Two and a half years ago Bitlock set out to crowdfund a smart bike lock at a time when hype around connected devices was surging and goodwill in crowdfunding platforms was buoyant.
Since then both categories have taken some confidence knocks and served up disappointments aplenty.
So what happened to Bitlock? Did it ship, and if so, did its smart device live up to expectations? What problems did it run into? And what does it think of the crowdfunding process with the benefit of hindsight?
Crowdfunding hardware is an especially tough act to pull off. Some very high profile projects have crashed and burned. Others that went on to attract VC investment after a successful crowdfunder have still struggled with delays and rising competitive threats. Product problems seem to be a given. Being small and scrappy is not usually a recipe for mass market success in the fiercely fought consumer electronics space.
The bottom line is that hardware is hard. It’s a long-distance marathon of challenges, even if you secure enough up front funding to build your gizmo. Sometimes money itself can derail the dream — investing project creators with too much confident, encouraging bad decisions and poor budgeting, leading to wastage and worse.
Throw in a bunch of excited crowdfunding backers who bought into your initial enthusiasm and are inexorably bound to the fate of your project with their cash and high hopes, and, well, your inevitably long and bumpy development process is going to feel even more fraught. Read more at TechCrunch.com.