Mark Zuckerberg, move over. Eric Migicovsky has arrived. He’s the creator of the ever-so-cool Pebble Watch which offers many of the same features of your smartphone via a screen you wear on your wrist.
Smarter Than Your Average Watch
Though the screen can look like a watch face, (whose appearance and graphics you can change as often and as many times as you want) and it does tell time; it also plays music, vibrates when someone is trying to reach you, displays emails and texts, sends you alerts (like warnings of an incoming storm) if you want, and so on. It’s completely customizable.
All of that and the app store hasn’t even opened yet. Plus it’s water-resistant up to 5 atmospheres, so you can run in the rain, ski or wash dishes.
Pretty nifty, eh?
We think so. And we’re far from alone. Sixty-eight-thousand-nine-hundred-and twenty-nine (68,929) Pebble owner want-to-be’s ponied-up US$ 10,266,845 to fund its development.
The watch, which began as a crowd-funded Kickstarter project, was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yesterday to the delight of not only tens-of-thousands of Pebblers (aka the Pebble watch’s Kickstarter backers), but the most discerning Consumer Electronics reporters and critics as well.
Everyone, even the critics, wants a Pebble watch.
Built with the Support of Many
And while the watch is amazing, so is the story of how it came to be.
It starts with a boy with a dream who can’t get the funding he needs to build his product, so he lists his project on Kickstarter and says help me -- and the crowd says YES, enthusiastically.
They, Migicovsky, and the rest of the Pebble development team become partners of sorts. The Pebblers gush about a product they don’t yet have, talk about what product features they think would be cool, and Migicovsky tells them how the project is going and what features the Pebble team is adding (and is not adding yet) via updates on the GetPebble site or the site’s forum and they cheer him on. They trust him and he respects them.
It’s like peering over the shoulder of an iPhone engineer.
The Pebble team runs into a problem (how are we ever going to manufacture the mass quantity of watches we’ve presold?) and the enthusiasm of the crowd buoys Migicovsky onto a plane to China to solve the problem. Pebblers follow Migicovsksy via Twitter while he works with a manufacturer in China. The crowd’s consistent call to him? “Yes, WE can.”
They could be saying, “Give me my damn watch.”
It pays to be transparent with and close to your customer.
And when the Pebble team runs into a problem that might otherwise draw criticism -- Migicovsky looked blue (the color) during yesterday’s CES livestream presentation that Pebblers were watching from all over the world -- Pebblers were, perhaps unknowingly, supportive. Together many of them agreed that Migicovsky was intentionally presenting as an Avatar. Compare that to a bunch of VC’s reaming you for failing to do a dry run.
A turning of a tide, who knows? But it’s a beautiful thing. You can watch it for yourself by clicking here.
As for the Pebble Watch which will be shipping later this month, it’s certainly a game changer of sorts.
In this day and age, it’s all about the screen and getting the developers on board. Pebble’s ePaper screen, its built-in accelerometer, ambient light sensor, its good looks and its “cool factor” (68,929 Pebblers ought to know) have app creators waiting in line.
Micigovsky’s commitment to deliver the best user experience possible will do the rest.