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UX & Product Designer

Chi Wai Li

Work I've done

Why startups should embrace Kickstarter!

I absolutely love Kickstarter! If you are asking “What is Kickstarter?” Than I’m just going to presume you are pretty new to the idea of starting your own business. Because it is an amazing crowd funding platform that give you a pretty good chance of making your ideas to a real product! (If it is good anyway)
Personally, I really enjoy browsing around this website seeing all the wonderful and innovative ideas out there. Supporting independent businesses.
Designers/artists/producers/game makers/product designers can use this platform to announce their early stage idea in hope of financial support from others, If the idea is good and its liked by enough people who are willing to put money toward that idea, then the magic can begin! Once a project is “Funded” the startup would receive the funding to start making that very product. How the money is used, will of course vary for different projects.
It is also entirely up to each startup to determine what backers would receive in return for their pledges, it could be a simple thank you, a t-shirt, a copy of the finished product or a entirely customised version of the product.

How Kickstarter* has changed the game

I think Kickstarter is a big fat slap against the traditional model for starting new businesses or growing existing ones and this is how it is doing it:

  1. Ideas can be validated against the market before too much money is spent. Naturally, if the idea is good there should be plenty of support for the idea to happen, and if there is not enough backers, well then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
  2. Startups can have capital to begin operation without having to risk their own life savings, re-mortgage their home or beg annoying relatives for money.
  3. Not having to explain the idea to people who just doesn’t get it! Instead approach like minded people around the world to help fund the project. Explaining about the idea for a new revolutionary BBQ grill to a bank manager or well off relative who just so happen to be a vegetarian might be rather difficult!
  4. No lost of equity to investor, remain 100% control of the project and develop the products the team envisioned. However, it is worth considering traditional Angel Investors can often also provide networking and experience support.
  5. Be inspirational to other ideas, the more other see what is possible, the more likely they will being their own venture
  6. Establish an fan base BEFORE there’s a product
  7. Space to expand, if a project receives a lot of interest (Like the Pebble E-paper Watch, which went a shocking 10,000% over their original funding goal) the project would have even more capital to make an even better product
  8. Backers get a chance to be a part of history, receiving project updates and at the end receive a product that is brand new to the market
  9. If a project is only getting mediocre response, there would at least be a few backers to communicate with and understand how the project can be improved

My one gripe with it is it’s currently US citizen only. UPDATE: Kickstarter will also be open to UK from 31st October
*Although I do love Kickstarter, I have no issue with all the other equally fantastic crowd funding platforms like IndieGoGoRocketHub, PeopleFund It (No longer available), CrowdFunder and CrowdCube 🙂

My Backer History

The following is a list of all projects I have proudly funded, follow me if you are interested:

Zombie Playground (#zpg) – 3D Action, Online Battle RPG

Wednesday Jun 27,

MaKey MaKey: An Invention Kit for Everyone

Wednesday Jun 13,

Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android

Saturday May 19,

Twine : Listen to your world, talk to the Internet

Wednesday Jan 4,

Global Village Construction Set

Sunday Nov 20,

Orbit: A Swiveling Smartphone Suction Mount

Thursday Oct 6,

EscapeCapsule – Waterproof iPhone 4 Case

Thursday Sep 22,

Wear You Live

Wednesday Aug 31,

What the media is saying

This movement of crowdfunding can be seen on various international news rooms like BBCWired and The Economist has already reported on how crowd funding is changing the business words and