Wisdom of the Crowd? A Look Back at Crowdfunded IoT Projects

There's no doubt that crowdfunding can be a great tool for IoT startups, but it's no guarantee of success.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Apr 20, 2016

Last week, I noticed that CNET has recently gone through its story archives to compile a roundup of crowdsourced IoT products it had written about, for a where-are-they-now update story.

I had been planning to do a similar story for a while, and so here it is, with thanks to CNET. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, correct?

I've long been fascinated by Kickstarter and by the wild successes—sometimes followed by huge disappointments—that it has enabled. For the past six months or so, I've been telling startups that pitch me on their crowdfunded IoT products to come back to me once they've reached their fundraising goals, because a few of the crowdfunding campaigns I've covered in the past have failed to do so. I've even toyed with the idea of not covering crowdfunded products until their backers start receiving the goods, but that seems like an extreme approach.

Herewith, quick updates on some of the crowdfunded IoT products we've covered at IOT Journal.

One of the first stories we ran, back in the fall of 2014, was about a Bluetooth-connected concussion tracker called Jolt, which was seeking to raise $60,000. The goal was reached and the hardware was manufactured and ready to ship to backers by the fall of 2015—a small delay from the original delivery estimate. (While scaling manufacturing is often the issue crowdfunded projects face, in this case the slow start was caused by a delay in receiving approval for the Jolt smartphone app.)

Today, Jolt is selling the concussion trackers direct to consumers via its website.

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