2015: The Year of the Hardware Revolution

There’s a quiet revolution going in tech right now. Every single day a new product launches in crowdfunding, some with the potential to disrupt entire industries. Small groups of people are making things better and selling them to the market direct. No big retailers. No big manufacturers. Just a quiet little movement that could potentially change everything.

Over 2015 I tracked every tech product launched on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. By the end I had a list of 257 products and so many of them were fucking amazing. So beautifully designed. So radically innovative. The Nebia shower for example, uses 70% less water whilst providing an immersive shower experience. The Ola door lock opens up securely with your fingerprint needing no key or phone. The Miito reinvents kettles and heats up any liquid in any vessel. The Batband headphones conduct sound through your friggin skull!

The point is there were some really outstanding products in 2015. Things have definitely moved on since the early days of amateur crowdfunding. Hardware startups are investing more in blockbuster style videos. They’re focussing closer on design and are branding their products better too. Overall things are moving up but there’s still a long way to go. Hardware startups take only a tiny percentage of market share. The time between launch and shipment is way too long. And the launch platform for them needs to be better.

Nevertheless 2015 was a BIG year. There are now a bunch of hardware-only accelerators including HAX, Highway1 and Bolt. Since 2010 venture capital investment in hardware is up more than 30x. And importantly 2015 saw several multi-million dollar campaigns on Kickstarter & Indiegogo with 172 products raising at least $100k. To see how 2016’s looking check out Treasureland and witness the revolution.