What Happens After Crowdfunding Projects Finish?

Idealfuture’s Bridget Hogan talks about what happens after projects end.

“What happens after a campaign ends?” is a question rarely asked by the media. The number of campaigns featured in the press dwarfs those that get a follow up. Some, like the Oculus Rift or Pebble Smartwatch make it into the mainstream and do fine. Some, overwhelmed with success, flounder and delay shipping (if they even intended to ship to start with).

Late last year we ran a piece on IdealFuture CEO, Jeff Batio, and his IF Convertible Laptop/Tablet/Smartphone combo: a device he described as “a quad-folding and transforming handheld device that allows you to have a dual-display Windows Ultrabook for the ultimate in mobile productivity, combined with a full featured Android Phablet for when you want to work and play within a touchscreen interface.” Aiming to raise $10,000 on Indiegogo, Batio nearly doubled that sum, raising just under $18,000. 

Yet one year later and IdealFuture are back on Indiegogo, and the IF has had an upgrade. Rebranded as The Dragonfly Futurefön, the device has been given an aesthetic makeover and a tune-up under the hood, and the results have been impressive. The company’s second campaign has raised over $300,000, smashing its original $10,000 goal.

We talk to Bridget Hogan, IdealFuture’s VP of Social Media, about its redesign, what’s happened since their original campaign ended and why they came back to Indiegogo.

Your last campaign was a success – what’s happened with the company since then?

Since our last campaign, we actually redesigned the entire device to be more modern and easier to use, refining our specs and design as well as working on prototypes. We also took the necessary next steps to getting the Dragonfly into production and secured a USA based electronic manufacturer.

Did you get your rewards out to funders ok and were they happy with the product?

Due to the redesign efforts we have yet to ship the Dragonfly. We have kept in contact with our first contributors and extended our ship date but it is only for the benefit of our customers. We had to make sure we gave them a product that met our standards. Our contributors have been extremely instrumental in this process and have helped us include all the things they want in the Dragonfly.

As a thank you for their time and patience, and to show our commitment to each of our early evangelists, we decided to give them [all] the Dragonfly Futurefön for free. In other words, we are extremely serious about staying true and honest with all of our contributors and partners.

How has the Dragonfly changed since your campaign ended?

The Dragonfly Futurefön has improved immensely since our last campaign. First thing people will notice is we threw our clunky name of ‘IF Convertible’ out the window and went back to our roots. The original stealth code name for the product was Dragonfly, and it really just fits with our product. We added Futurefön, because, well we are the phone of the future.

Aside from name changes, we have redesigned the product to really show off its amazing features and give it a fresh new look. The Dragonfly now includes details like an illuminated keyboard, powerful rear facing speakers, additional cameras, and overall a more streamlined design. We have since created two versions of the Dragonfly; one is all Android powered and the other is Android in the phone and Windows powering the base. We feel that these two options really open it up to every person.

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How far away is the Dragonfly from being available on the market?

We are working very closely with our manufacturing partner to ensure delivery in late Q1[US] – early Q2 2015. To make this happen we needed people to go out and place orders - without high volumes it is hard to get the attention of component vendors, therefore, each and every order and contribution ensures we meet our targeted ship date.

Why run a second campaign and what’s different?

We are running a second campaign because in today’s world there is no better way to build a computer company! We realized after our first campaign, that we were going to need a lot more volume to get the attention of component makers and vendors, so we embarked on another crowdfunding campaign to facilitate this process and build on our successful first campaign.

We want to be able to get instant feedback and the design input of the crowd and at the same time create a buzz about what we do. When you start out and are up against computing Goliaths, we, as the underdog, felt that having the crowd on our side would be a huge help to creating a company people want to work with.

 We love being able to get suggestions and tweaks that will make the final product everything they dream of. The reason crowdfunding exists is for likeminded dreamers to have a place where they can showcase their innovations in an environment that encourages development, fast paced time-to-market and the possibility of huge success for the “little guys”!

What’s different about this next campaign is that we have really broken it down for everyone; we have laid it all out and been very detailed in how we present the Dragonfly. For people to be willing to lay down cash for something they won’t be getting right away, we have to instil all the confidence we can, and we feel we have done just that.

I can remember that in our last campaign we received one comment wondering if this advanced technology was actually real and possible, and now, without a doubt, not only are we very real, but we are led by one of the most innovative and future-forward guys in the industry, Jeff Batio. I mean just look at his previous inventions and tell me he can’t make the Dragonfly happen!

How did what you learned from your first campaign affect the product and how you approached the second campaign?

The first thing I learned about crowdfunding is that there is no such thing as “if you build it they will come” at least not on the Internet! We learned that people want real, true stories about perseverance and passion, not just flashy wow elements. We also learned that simple is best. After lots of fine-tuning we found that though we have a seemingly complex product, when you explain it in a way that is familiar and understand how the Dragonfly could easily fit into the users’ lives and replace the need for multiple devices, it really resonates with them.

As for the product, the first campaign helped us decide on the next direction to take the Dragonfly design. We were able to get feedback and direct input on what people wanted.

You’re taking on the Phone and Computing sectors at the same time – have you had any sort of reaction or feedback from people within those industries about what you’re trying to do?

Our best and most frequent reactions are “Wow, that’s ambitious!” and “Wow, that’s really cool!” For anyone wondering, yes, we know we are taking on the biggest market and no we aren’t scared one bit! I mean, do you think Steve Jobs or Bill Gates was scared when they began? Of course not, because they knew they were changing things.

Being able to offer the Dragonfly as an alternative to what currently exists is something people need. The only option in the current offering is to get each mobile device separately. We don’t believe people desire this as their only options and often times people don’t even realize that there is a much easier and more enjoyable way to have all the technologies you need, until we explain how easy it is to have it all with the Dragonfly Futurefön.

Other companies know that selling multiple devices is good for their bottom line; however, at Idealfuture we want to offer superior technology at a lower overall price because it is good for our customer’s bottom line. We believe that by creating a way for a single dad to get his job done more efficiently so he can spend more time with his kids, or so a student can afford and excel in school without have to go in debt over multiple technologies to complete school work, is invaluable for the future!


Dan Swinhoe is Staff Writer at IDG Connect