989
11 min 8 sec

“SwitchPod” Camera Tool Raises $415,748 on Kickstarter

When two friends spot an opportunity to create a practical camera accessory, the crowdfunding campaign exceeds their wildest expectations.
Design Kickstarter Manufacturing Niche Ideas Product

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What It's About

Two friends switch up the vlogging world with their innovated camera tripod.

Business Model
Product
Skills Required
Design & Research
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

If you want to do something similar, braving the waters of manufacturing a product based on an opportunity you identify, Caleb has some advice for you:

"We would advise that you research what you’re getting into HEAVILY. Make sure you’re solving someone’s problem or a group of people’s problem, not just your own."

Fun Fact

Pat and Caleb's first, low-cost prototypes were made of cardboard or 3D printed before they had any made out of metal.

Notes from Chris

Episode 989
Pat Flynn runs the blog, podcast, and community known as Smart Passive Income. Caleb Wojcik [voy-chik] owns a video production company. They've worked together for years on various projects and have built Pat's YouTube channel together.

In the summer of 2017, they attended an event called VidSummit. It was, appropriately, for video bloggers, also known as vloggers. They noticed that a lot of people there were using a piece of equipment that wasn't meant for vlogging. It was called the GorillaPod, a flexible tripod for cameras … but not really for video, and not ideal for handheld mode. Pat and Caleb got to talking about how the repurposed use of the Pod didn’t actually work that well.

Vloggers tend to bend the GorillaPod into a C curve so that they can extend their cameras out and away from them to get the best angle of themselves, while keeping their arm out of the shot. Setting the GorillaPod down is time consuming and unsafe for the expensive gear typically attached.

It was weird, seeing talented people use the wrong gear just because there wasn’t a good alternative. The more they talked, Pat and Caleb began to imagine what that good alternative would be. What would it look like? How would it feel, and how would it function?

This wasn’t just a market they spotted for other people; it was a problem they wanted to solve for themselves. Also, both Pat and Caleb had a great deal of experience with digital products … which in a lot of ways are a lot easier than making a physical product. They saw the departure as a challenge, a learning opportunity, and their next adventure.

Half the fun was learning something new. But there was a whole lot of work to be done! They hired Prouduct.com to help them design, prototype, and connect with potential manufacturers.

So what’s the big deal with the actual product? It’s called SwitchPod … and it works with any camera, from a phone to a DSLR, and simplifies video making. Like the name implies, you can switch between handheld and tripod modes (and back again) in seconds. The device is lightweight, compact, and nearly indestructible. Their promise is that it will save you time between shots so you can focus more on shooting and less on messing with your gear.

Pat and Caleb launched the SwitchPod Kickstarter campaign on January 29th, 2019 … and hit their $100,000 funding goal in less than twelve hours. All-day, they each kept refreshing the page, amazed at the response. They celebrated in frugal style, eating pizza with their families. And by the end of the campaign, they’d raised a total of $415,748.

With such a tremendous response to the campaign, they now have a large number of products to deliver. Their goal now is to finalize and ship more than 5,000 SwitchPods. After that, they’ll be working with retailers and continuing to sell them in their own store.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • SwitchPod.co: Learn more about this essential vlogging tool at the SwitchPod website.
  • SwitchPod Kickstarter Campaign: Check out Pat and Caleb's campaign that raised over $400,000. You can also pre-order your own SwitchPod.
  • Prouduct.com: Looking to sell your own product but don't know where to start? Consider working with Prouduct.com.

SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

cg-sig-newsletter


Download 2019 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP

Download 2018 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC

Download 2017 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC

Resources

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Quote of the Day
"Keep the project simple and don’t include too many bells and whistles. Anything you add complicates or possibly breaks what you’ve already figured out.​"
—Caleb Wojcik and Pat Flynn #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau