On September 1, 2012, Jamie Siminoff closed a successful Kickstarter campaign for the POP Charging Station. The POP was to be a multifunctional charging station that could power multiple smart devices. 1,000 backers pledged just short of $140,000 to the campaign.
At the time, he had no idea that Apple was “no longer willing to approve a product that uses the Lightning charger alongside any other charger (including their own 30-pin – seriously),” as he shared in a December 20th backer update. He also didn’t know that Apple would feel the heat from the press his update generated, enough heat to reverse their decision and change their guidelines.
It was a learning experience for Siminoff. It is during this tumult that he says he learned “how broken crowdfunding was.” This experience would help shape the way he built a new crowdfunding platform for inventors and their products, Christie Street. A chief concern was integrating a pain-free refund process, something Kickstarter didn’t have when things went sour for the POP.
Today, Siminoff is celebrating another milestone. The DoorBot is about to ship after being the first product to successfully crowdfund on Christie Street. Shipment is slated to begin in September.
“What makes me the most proud is that we sold something we knew we could deliver by following the Christie Street principles,” Jamie told Crowdfund Insider. “Then we took feedback from the crowd to make it even better. Instead of having to apologize for the actual product, which many crowdfunded projects end up needing to do, we were able to give our customers something even better than what they had bought.”
Why is Jamie Siminoff crowdfunding a project he created on a platform he created? It’s a test run for a future public launch of Christie Street.
“Because we look at Christie Street as a long-term play in an area where we feel we have the right solution, we wanted to make sure that we did a full successful campaign with delivery (DoorBot) before we allowed other projects on the site,” he said. “We will start looking to do that after all DoorBot customers are happily enjoying their units in September.”
Christie Street takes a 5% success fee just like many other big rewards-based platforms. With Kickstarter clamping down on tech hardware projects, Christie Street could find an area of need. We’ll find out when the platform opens up to the public in a month or two.
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