The Other Tesla

I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool new products and ideas are surfacing — not in VC-backed companies, as they used to be.

If I look at my credit card bill, it's a rare month if I haven't contributed something to a crowd-funded product. I first got hooked with the Pebble Watch, which I have had in my possession for about two years now, and it's still ticking!

I know that not all of the products out there are going to make it — I have purchased a few duds over the years — but the broader point is that this is a new and entirely viable way to get innovative new technologies to market.

These crowdfunding platforms can also be used for charitable or artistic projects, and that's a game-changer for non-profits and struggling artists. So I was particularly taken with this fundraiser for Tesla. No, we aren't talking about the car company, we're talking about the great man himself, Nikola.

Not too long ago in the EE community, anything to do with Tesla referred to the last century and the wonders of AC current. Any story in EETimes about Tesla generated huge traffic, invariably including a few fringe comments from the Tesla conspiracy theorist crowd. I'm sure many of these folks would fit well in Max Maxfield's foil helmet brigade, but they are always fun to read.

As a resident of the Bay Area/Silicon Valley, I can tell you that around here Tesla is very much about the electric car — I found myself surrounded by three of them on Highway 280 last week, and you see them everywhere, but we digress…

To read the rest of this article, visit EBN sister site EETimes.

7 comments on “The Other Tesla

  1. Anand
    October 17, 2014

    Kickstarter is all about innovation of the right kind and that too from all kinds of sources possible. If you talk about innovation and tesla in a single context then it is not hard to see that Tesla has a innovation policy which enables it to create better and efficient cars every year.

    October 17, 2014

    Do you look at these as a pure financial investment or as something you do for fun and creativity?

  3. Nemos
    October 19, 2014

    That is a really nice question though, most of the stories that became successful are the stories that were driven by passion and the achieving was the fun at the very beginning. Today, most of the people try in a way to connect the idea with the cost and with money, in general that is okay if we are talking with financial terms but that kills any potential creativity.

    It is not a coincidence that most of the inventors didn't face economical problems, write and follow your idea and maybe the money will follow, if not doesn't matter,

  4. Nemos
    October 19, 2014

    Very nice observation @anandy, could you please specify more the following: “it is not hard to see that Tesla has an innovation policy”.

  5. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    October 20, 2014

    @flyinscott, I like the opportunity of feeling like i'm a small part of something really cool. Plus, all the info on EBN gives me some ideas about what the future might look like so i can support good ideas that are reasonably likely to have some success.

  6. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    October 20, 2014

    @Nemos, increasingly, crowdfunding organizations are measuring not only how many projects get funding but also how many of those actually get to manufacturing. I foresee more support from the Kickstarters of the world around helping designers udnerstand the complexity of getting a product to manufacturing and to the hands of customers.

  7. t.alex
    October 31, 2014

    I agree that kickstarter and other fund crowding place is a new way for small start up to get funding without going thru credit check, thru any banks or funding companies. If you have good idea you deserve to have a chance to prove your products.

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