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Open Source Pancakes and Crowdfunding Tips, Anyone?

Remember Joe Sandor? I met him on my way to Maker Faire New York in September. He was running a very successful campaign on Kickstarter for his Captain Crepe Pan project. I remember seating next to him at the Seth Godin conference (worth your time!) and he was getting emails from new backers every 4 minutes. Seriously.

Joe Sandor is back with a new product. This time, it’s an open source pirate pancake griddle. As a French person living in the United States, no need to say that I have a hard time deciding which I prefer: the crepe pan or the pancake griddle.

pirate-pancake-griddle

Joe Sandor and his Pirate Pancake Griddle

This pancake griddle is fully open source. Documentation comes with the first rewards: the vector file is available for $13, the 3D file for $26. The pancake griddle itself will cost you $93 (early birds). Hopefully, he’ll make the all documentation available for free after the campaign.

Here is the video of the Pancake Griddle:

A few comments on Joe’s strategy and why he rocks at crowdfunding:

Diversification

When you launch a hardware product with a crowdfunding campaign, it’s pretty hard to keep the campaign momentum going after it ends. I attended the first Crowdfunding meetup in San Francisco a few days ago (check out the Crowdfunding Meetup page) where most of successful projects in the room (The Oona, Revolights, …) admitted that after their campaign, sales dropped off.

Joe keeps creating new products and use crowdfunding to keep the momentum going. Using crowdfunding to launch and commercialize small batches and limited series of multiple products can be a good idea. Access to manufacturing tools and fabrication spaces let you produce for a smaller cost, avoiding mass production.

Another good idea is to launch a special edition of your product in order to bring back the attention on your company. That’s what Revolights is doing right now with a special Mission Bicycle Company edition of their cool lights for bikes wheels.

Execution

Great video, great pictures, personal and friendly project description, rewards that are both cheap to produce and interesting: great job mister Sandor.

Designs are shared freely, which means that backers can remix the design and make it their own. It’s a great way to connect with your community.

Angle

It is a fun product, easily memorable. Who doesn’t like pirates? This pancake griddle would be a great fit for the Pirate Store.

Trust

Joe is an American sculptor and designer. He knows his way around foundry, manufacturing and food-safe iron products. He also writes for MAKE magazine, which is a good way to meet more people in your community that can support your project.

 

Bon appetit everyone,

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