If you have not heard the tale of how Scott Wilson conceived the idea for a cool watchband for the iPod Nano, then got it funded via the KickStarter program and went on to get his creations sold in the Apple stores by negotiating a better than average profit split, then here you go!
Below is an excerpt of the Fast company Article on “The United States of Design.”
From GM to 3M, in boardrooms and on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley and on Madison Avenue, design matters more than ever. Around the globe, American designers have never been more influential. Welcome to an unexpected and inspiring moment.
Early last November, Scott Wilson was feeling a little gloomy. The partnership in a startup he had
worked on relentlessly for a year had fallen apart, leaving him with little but regret over the time he had spent away from his family and his Chicago design studio, Minimal.
But this is the United States, a country famous for second acts. So after a few days of moping, Wilson, a serial
entrepreneur with a corporate stint as global creative director of Nike’s watch division, jumped back in. He had a new idea–and a novel plan for funding it.
Wilson’s brainchild was an innovative watch that grafted the body of an iPod Nano onto an aluminum case, turning the little touch screen into a cool, wrist-circling gadget that could wake you up in the morning, play your music, and even, with the help of a Nike+ chip mounted on the side, track your daily run.
The challenge, of course, was how the designer–who normally makes his living providing creative services to clients such as Steelcase, Google, Dell, and Microsoft’s Xbox–could raise the money to bring the concept to market. Potential partners had balked at his design, saying it would be too expensive to produce.
Design can be a critical competitive advantage–if American business seizes this moment.
That’s when Wilson turned to Kickstarter, the web-based funding platform for independent creative projects. He posted his idea on November 16. Within a week, he had raised $400,000 from 5,000 backers. Within a month, 13,500 people from 50 countries had ponied up nearly $1 million. In total, he sold 21,120 units on Kickstarter and roughly 20,000 more through his own site, lunatik.com.
Then Apple took notice and called Wilson to urge him to sell his wares in its stores. This brings us to the particularly delicious part of the story: When Apple offered its customary profit split, Wilson pointed to a Kickstarter survey indicating that 76% of his buyers had purchased a Nano because of the wristband. In other words, his accessory was spurring Apple sales. “That let me negotiate more favorable terms,” Wilson says. And now, Apple is selling twice as many watchbands as it had forecast.
To read the whole article online at Fast Company.com, click here.