When Twine’s creators signed up for Kickstarter, they thought they’d make about 200 devices using the same $20 toaster oven they had purchased for the prototype. Then they raised more than $500,000.
Twine is exactly the type of sensor-stuffed, Wi-Fi-connected gadget you would expect to take off in Kickstarter’s tech section. The device promises to make your washing machine tweet when the laundry is done and your basement send an email when it floods. Blogs called it “the future” within a week after debuting. Nobody was surprised when it raised more than half-a-million dollars–except for its creators.
When John Kestner and David Carr posted Twine on Kickstarter in November 2011, they had set their fundraising goal at $35,000. Their plan was to produce about 200 units using the same process that created the prototype. But six weeks later, having raised $556,541, they were now committed to shipping almost 4,000 units. The homemade wax mold used to create Twine’s prototype was no longer going to cut it, and there wasn’t another plan. “We were definitely not thinking of the risk of being too successful,” Kestner tells Fast Company.
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