Twenty-four hours before our launch, Kickstarter approves our project, and Shawn and I let out a collective sigh of relief. We’ve been working steadily towards this launch for months now, but even by kickstarter standards, it’s not exactly traditional. Most Kickstarter projects dealing with products and technology are very straightforward–”we designed and prototyped this thing, if enough people order them, we can make lots of them and ship them to our backers.” Our project doesn’t quite fit that mold–we’re raising money to build a new type of machine that makes solar panels. There aren’t a lot of people that want to buy machines that make solar panels, and we spent a lot of time thinking and revising rewards that we could offer for our backers that would be closely tied to our project, but would also be a more compelling fit into people’s lives than a large piece of machinery.
After a lot of discussion, we settled on kits for backers to make their own solar panels, using the same techniques we’d developed as we built the pocket factory. It felt right–the kits were connected to our projects; a DIY version of the same process that we were working to automate and streamline. Still, it wasn’t quite the same story as most other projects on Kickstarter, and we spent a nervous weekend, heart in our throats, waiting for Kickstarter to get back to us. And now it’s T-1 day, and all we have to do is hit that ‘Launch’ button and tell everyone we know.
I reckon this next bit is gonna be interesting.