Saturday, July 6, 2013

Kickstart my Heart

If you take a peek on Pinterest (or any other social media platform for that matter), you know there are crazy-creative people out there.  That's how I became infatuated (let's call it what it is -- a stalker) with blogs.  Creative people inspire my own creativity when I'm in a rut.  Lately, people have been turning to crowd funding/sourcing to make their otherwise-just-an-idea-of-dream-products a reality.  I am all for this.  It almost makes me feel like I'm responsible for a product's success (conceited much?).  I also get a chance for the opportunity to own something before it's released to the public.  People.don't.even.know.  There's something very special and intimate about that.  Like when I listened to N'Sync when they were still underground... Kidding.

There are two main crowd funding platforms that people use -- Kickstarter and Indiegogo.  The difference between the two is that Kickstarter is all or nothing.  The campaign is either funded completely, or money is returned to investors.  On Indiegogo, there is the option of fixed funding (same as Kickstarter) or flexible funding.  From what I've observed, the flexible funding option is used if the company has already acquired funds elsewhere (maybe Shark Tank?) and has a working prototype (or close to it); they just need a little extra boost to get their product into production.  Most campaigns will entice you with a fun video about the product.  You can choose your donation option, most of which come with an incentive -- typically being a first-run production owner with the higher your pledge (I will caution you -- a lot of the products listed, if you choose that pledge amount, are pricey, not accessible for every consumer, and not something that my very little expendable income will cover without some budgeting.  However, different pledge levels can still show your support no matter how small) .  Most campaigns run for about 30 - 45 days.  Anything longer than that, people typically lose interest.  The tight deadlines are intended to light a fire under one's ass.  I know I'm a horribly impulsive buyer (legos at the Target checkout, why yes, I need you).  That's probably why I like crowd funding.  It's exciting and suspenseful!  Thrilling even!   Ok...  Lemme just get into it...

There are several campaigns that are open RIGHT NOW that may or may not need your support with funding.  The reason I'm listing these here is because I think these are worthwhile products that are worth a looksie (if even just for the entertaining campaign video) and support.  I'm absolutely not trying to pressure you into supporting them.  I'm merely compiling a list of products that some pet parents may really be into.  If I see a good idea, I like to share it.  That's all this is.  You may think all these ideas blow.  And that's cool too.  

First up.
iFetch.  Photo via iFetch campaign on Kickstarter.

You have probably already seen this product.  It reached its funding goal within 2 or 3 days of being launched.  It's more affordable (and by that, I still mean a relative investment) than previous ball launchers.  The features I like most about it is that it's approved for indoor use, you can control how far it launches, AND (most importantly) your dog can be trained to use it himself!  So if he/she wants to play fetch when you're at work, he/she can!!!  If anything, watch their campaign video.  The Boston Terrier in it is just TOO MUCH!

PawNosh Sustainable Recycled Bowl.  Photo via PawNosh campaign on Kickstarter.

Ok.  Who isn't obsessed with mason jars thanks to Pinterest?  While this will be the most expensive bowl (or perhaps thing.  Probably more than you spent on your own dinnerware set.) your pet will ever own, it will be the only bowl your pet will ever have to own.  Check out the drop test on their campaign page.  Pretty impressive.  I like how the cat is meowing in the background.  When we got Coop and I had to upgrade to a bigger water dish, I was looking for something like this (something a lot cheaper though -- but the designers do address that on their campaign page).  I try to support recycled products and be chemical-free as much as I'm able to.  Not because I'm hipster or crunchy, but because there's so much crap (literally) already in landfills (I'm talking to you Delaware and that whiff of baby diapers and rotten fruit that greets me on 495) that I would like to try and reduce my footprint within reason.  I wash the boys' dishes daily and they still manage to have that gross, slimy feeling to them (we use stainless steel bowls).  Yuck!  That can't be good.  I swear this bowl is hypnotizing.  I can't stop staring at the picture.  So.  Pretty.

PetziConnect.  Photo via Petzila campaign on Indiegogo.

Ermagerd!  Skype for dogs.  This is definitely a product that would be more for my comfort than my dogs'.  A pet cam that allows you to talk to your dog via an app or web browser when you're not home (or maybe you are home) and take a picture/video or... wait for it... dispense a treat!  I. Die.  It comes with a warranty and says it's tough enough to stand up to a dog.  They haven't met Griswold's nose yet though.  That's the only thing that would make me nervous.  I have visions of Griswold and Coop conspiring to smash this like a piƱata to get the treats inside.  But this would be great for the hubs while he's deployed and wants to check in.  He wouldn't have to wait for me to be home on our way different time zones and schedules.  Considering the product, it's not what I would consider to be outrageously priced.  Some may say excessive, perhaps... I say, I am most likely to be one of those owners that wills everything to my dogs :)

Doggie Doo All.  Photo via Doggie Doo All campaign on Indiegogo.

Seriously.  Why is this just being invented now?  Dogs are gross.  And we pick up their poo daily (at least I hope so because there is mad bacteria there to be leaving it on the ground).  Outside (mostly. Unless your dog is pad trained).  Where there is no sink.  Yuck.  Oh it's happened before where I've gotten it on my hand, subsequently gagged and had to cut the dogs' walk short because I was confident my hand would burn off or actually turn into shit if I didn't wash it.  At least I wasn't far from home.  What if you're at the park and there's no restroom?!  O.M.G!  And we've had danglers too.  Doggie Doo All can take care of that.  And dirty paws. And dirty clothes.  If you are interested in the product, this one is more reasonably priced.  I think this would be a great Christmas present for dog owners.

There are also charities/causes that you can support.  I will warn you.  These always make me cry.  One that is particularly touching is Partner for Life -- Getting Andrew a Service Dog.  Oh my heart.  Dogs are amazing.

I will periodically keep checking crowd funding campaigns to include any other noteworthy products or services.  One that I am looking forward to (it is slated for crowd funding soon) is Petcube.  If there are any pet-related campaigns (or otherwise) that you are particularly excited about or support, let me know (in the comments or email)!  I would love to check them out.  Whoa.  Yeah.  Bay-beh.

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