (well, San Francisco now but was in Canberra when he started the project…) developer, Myles, and his board game Dragon Racer. They were able to get a lot support early and went on to over-fund. Arpeggio was another project we were both really impressed with. Their product was interesting but their campaign was top notch. Back on the timepiece theme though, Klokers was something we both could really get behind. I sure saw a lot of similarities in the overall feel of the product and was really happy to see them succeed as well as they did.
While their Joe and Chris’s campaign may be fully funded, you can still support their endeavour through Kickstarter by buying a Light Clock of your own.