Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost are New York-based designers who collaborate under the name Studio Neat. The partnership was borne of their first project, the Glif, already a veritable case study for Kickstarting industrial design.
The success of the Glif sufficiently sparked their entrepreneurial spirit and informed their practical know-how, so much so that Gerhardt and Provost recently announced their latest Kickstarter project, the Cosmonaut, just six months after their initial foray.
We love to sketch out quick ideas or doodle on our tablets, and using a stylus is much better than a finger for such tasks. We bought several different models currently available on the market but they all suffered the same problem: they were designed to look and feel like a pen. But why? Writing or drawing on the iPad feels nothing like using a pen or pencil. For one, tablets are ideal for low fidelity sketching. Also, it is pretty awkward to rest your palm on the screen of the device because it throws off the capacitive detection. Writing on a tablet feels like writing on a dry erase board: fast, simple, low fidelity. The perfect tablet stylus is one that feels like a dry erase marker.
The Cosmonaut, of course, is the new project they hinted at towards the end of our conversation with Gerhardt and Provost.
However, unlike the Glif, Cosmonaut backers can choose to pay what they want (starting at $1) for one of the first 3,000 of Studio Neat's latest toy, fresh off the injection mold. Gerhardt and Provost clearly have faith in their backers if they hope to reach their goal of $50,000—they cite Radiohead as the inspiration for the pricing model—yet their projected average pledge ($17, if you're curious) still comes in at less than the wide-release retail price of $25 to create an "interesting tension."
As Provost notes in his blog on the Cosmonaut:
We had some hesitation about using Kickstarter again. We were worried that people would question our motives. Considering how overfunded our first campaign was, didn't we have enough leftover for other projects? Our reasoning for returning to Kickstarter is two-fold. One, $50k is a ton of money to risk, no matter how much capital you have. And two, Tom and I are intentionally staying small, and continuing to operate as a two man operation. We see Kickstarter as the perfect tool for guys like us, to test out ideas we think may have legs. Maybe in the future if we decide to expand and grow this will no longer be needed, but for now, it just works too well to not use, in large part because of the amazing people that are willing to support our projects.