Using Kickstarter to Bring Designs to the Marketplace

From the New York Times:

PAULA PATTERSON was back in her studio the other night, where she has spent nearly every weeknight and too many weekends to admit since January. From her day job as a graphic designer at an executive search firm in Midtown, she takes the subway and the fickle B61 bus to Brooklyn (“I don’t know why they print a schedule,” she said). That leaves her about two hours to build another V-Luxe, the iPad stand she designed as a birthday gift for her boyfriend last summer and soon after decided to market online.

“If there’s one thing I failed to estimate, it was the time this project would take,” said Ms. Patterson, 41, looking exhausted but also relieved, because the last of the V-Luxes were boxed up on her work table, ready to ship.

The recipients were backers Ms. Patterson found last fall, through the Web site Kickstarter. For pledging at least $500 toward her $5,000 financing goal, they are entitled to a finished V-Luxe, which stands about 18 inches high, is made of three species of wood and looks a little like a classic Philco Predicta TV from the 1950s.

In turning to Kickstarter to finance the V-Luxe, Ms. Patterson is among a growing number of designers who are using the site to get their sketch pad ideas into production, through crowd-sourced financing. Scan Kickstarter’s design category, and there are dozens of projects in search of backing, from screen-printed glassware billed as “awesome glasses for awesome people” to a sustainable house intended for use in developing countries.

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