Seeking Partner in Kickstarter Venture, Interested?

Hey guys,

Here’s the premise, I have a cheap, easy, mass market smartphone accessory that I’d like to get started with. What I’d like is a 50/50 partnership split, but we both have to put in 50% (labor, financial, etc) into the venture. Simple.

I’m sure most of you ID guys also have your own products you’d like to get to market, perhaps even a smartphone accessory? I would also entertain ideas of investing in your idea (if it was the better choice) for a Kickstarter project as well.

As a product designer offering his/her services you only get paid once for designing a product. Meaning to make a living you’re going to sit in front of a desk for the rest of your working life helping others get rich off your creativity. What I offer is a chance to create one or more great products that can be mass produced and sold throughout the world. [99.9% of people never get rich off of offering their services(time) to people because unless you can charge a fortune for your time you only are one person, and you can only work so long in a day. Before you think about early retirement, remember it’s hard work running a business, we’ll have to make sure that our products are of high quality, talk to customers, wholesale to stores, make sure our products reach everyone who’s purchased one, and all the financial/legal stuff that go along with a business. However, if we do it right we can make lots of money doing it and who knows in a few years we can sell our business, white label our products, sell our IP for royalties, or our share in the company.

My idea needs the following (in order):
Patent: $3000 est.
Design: 1-2 days
Manufacturing Estimates: 2 weeks
3D printing: $30-100 (several prototypes)
Video: 3 days shooting 2 days editing
Well written Kickstarter page complete with graphics: (2 days)

What I offer:
Product Idea (Ideas are cheap, implementing them correctly is expensive)
Graphic Design Skills
Business Experience (combined 24 years)
Some Video Editing Skills
Kickstarter Experience
A partner who was the VP finance officer of Office Depot, with a bachelors degree in business & accounting

What I need/want/prefer:
**Product Designer
“More” Connections To Manufacturing
Product Promotion Know how/Connections
Video Shooting/Editing Skills
Hard Worker
Someone who lives in the Bay Area, San Francisco, CA

My Vision For The Project:

_I’d like the Kickstarter Campaign to have a low minimum funding goal $5000, this means using 3D printing/cast molding to produce low quantities of parts which can be assembled by hand if need be. The campaign will have pledge levels of $30 for the 3D printed version (I estimate the 3D printed version to cost $10-15 per unit. After the $5000 goal is reached we’ll roll out a new funding level of $20 for the injection molded version. I plan on using my overseas contacts to make it very cheap to produce. Estimated cost of tooling $2000-3000 (this is a very small part). MOQ is 1000pcs. I estimate the cost per unit to be easily under $1, perhaps $2 with shipping and packaging, hidden expenses. Around $5000 will be spent to injection mold, package, and ship to the USA our product, which is why the funding goal is $5000. I believe in starting lean and cheap, why spend money on parts of the business the customer doesn’t see or care about.

We should send a few prototypes to gadget review blogs (I have contacts with a few blogs)

To get attention for the product, perhaps we can employ comedy (cheesy, corny, slapstick, jokes) in the demo video (in tasteful quantities) to draw in more views but without making our product seem like a joke. The more attention you can grab the more popular your product. We would show why our product is so much better then the competition, perhaps side by side comparisons? Show what life is like with and without our product._

Remember there’s no reward without risk, you cannot make money without spending a little first. Gladly, we now have crowd funding sites that make the risk so much less! Instead of $10,000-20,000 to release a product you merely need a few thousand (not even that if you don’t care about patents).

PM me your email address and why you think we should chat and start from there.**

Or you could take the risk, invest a few thousand bucks into a professional designer, and own 100% of the success! It doesn’t take you an excel spreadsheet and a lawyer to tell you that’s the better route if you have that much faith in the project.

If you have 24 years of experience and this product only requires 2 days of design work and a few prototypes, you should easily be able to find a consultant who will handle the design work for a few grand or less. A patent is useless when your disclosure of prior art still gives you a year, and China won’t care about your patent anyway if they want to knock off your idea.

If you don’t have enough faith in your idea to birth it yourself, asking someone to do the heavy lifting for free and a “Stake” is pretty risky and doesn’t make sense from a business perspective unless you don’t have much faith in those ideas.

You talk a good talk though…if you start selling cars I’m game!

You think spending 1-2 days designing is “heavy lifting” LOL

Regarding the design work, it’s simply turning a physical product into something that can be 3D printed you see I actually have several hand made prototypes that I use everyday. I’ve already did the hard work of designing several prototypes (each design took 1 full day to mill out of Delrin), tested them, refined the idea and determined what features it should have. This took many months of work but you’d have to see the product to know why.

1 year provision to get a patent only applies for the USA, I believe Japan has something like 6 months to file a patent. The reason a patent should be filed prior to public disclosure is to allow one to have patents in other parts of the world, for example the EU. The USA is in recession, there’s no guarantee it’ll ever come out of it, which means that perhaps it’s a good idea to market the product in other more profitable parts of the world.

Faith has nothing to do with a products success, it’s the execution of the product/company that will bring the success. Of course I think that my product idea is good but that’s irrelevant. I don’t have experience selling products, I sell services, that’s why I know what some of you figured out, you can’t make lots of money from services.

The reason for the money is that I want a partner who also believes in the product like I do. I’m willing to do less or no money if need be but expect a much less equity stake in the product. With less equity you’ll have less motivation to see the success of the product. I might as well partner with an investor with contacts in manufacturing/retail to make this product a success. Remember, your not going to get any “reward” without risk, it’s that simple. There isn’t many investments out there that has so little risk yet such high reward.

PS: I did sell used cars, I bought undervalued cars on craigslist and sold them for what they were really worth. Made 8k monthly from that hobby. :sunglasses:

Please remove the video, it’s very distracting, and really has nothing to do with this discussion.


You’ll need to budget a lot more than $30-$100 for “several” prototypes…

I think you have grossly under estimated your timeline and budget. 1-2 days of design, really? that is rather presumptuous. it could take you a week to just put it in CAD alone. I would allot 2 weeks at the minimum. Take your time, work out the details, make sure you have thought of the user interaction, create a good design that functions properly and is aesthetically pleasing. At least you know enough to hire a designer to help you with this.

I would find someone who can really photo render first and put out some nice renderings to sell folks on kickstarter about the idea before you went and spent money on prototypes. that could buy you design time while you raise money.

Also you will need much more money to have 3D prototypes made, especially if you want them photo quality. As someone who prototypes quite often i would budget $250-500 per part(assuming they are small and just an SLA). It isn’t going to be just a miracle one prototype, there will be several, you will need to refine.

I am assuming this is a plastic part on this one but once you get it where you are ready to cut a tool, that alone could take 6 weeks to receive the first run and there could be corrections and changes needed there. Even if you get a short run tool made you are going to need some serious coin there.

TLDR version:

  • you need about double what you think as far as budget goes.
  • you need tons more time to do it right.

I’ve done too many jobs for “inventor” types who have wanted to bring their idea forward but refused to commit to the tried and true steps.

Kickstarter is a fantastic means of generating capital, interest, and a fan base - but that doesn’t mean it creates any kind of shortcuts around the traditional ID process.

Even if you rebuild a design in CAD in 2 days, there still is time and man hours to work out tooling challenges, tolerance issues, and other unforseen manufacturing issues.

I’ve started projects like these that the client ultimately can’t follow through on because they expected the project to magically circumvent product development and then offer me a “stake” in the company to work pro-bono. And in reality almost no designer will want to take the legal steps required to actually make that happen. If you find one, let me know.

I get reward without risk all the time. It’s called being a professional.

Check this series (Story of GLIF)- it’s basically exactly what you want to do.

Note how it’s not as easy, cheap or fast as you expect.


I realize now that the posters above are freelance designer/firms who don’t like when people try to bypass their business model to create products. All you want to do is have us pay you thousands of dollars and assume no risk or responsibility for the products you create. It’s condemnable that you’d try to shoot down this thread with what you know nothing about and are too scared to try. There’s many crowd funding examples of very successful products that had 2 or more people at the helm…


You cry about how my potential partner(s) is taking such a risk, that’s a stupid statement. I’m taking the exact same risk he/she would. Clearly you failed to grasp the original post. Most of the people who create crowd funded products are not alone, they are part of design firms, have partners, connections etc, this is the reality you guys fail to grasp.

What you guys failed to get from the original post is that I’ve done a crowd funding campaign before, I know the ACTUAL cost to get the project to a stage where you can create a crowd funding page. I can promise all of you it’s a huge mistake to hire a design firm to create your products for “crowd funding”. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to ask for too much money, if you hire a design firm you’ll be forced to eat the cost, or ask for much more money. Nobody wants to waste their time backing a project with an unattainable goal. In my year 1/2 of crowd funding experience I’ve never seen a creator who hired a design firm actually make it. With a few exceptions nobody doing crowd funded products should have a funding goal more than $10k.

Since I’ve only gotten negative feedback from this forum I am cancelling the request for a partner on here, I’ve gotten a few responses from another site and will proceed from there.

Best of luck, I think we were trying to help pretty constructively.

Perhaps there is just a different definition of design. I had never heard of any of the examples you mention (Ezestand, Smartphone coasters, etc.) but checking them out, you are right, those certainly don’t use a professional designer, so if that’s what you are looking to do, you maybe don’t need us. Dodcase looks nice though, they certainly spent some money at least in graphics and branding or designers themselves. But it’s not really comparable as there’s no molding, tooling, part design…

I’d be pretty sceptical any of those other things are making any money anyhow.

Did you check out the GLIF project?

Can you show us what your previous project that you break down was? It’s hard to say if we’re off base on estimates if we don’t really know what kind of thing we’re estimating.


You know what also won’t make you rich? Designing on spec for everyone who thinks they have the next greatest thing (especially if its a iPhone case).

It is possible to get a partner to go on this journey with you, but they have to believe in the product just as much as you do. The reason its generally better to work for fees is that every project doesn’t become a gamble. You can make a lot of money on the lottery too, but most don’t.

By the way, there are websites like Quirky that would enable you to do exactly what you want to do (own the rights without owning the development).

The GLIF guys didn’t bypass product development. They just learned what needed to be done and did all the work themselves.

You are being a bit sensitive. I wouldn’t assume anything about what people here feel about the new business models that are popping up. I would think most are excited about Kickstarter (I know I am). It gives makers and doers an angle to the market that they’ve never had. You cannot come to a mostly professional design board and think that the participants don’t know the power and value of design.

as far as your examples…
Oona: no design, all function. I’m sure you could find a CAD monkey somewhere to build it for $1. I personally would almost feel guilty about charging you for that.

Orbit: just look at the quote from Scott Wilson on the kickstarter page. Its less about building the CAD (again, about an hours work) and more about supporting it through development, getting the materials and the fit and finish right.

Gilf: see R’s comments above.

Speaking of Scott Wilson (and the most successful Kickstarter project ever) ask him how much his hourly fee is at MNML.

List out the roles and responsibilities of each party ahead of time. See what makes sense. What are the complementary skillsets and how do they offset the contributions on each side? Ideally you are 50/50 if truly complementary. If not I guarantee problems and someone feeling unappreciated. I have found that neither side (biz+design) truly appreciates the time and skill invested by the other.

In your case…
50% for the idea/IP, connections/channels, biz plan (lets face it not many designers are great at this, they should be better but aren’t) operations, dealing, and some initial funding, etc

50% for the disruptive and iconic design, storytelling and branding, engineering, development, sourcing, working in the trenches, etc.

No way you should take less than 50% in a Kickstarter campaign as the creative partner. If the biz guy is bringing you the idea and opportunity and connections as well as the funding without the need for crowd-funding than fine you should get less. Otherwise be equal partners.

Unless he is going to run the business after launch and you are going to check out of course. But if you are both all in for the future… you should be 50%. Also note, as a product line grows you are going to have more and more work and his work will potentially not scale in the same way. He can leverage the same channels. But he will need to manage inventory and exposure. So sometimes you will be way busier and other times he will. Design is not a 2 day job. Even the simplest idea executed well is a ton of work.

Bottom line is partnerships only work with mutual respect. This means a fair agreement. Not necessarily 50/50 but its a good motivator to start a long term relationship. Thinking design is a 2 day effort is not respect. Actually if you find designers that can do disruptive iconic design in 2 days… you don’t give him less, you give him/her more! :slight_smile:

Also he is right that we see a lot of KS projects that don’t know how to execute once they reach funding or know how to scale.

And whoever mentioned you can also solicit a very inexperienced designer and take a chance and go less than 50% partner. But you are just risking the biz then anyways. Why not motivate the new partnership and be equal? And get a talented designer with a proven track record.

I don’t think you get it. People always want to short you due to how magnificent their thing is, but next time they will cut you in for more… Yeah okay, I’d rather mount my own KS campaign then work with/for somebody who is not going to take my work with respect and consideration. You could acquire all the software you need to make whatever it is you want to do yourself you know, it’s knowing how to do it well. I know how to use all the wood shop tools, I cannot produce a hand made wood working that would gain the respect of craftspeople in that field. You dig it?

+1 for the MNML post, that was nice.

Welcome to the boards MNML.

Thank you for that informative post. Glad to see you (or you guys) chime in on the discussion.