Peak Design’s “Capture” Product & Kickstarter

I received my “Capture System” this weekend.  It’s a camera attachment accessory making it easy to attach and carry a camera on a belt, shoulder bag strap, etc. I think it is an excellent product, both in design and construction. It should make bringing along my midsize camera (a Panasonic GH2) more convenient, and yet still keep it accessible.

What I find just as interesting as the product though is how the product came about. It started on Kickstarter.  Kickstarter is a website where people can list their ideas and how much funding they require in order to get the idea realized. Anyone can review the ideas, and pledge money if they are interested. If the project receives the specified minimum amount needed, then the pledges are obligated to pay their share. (It’s done automatically.) Usually the contributors are promised something in return from the project originators.

In the case of the Capture Kickstarter project, I was an early contributor and was promised to receive shipment as soon as the product existed.  I also got the product for less than the eventual retail price (although I couldn’t know that at the time for sure since they also weren’t sure what the retail price would be).  There were different levels of contribution amounts. I pledged enough so that I will also get a planned additional accessory (the “Extender”) whenever they have time to design and produce it.

The Peak Design founder, Peter Dering, has been very open throughout the entire process and it has been fascinating to see the ups and downs of something like this becoming real. In addition to the surprise phenomenal success he had on Kickstarter (eventually becoming the 2nd highest funded project), he also had his first kid around the same time.  When it rains it pours.

I have read articles explaining how the “new economy” could be more micro-based due to crowd sourcing, social networks, and the progression of manufacturing technology.  Something like the “Capture” might never have existed (at least not as much to the benefit of the original inventor) without Kickstarter. If the experience I’ve had with Kickstarter and the Capture device is repeatable, then the next decade could see a surge in innovation and creativity. I’m excited.

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