Like a well-orchestrated production, the pages that have come and gone for various Kickstarter campaigns regularly tell us a story of organization and order without delivering even a glimpse of the chaos that’s happening backstage. With the announcement that he burned all copies of his Kickstarted book due to poor fulfilment planning, Sad Pictures for Children creator John Campbell essentially committed what is now being coined a Kickstarter Fail (you can read more on that here). Not to undermine his talents, but this is a book we are talking about that involved a single print house ‘manufacturer’ and essentially one ‘part’. But what about the dozens of Kickstarted products that have required multiple manufacturers, dozens if not hundreds of parts, and countless other tasks before even getting to a fulfillment stage? In his mini-essay on planning the product design process, Chris Elsworthy—the designer behind the successfully Kickstarted Robox 3D Printer—gives us one of the most transparent and honest insights into the challenges of not only developing a product for a Kickstarter campaign…but developing a product at all.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.