GrabDuck

Swivl: Multipurpose robotic platform for mobile and DSLR

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Risks and challenges

We've done crowdfunding successfully. Crowdfunding raises the stakes on product development. We've done this under the microscope of the public eye that crowdfunding brings and delivered.

Creating the new Swivl isn't remotely like creating a watchband or a phone case. There are over 400 parts in the original Swivl. Each part needs to be designed, specified, sourced, built and tested to make a product like this work. This is a massive technical and logistical challenge.

There is no silver bullet that makes this easy. You need capable, experienced resources and a strong development methodology. Brian, one of Satarii's founders, has lectured at Stanford University about good design methodology. In essence, it boils down to planning for iteration. You need to build, test and iterate on your design enough times to resolve the inevitable issues. You need to expect that your sensor will not meet spec, your chipsets won't be available or that there will be more friction in your drive mechanism than planned and through iteration eliminate those problems.

What is the worst case scenario? A modest delay. Some issues surprise even the most experienced developer and you need to insert another 2 week to 2 month iteration to resolve it. This is why Apple doesn't announce its products until its 2 weeks away from shipment. They have issues too and they don't want to reveal this to the public. But this method is not appropriate for crowdfunding. Crowdfunding requires transparency and involvement with backers. And we're signed up for regular, transparent communication throughout the process.

Kickstarter's new guidelines improve crowdfunding. It separates the pretenders from those that can deliver. Everything we've shown in our video and campaign materials is working. We have a great team with a proven record of delivering products. We are going to do everything in our power to deliver the new Swivl to supporters on time and as outlined.

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