When the members of the Pebble watch start-up went to sleep after initially putting their product on Kickstarter, their modest first day goal was to raise $15,000 of their overall goal of $100,000. But by lunch the next day, they had already surpassed the entire $100,000 goal, something they had allotted 37 days to achieve. They've now spent the last month watching the numbers climb ever higher, finally shutting down fundraising at over $10,000,000 - by far the most successful Kickstarter campaign to date.
When the Pebble watch ships in September or October, it will be the first smart watch to connect to the iPhone. Using Bluetooth, the Pebble will be able to send information from your iPhone right to your wrist, including incoming calls and text messages. You can also connect to the iPhones GPS and music catalog, and using open source software you can customize the watches interface.
Initially, the creators of the Pebble, which now consists of 9 employees all under the age of 28, tried to raise money the old fashion way by pitching their idea to Silicon Valley venture capitalists. But while VC's are quick to invest in companies like Facebook and Instagram, the guys at Pebble weren't having much luck because the profit margins on hardware are smaller and riskier.
Instead, Pebble took the idea to the people using Kickstarter, a fundraising website where start-ups and individuals can pitch their idea to the public to raise money. In Pebbles case, a $100 investment on Kickstarter was basically a pre-order for a watch, which will be shipped to you once they're in production.
Pebble is now sitting on a giant pile of cash, which will be officially released to them on Friday. Unfortunately, their fundraising was so successful that it derailed their original plans to manufacture the watches in the US, as the factory they had planned on utilizing was unable to guarantee production and shipment by their fall deadline for their massively increased order of watches. The CEO and his design team are currently scouting locations in China to manufacture the watch, and the Head of Operations, Rahul Bhagat, joined Bill via Skype from their office in northern California.