Hugely Successful Elevation Dock Kickstarter Project Apparently Just as Annoying to Use as Regular iPhone Docks [UPDATED]

(Photo: Kickstarter)

When the marketing peg for your Kickstarter project is that your product is less annoying to use than its competitor products, you probably want to deliver on that promise. The Portland-based Elevation Dock surpassed its funding goal back in February, raising almost $1.5 million, almost 20 times more than its $75,000 asking goal. The project’s premise was that, unlike other iPhone docks on the market, the Elevation Dock allows your iPhone to be easily lifted from the dock, without all that annoying shaking and yanking characterized by other docks. But according to Droplr cofounder Josh Bryant, the Elevation Dock is just as annoying to use as its competitors. Read More


Dismissive VCs Drive Hardware Startups Straight to Kickstarter

Ms. Hu (

Imagine that you invented this really cool wristband alarm clock, and you think it could be a real ‘disruptive’ technology. You spend months mocking up a presentation to give to investors at TechCrunch Disrupt, but on the morning of your demo, rich assholes incapable of summoning empathy shit all over your startup, simply because it’s a hardware idea.

That’s pretty much exactly what happened to Julia Hu, the cofounder of Lark, according to CNN. Napster bad boy Sean Parker literally laughed her off the stage:

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Six NYC-Based Kickstarter Products Are Vying to be Sold in Brookstones Nationwide


Betabeat was checking up Remee, the lucid-dreaming sleep mask we profiled earlier this month, when we happened on an intriguing contest. On Friday, Bitbanger Labs, the Brooklyn-based duo behind Remee, closed out their Kickstarter campaign–raising an impressive $572,891 on their goal of a mere $35,000. That’s when we noticed the project page also featured a link to a competition sponsored by Buckyballs and Brookstone, the retailer mostly commonly associated with a free chair massage while you’re waiting for your mom in a mall.  Read More


Card Game About Tentacle Rape Porn Pulled from Kickstarter

Tentacle Bento (

Even on the sex-swathed Internet, there are still some things considered too taboo for mainstream consumption. While a search for “tentacle porn” on XXX sites would undoubtedly yield at least hundreds of results, crowdfunding platform Kickstarter is publicly grappling with its anime animus.

The Daily Dot reports that a tentacle rape porn-themed card game that had raised more than double its funding goal was canceled by Kickstarter, due to its graphic material. As Twitter user @VonRosceau tweeted, “Kickstarter didn’t want a game about raping teenage girls with tentacles funded under their name today. Manchildren angry, nobody surprised.” Read More


Good God, There Are A Lot of Kickstarter Projects In the Pipeline


Looks like Kickstarter just had a slight hiccup on its path to complete world domination. The Wall Street Journal reports that an April site update introduced a bug exposing the details of unlaunched projects.

The company confessed: “The bug made accessible the project description, goal, duration, rewards, video, image, location, category, and user name for unlaunched projects. No account or financial data was made accessible.” That means no credit card numbers and no addresses. There’s probably no reason to worry if your graphic novel zombie rom-com reinterpretation of Moll Flanders wasn’t quite ready for primetime, either. Kickstarter estimates that, discounting downloads by the Journal reporter who found the bug, a mere 48 projects were seen.  Read More


Pebble Watch Surpasses $10M, Partners with Twine for Real-Time Updates Sent Straight to Your Wrist


Oh, the Pebble. We’re almost getting tired of writing about it. The little e-paper gadget hit the “most-funded Kickstarter project EVAH” mark about six million dollars ago. Today, it surpassed $10 million in pledges and sold out of all 85,000 of its offered watches.

Seems like a good time to announce its second software partnership, right?

That’s exactly what the team did. The Next Web reports that another well-funded Kickstarter project, Twine, announced today that it had partnered with Pebble to offer real-time alerts to the watch. Read More


NYU ITP Students Build a Nightmarish Kickstarter for Wartime

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The head of Joseph Kony, minus his teeth, sells for $1 million. His actual teeth go for $50,000, depending on availability. A little too pricey? How about $100 for a thank you letter from Richard Gere for funding a Tibetan militia to resist Chinese rule. A mere $25 will also get you a personal thank you for donating to build a “discrete tactical vehicle” for U.S. military interrogators.

That’s the nightmarish world depicted by Kickstriker, a hoax built by a group of NYU grad students from the Tisch School’s ITP program for Clay Shirky’s tech communications class. The object of the fake site is to get people to think about “how a world of crowdfunded warfare might not be so far away,” reports WiredRead More


The Pebble Effect: The Spotlight Is Suddenly On Hardware Startups


The last time Betabeat checked in with Pebble the smartwatch, Y Combinator alum Eric Migicovsky had raised some $4.6 million on Kickstarter for an idea that struggled to find venture capital backing despite, you know, actually making revenue. (For those of you keeping track at home, Pebble has added $3 million on top of that for a total of $7.6 million–and counting!–with 17 days left to go.) Yesterday, Mr. Migicovsky got The New York Times treatment.

Now, all the fuss seems to have migrated over to the agenda for TechCrunch Disrupt. The conference just announced that for the first time in New York, the event will feature something called “Hardware Alley” alongside its standard “Start-up Alley” showcase on May 23rd. “We’re looking for promising hardware startups,” writes TechCrunch. “Got a disruptive Kickstarter project?” Gee, wonder who they’re talking about there. Read More


Pebble the Smartwatch, the Most-Funded Kickstarter EVAH, Is Now at $4.6 M. and Counting

Pebble smartwatch

Yesterday, we called it. The fact that Pebble the e-paper watch had raised $3.5 million with more than a month to go meant that KickStarter had hit the tipping point, surpassing even Double Fine Adventure’s previous high-score of $3,336,371. Maybe we shoulda waited awhile. Between now and then, Pebble has raised another million and change. The new total is $4,625,453 from 32,120 backers with 30 days to go.

At this rate, Pebble is going to raise $34 million before the jig’s up and Kickstarter should just secede from the Union and start minting their own currency. Maybe cfundrs or crowdsiesor something. Read More