A while back I asked for some opinions about launching Project Danzig, my little bike design, on Kickstarter. While I consider both of the guys who read these posts to be infinitely wise and well-traveled in the world of bicycles, making sense of the responses has proven difficult. I got a lot of responses (OK, there are more than two of you out there), but zero consensus. Like a total 50/50 split.
Now I know some of you just vote the “no” ticket across the board, from supporting cheesy-sounding new “social micro-financing invention sites” to rescuing a bus filled with puppies from a volcano, but for the split to be so balanced wasn’t expected.
What’s up with that?
Either way, I’m taking a break from banging my head against the keyboard to point out one particularly upscale Kickstarter project, Fabike (I don’t know either–it’s like a cross between “Fabio,” the designer, and “bike”).
To my thinking, Fabike marks a few key changes to the bike projects I normally see on Kickstarter.
For one thing, most Kickstarter projects tend to skew toward hippie-capitalism–”it’s about all of us, man” kind of vibe. In contrast, Fabio’s baked his name right into the bike. He’s bringing a little bravado and swagger to the party, and why the hell not? If my name were Fabio, I would, too. There’s no “i” in “teamwork,” but there’s a lot of “fa” in the “fabike.”
More importantly, this is clearly a company, not a dude. You don’t set out to “fund your little labor of love” by offering a carbon fiber frameset and a full assortment of private label branded parts, from crankset to wheelset–to laser-etched BB30 adapter cup set.
I’m not for or against here. I’m just curious to see what’s clearly a company using Kickstarter to fund what appears to be a pretty sophisticated project. Why half of you don’t like Kickstarter, I may never know (unless you comment), but I’m wondering how Kickstarter has changed in the last year. I suspect it’s become a target for companies capitalized enough to have developed something without it, but using it to hedge their bets.
Interesting to see how all of this will change in the next week, let alone the next six months.