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I was thoroughly impressed when I heard about the Raspberry Pi project .. a sub-$100 usable computer, available for the masses.
Pretty damn impressive, I thought. Making computers finally so affordable…
Then I saw this project today .. C.H.I.P.
A $9 computer ($19 with an HDMI adapter)!
A computer for the price of a pint!
And it’s friggin’ TINY!
(oh .. and it’s open source, so you will be able to create your own at home and skip this HEFTY $9 “fee”)
What’s really impressive is that they raised their minimum ($50.000) in 6 hours on Kickstarter.
Now, 7 days later, they’ve raised $1.1 million and they have 24 days left.
(At the time of writing, the actual number is $1,162,573)
“The specs must suck then!”
Actually, for the price, the specs are very good .. 1GHz core, half a gig of ram and 4 gigs of storage.
Ok, ok.. it’s not a beast of a computer – but what do you expect for $9?
How does it look?
Pretty damn bad-ass if you ask me. It’s similar to my Arduino board, which is pretty small.
Who made it?
A company called Next Thing Co., a company based in Oakland, CA.
How did they get such a traction?
Well, this isn’t their first Kickstarter project.
In May of 2014 (a year ago today), they announced OTTO, the hackable GIF camera (yes, you read that right … a GIF camera).
I remember all the tech buzz surrounding it when it was announced. It got a lot of publicity but unfortunately it only raised $70.000, only $10.000 over their goal.
This time though, they already had the momentum and the tech buzz connections to make this tiny computer a massive hit.
OTTO is based on Raspberry Pi.
My guess is that they will be using their computer to power a new version of OTTO, making it more affordable and profitable (going from $99 to $9 for a single part is a huge step in reducing cost and increasing margins). But since CHIP was such a success, it’s hard to speculate if they will continue with OTTO or focus on making CHIP a leadership product.
They must have built up a buzz for such a successful launch, right?
Well .. yes and no .. I didn’t hear or read anything about this computer until today (but then again, I’ve been keeping myself away from the news lately).
They built a buzz – No?
I went through their twitter timeline and it was pretty much silent with only a couple of tweets about what was happening with OTTO, right until May 7 when they announced the Kickstarter campaign for CHIP.
Before the Kickstarter campaign, there were no news about this thing.
They built a buzz – Yes?
My guess is that they learned a lot from the previous Kickstarter launch, and got a LOT of useful press contacts.
So they had the previous experience of launching their previous campaign along with learning what things should have gone better and their press contacts.
I believe the sequence for this launch was something like this:
- Buy a month’s supply of caffeine for the team
- Plan the campaign ahead of time, using what they learned from their previous launch to get a bigger traction.
- Prepare the press releases for all the big tech media outlets
- Create all the creatives (video, images, copy, etc.) for the Kickstarter page
- Launch on Kickstarter and do nothing but hang on social media to connect with all the people buzzing around
- Sleep after the campaign ends.
I believe they have a perfect execution (according to the figures I’m seeing) in building the buzz really quickly and effectively.
The hard part will be maintaining and building the momentum.
What will the final numbers be? Please guess in the comment section
I don’t know what the final numbers will be .. they’ll be at least a million, but I’m interested in seeing if they’ll reach $3 million ..
you might think that according to their momentum, they should reach $3 million easily, but I am a bit skeptical, knowing the inverse logarithmic effect of capacitor charging. (or .. reverse hockey stick effect)
But I might be wrong .. and that’s where you come in!
Give me your BEST GUESS of what their final Kickstarter number will be in the comments below.
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