ElevationLab’s Elevation iPhone dock already holds the record for Kickstarter’s “fastest funded project”, when it reached $250,000 in just a few days late last year. Since then, it has gained an astonishing following and has now beaten Kickstarter’s all-time total record too, with $971,000 in the pot.
Yes, you read that right, nearly $1 million in funding for a project that needed $75,000. The previous record holder managed $942,000 when it closed, and as the Elevation dock still has a few days to go, there is an excellent chance it’ll make six-figures.
If you haven’t seen it already, the Elevation Dock is an iPhone dock made from a single piece of aluminum, and is happy to accept iPhones in-or-out of a case, plus offer little resistance when you need to remove your phone from it. There’s an option to add a Line Out to connect the dock to an audio system, and a chance to buy a limited run of different colored models.
That’s it, no bells-or-whistles, complicated gimmick or special app to download. In fact, it doesn’t really have “features” at all, and is simply a beautifully designed stand with an emphasis on convenience. If this ethos sounds familiar, it should, and it’s the reason we originally questioned why Apple didn’t think of it themselves.
There’s an interesting parallel between the Elevation Dock and the previous holder of Kickstarter’s all-time highest funding record, Minimal’s TikTok and LunaTik project. Also milled from aluminum using a CNC machine, they are watch bands for the sixth-generation Apple iPod Nano, and again had a good, clean design with the minimum of fuss.
Kickstarter funds plenty of business ideas, but it’s no coincidence that the two top projects are Apple related, and a quick search of the site reveals many others hoping to achieve the same success as ElevationLab and Minimal.
Speaking to GigaOm last year, a designer who used Kickstarter to fund his own Apple-related project, compared the site at that time to the early days of Apple’s App Store, where an enthusiasm for the brand (and let’s not kid ourselves, a desire to make money) saw a lot of innovation in a short space of time.
So while basing your new product around an existing Apple product seems to be good advice (who knew!), the real secret seems to be simplicity.
The Elevation Dock is seeing success because it doesn’t offer something only a few people want, but something everyone wants — life to be a bit easier.
For further proof, take a look at the third highest-funded Kickstarter project, the Hidden Radio. This cylindrical speaker had almost no buttons, connected via Bluetooth and an inspired, minimalist design. It went on to attract $938,000. Oh, and its compatibility with Apple products was made very clear.
There you have it then, Kickstarter’s recipe for success is a great design, simplicity, convenience and an Apple logo. Shocking.