Building a hardware company, or even releasing a single product, takes more than a successful Kickstarter project. While the crowdfunding service allows inventors to raise capital and awareness for their product concept, it’s really only the first step on the long path from ideation to completion. And, given Kickstarter’s insistence that it’s not a store, distribution is one of the hardest problems hardware-focused companies encounter along the way.
Some companies, like Brooklyn-based Grand St., have tried to address this issue by selling a few hardware products at a time and bringing Fab’s content-as-commerce strategy to the technology market. Others, like Quirky, provide feedback and support throughout the entire development process and then sell products through their own storefront and retail partners, including Target, Amazon, and Best Buy.
Then there’s Anvil, an ecommerce company billing its Pack Store as the “cure for the Kickstarter hangover” and the “App Store for hardware.” Unlike Grand St.’s curated deals or Quirky’s focus on development as well as distribution, Anvil is betting that hardware makers and consumers want a one-stop shop that anyone can sell through.