The Pebble smartwatch was listed on KickStarter.com to raise $100,000 funding. When the fundraising ended, the Pebble has more than $10,000,000 in funding and over 68,000 backers!
The founder, Eric Migicovsky, had to go via the crowdfunding route because he could not raise money through venture capitalists, who thought the idea was too risky. Future users of the phone however loved the idea, and pledges came in thick and fast.
The watch is a viral product, because it can be customised with apps for anything you can think of. The community itself will create more applications for it, or request new apps. As a result, the phone will have thousands of possible uses including running, cycling, music, email, etc.
The phone itself is not particularly attractive and is quite functional in looks as well as style. However, the possibilities are endless.
What made it successful?
- The founders kept searching for alternative funding sources when they were rejected by the traditional investors.
- They teamed up with RunKeeper, an already successful app with millions of existing users, getting instant publicity.
- Making the software available to developers will get thousands more apps into their directoy, without them having to create them.