Why Isn’t Phonebloks On Kickstarter Yet?
First off, Dave Hakkens is a gifted designer, and he has created an incredibly inspirational video. The video has drawn praise from most people (including all of us). But some have criticized it for being an impossible dream, saying it’s not technically feasible. So what is the truth? Is it possible or not?
We aim to put that uncertainty to rest over the next few months, with the upcoming PhoneBloks Kickstarter campaign. There’s only one problem. First we need a functioning prototype that demonstrates the current functionality of the design. These are Kickstarter’s rules, and I suppose it makes sense. They don’t want someone with nothing by an idea on a napkin to raise millions of dollars, only to realize a year into the project that they’ll never deliver. Kickstarter wants people who can not only come up with great concepts, but people who can produce.
The Long Road to PhoneBloks on Kickstarter
Luckily, PhoneBloks.org brings a number of dedicated “producers” to the table. Our team has years of software engineering, business development, and even a little industrial design under our belts, so we’re pretty confident we can tackle PhoneBloks.
However, it’s going to take quite a bit to get PhoneBloks on Kickstarter. First off, we need more volunteers to work with us on developing all aspects of the PhoneBlok. Normally corporations rely on hundreds – or even thousands – of experts to bring a new phone to market. And that’s just when they’re releasing a new model. By some estimates, it took Apple 5 years to launch the first iPhone. So how long will it take to develop PhoneBloks?
Building the PhoneBloks Prototype
We believe we can have a very very basic prototype up and running by the end of 2013. This might be a little ambitious, but we’re talking about an over-size, prototype that we can use as a basis to build the production version. We can take Dave Hakkens’ design to a workable prototype with a few decent donations, some online collaboration and a GitHub account. But it’ll likely run a patched version of Android, and is guaranteed to have bugs. The initial prototype will cost tens of thousands, while development of the production version will cost millions to fund. And to take it to a mass-produced device, it could take as much as $100 million. Hence the need for Kickstarter.
How Kickstarter Will Help PhoneBloks
Kickstarter will help us build a full-blown prototyping facility to build PhoneBloks for the masses, with a team of full-time electrical engineers, software developers and industrial designers. This will likely take about a year. So if we start our Kickstarter campaign in Dec. 2013, you could theoretically have a PhoneBloks phone from Kickstarter as soon as December 2014.
What do you think? We’re looking for thoughts, comments, tweets, likes, +1s and emails to let us know what you think about our plan. If you believe in us, spread the word to friends and potential supporters! If you think we’re full of it, then feel free to troll us. Either way, we hope to keep spreading the word about Dave Hakkens’ incredible dream.
– The PhoneBloks Team