Wednesday, February 6, 2013

DeltaMaker Passes First Hurdle

Well, DeltaMaker passed its first serious hurdle by meeting and exceeding their KickStarter funding goal of $107,000.  With 22 days left to go in their KickStarter campaign, they have already raised... as reported a few minutes ago, $108,559!  

Congratulations to the DeltaMaker team!

One of the things I like best about the DeltaMaker effort is that it is a TEAM endeavor.  It's not just a guy working alone.  While I have nothing against lone inventors, it takes a lot of different skills to pull off designing and producing a successful product as complex as a 3D printer.

Right now, the team is a bit heavy on the technical side of the equation.  And, they seem to be pretty astute guys.  So, it shouldn't take them long to realize and appreciate that they need expertise on the marketing and sales side of the equation as well.  The DeltaMaker isn't a kit that narrowly appeals to hobbyists.  It's got real potential to be a mainstream consumer and small business product.

It's not enough to create and build a great product.  It's also important to grow the company behind it with solid understanding of their target market and the best sales distribution to serve that market.

You might think that I'm getting ahead of myself on a startup that hasn't delivered the first unit as yet.  For all we know, it could all be just smoke and mirrors.  But, I have a gut level feeling about this management group and this particular product.  And, I do NOT sense failure on the horizon.

My mind works in strange ways.  And, for some reason, I cannot get the connection between the Keurig coffeemaker system and the DeltaMaker out of my head.  It's hard to believe it now; but, I'm absolutely certain that back in 1990, when the Kuerig was first organized, that the idea of a single cup coffee maker in homes and offices seemed as strange as the idea of a 3D printer does today.  They didn't have a KickStarter back then.  And, Green Mountain didn't purchase them until 2006.  That journey took 16 years!

But, what they did have was a fantastic team of designers.  And, that is certainly part of their success.

But, great design was not all of their success.  They eventually came to have, at least in my opinion, a true genius when it comes to consumer marketing.  In a long list of people I admire, he is certainly at the top.

While I don't know when he originally came on board with Keurig, I am certain that a great deal of Keurig's success is due to the expertise of John Whoriskey, who is the VP & General Manager At Home Division. He has grown the home market business into producing staggeringly successful numbers.  I have never met Mr. Whoriskey.  But, we have corresponded over the years as we've discussed the success of Keurig's remarkable market growth.  And, it's been a joy for me to follow that success.

I hope that I can experience that same joy as I watch DeltaMaker grow from a small startup to a wildly successful company bringing the enormous benefits of 3D printing into homes and businesses.  Somehow, I think that will happen. I don't expect those that pledged funds to the KickStarter to be disappointed.  In fact, I think they will be able to look back and be proud of how brilliant they were at jumping at that opportunity.  

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