Interview With Kickstarter’s First Half-Millionaire, Scott Wilson

The Chicago designer who requested $15,000 on Kickstarter to build watches out of iPod Nanos and ended up raising more than $500,000, Scott Wilson, has quite the resume.

His design firm, MINIMAL, has worked on the Xbox 360 and Kinect Sensor, Dell’s Venue Pro Smartphone, and a line of furniture for Coalesse, among other prominent clients.

So Wilson didn’t need to raise money on Kickstarter in order to make the LunaTik and TikTok Multi-Touch Watch Kits, slick conversion kits for watches with an iPod Nano for the face.

“There are investment backers that I could have partnered with, but you run the risk of giving up some creative control and equity when you partner,” Wilson said in an email.

“I think [Kickstarter] is an amazing platform and the most well-architected one of its kind I have seen out there.”

Wilson heard about Kickstarter in articles and from a friend and decided to try it as an experiment. He and his design team had no expectations — their goal was to raise $15,000 in 30 days. But the project immediately took off in the design community online and now has “a life of its own,” he said.

Wilson and his team have started producing and shipping the kits. The TikToK design, which allows the Nano to be removed, has a December ship date, and the LunaTik model will ship in January. Kits are being shipped in the order they were received.

Despite having raised more than $546,000, Wilson has no intentions of quitting his day job to make Nano watches full time (or quitting and making off with the money). He said the phone has been ringing more at MINIMIAL since he started using Kickstarter and he’s focused on the work he has for clients.

One problem with Kickstarter — you can specify the minimum amount of interest you need, but not the maximum — and Wilson’s project doesn’t close until December 16. Does Wilson wish he could turn off the firehose of orders?

“No way. It is such a cool discovery for us and we are really thrilled to be involved in the story as it unfolds,” he said.

“One thing people need to realize, however, is that fundraising is only one part of this. Obviously, executing on the end product is equally important and what we are focused on.”

ajeffries [at] | @adrjeffries

Interview With Kickstarter’s First Half-Millionaire, Scott Wilson