For around a year, I’ve been waiting for a particular package to arrive. Patiently…waiting. No, it wasn’t late. This time, the package just took a while, and for legitimate reasons. The contents of which were going to be amazing and, honestly, out of this world when opened.
Well, at least a spectacular replica of something that was literally sent out of this world 40 years ago.
And this package arrived today!
As expected, the book, the albums and the disc sleeves are spectacularly designed and produced. It’s surreal to receive such a cool piece of history in the mail, courtesy of a Kickstarter campaign.
The fundraising and reward-based company Kickstarter has been good to a lot of innovators, dreamers and customers (like me) over the past several years. Thanks to Kickstarter, I’ve ridden a real-life hoverboard (no wheels, but an actual hoverboard that hovered above the ground in Silicon Valley), possess a limited edition board game inspired by Christopher Nolan’s epic film Inception (that came inside a silver briefcase) and can now play NASA’s famed Golden Records on a turntable and/or digitally.
If the Golden Record was re-recorded with a few new songs, images and earthly sounds today, one specific thing comes to mind above all the worthy contenders…
the B-movie masterpiece Independence Day.
Just as a nice reminder, in case the aliens ever got any ideas.
Kickstarter is modern venture capitalism in a nutshell.
“In a nutshell” could very easily be a company name on Kickstarter, which only underscores the imaginative space this website gives its aspiring businessmen and businesswomen to pursue. After searching through its digital catalog of ideas that need a preset minimum investment to formally charge its voluntary investors and proceed with producing a particular product(s), it’s evident that people have passions and consumer goods that are both logical and illogical.
And that’s fantastic.
Because only the marketplace validates or denies value. It’s up to consumers and this is where the excitement lies. People no longer have to be employed on Wall Street or understand the complexities of the stock exchange to fund start-ups. All you need is a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone and a little money. And depending on the monetary donation, there’s a corresponding reward. A person’s support could be as minimal as $5 or as large as thousands of dollars.
Fortunately, the pop culture geniuses at Hendo Hoverboards created a Kickstarter campaign last year that centered on the world’s first hoverboard in the year 2015. Movie buffs will remember that this is the year Marty McFly rode that famous hoverboard in Back to the Future Part II, which was the nostalgic effect they hoped to have on visitors to their fundraising page. It worked with viral-like popularity.
They were funded.
Stories were written about the Hendo Hoverboard in major publications, like Fortune, Smithsonian, Business Insider, the Today Show and more. The mission was to give investors of varying ages and backgrounds the thrill of a lifetime and to introduce people to its multipurpose hovering technologies being developed by Arx Pax, the company behind Hendo Hoverboards. While their primary focuses beyond the hoverboard are not yet ready for the public, their ambitions are certainly within the realm of a future reality.
Luckily, I found this Kickstarter campaign and made a modest investment that included a ride on the aforementioned hoverboard. The entire experience (from researching the company’s mission to its supremely clever marketing to the crazy awesome ride) was first-class. Beginning the morning in their office with a handshake from its co-founder Greg Henderson and discussions with their enthusiastic (and thankful) employees, my time spent in the unassuming Los Gatos, California business park last Friday was eye-opening into the exciting dynamics of a genuine tech start-up.
The marketing strategies are changing in exciting ways, the storytelling aspect of a company is becoming more prevalent and the value of viral content through social media is extending the reach of before unknown firms to individuals who may not have joined together on a business venture otherwise.
Here is the Hendo Hoverboard Kickstarter video.
Welcome to the future.