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The Watch That Raised $8 Million on Kickstarter

Eric Migicovsky created Pebble, a watch that syncs with Android or iPhone apps, and crowdfunded more money from ordinary individuals than any other Kickstarter project so far.
VIDEO • CROWDFUNDING

The Watch That Raised $8 Million on Kickstarter

Eric Migicovsky created Pebble, a watch that syncs with Android or iPhone apps, and crowdfunded more money from ordinary individuals than any other Kickstarter project so far.

Eric Migicovsky, Pebble

Eric Migicovsky created Pebble, a watch that syncs with Android or iPhone apps, and crowdfunded more money from ordinary individuals than any other Kickstarter project so far.

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Video Transcript

00:08 Eric Migicovsky: At the beginning of March, we basically said, "Yeah, let's try to raise some cash on Kickstarter." Our watch that we're talking about right now is Pebble. It's a smartwatch. It works with iPhone and Android smartphones. It has weather, traffic apps, being able to see your calendar on your watch, basically to be the smartest watch ever. It was cool. Like I just thought of it and I looked around for other products that were out there. Couldn't really see a watch that would meet exactly what I needed, so I started making it.

00:47 Migicovsky: It was enough to help us do what we were doing, but it wasn't as large as we'd expected, not that you can really expect to raise money, but it was enough. So we started actually earning revenue at that point. We earned about $200,000 last year. So, in January 2012, we had a pretty firm idea of what Pebble would look like. We added iPhone functionality, Android functionality and this e-paper screen. We just didn't have the last key, which was a bunch of cash to start actually building the product. So, we thought of some other ways to get funding, and one of them was Kickstarter.

01:25 Migicovsky: Then I saw this project called Twine. I phoned up those guys, Skyped them and started asking... They're a bunch of guys from Boston, and asked them how they did Kickstarter. I wanted to get the inside scoop and they chatted with me for two hours. We talked all about the project, how you post your project, what are some of the things you want to keep in mind, and we had expected to sell $100,000 worth of watches in about 30 days. We thought that would be great. If we could do that, we would be gold. We would be able to make our watches and get them out there and really see what people thought of the watch. And we've got, I don't know, 40, 45,000 backers or more. I don't know, I haven't checked this morning, but that's a lot of people who want what we make, and one of the underlying, sort of, mantras of what I see is make something people want, and I think we've figured that out. I think we've figured out what people want, at least, in the short term.

Last updated: May 2, 2012

JOHN MCDERMOTT is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Playboy and on AOL.com. He recently moved from Chicago to Brooklyn, New York, to work for Inc.com.
@J_M_McDermott




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