Thank you! & What's Next - Final Update of the Active Campaign
Tonight, we close out a 21 day Kickstarter campaign… You, our community, have pledged over $100,000 and we, the LiftPort Team, have committed to building robots that climb into the sky! During those 21 days, a hero of ours died.
Fifty years ago, today, the President of the United States, John Kennedy gave his famous “Moon speech” in front of 40000 students, professors, scientists, engineers and industry professionals.
He declared: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is the one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one which we intend to win…”
I’ve always admired Kennedy. Arguably, I believe he catalyzed two generations of spaceflight engineering; and through the technology pioneered through the Apollo programs (and beyond), he raised the global standard of living of every human being who has lived since.
I’ve always admired, too, Neil Armstrong. I wrote a bit about that, here.
So as we close out our campaign, I want to pay tribute to two amazing men that lived their values; whose legacy endures and inspires.
LiftPort Group – and all of its Kickstarter supporters – are going back to the Moon. We do this to honor our heroes. We do this because it brings out the best in us; in all of us.
Thanks to Our Community!
Words fail me.
I never dared to dream we’d get this level of support from you. Isn’t it funny? I have the self confidence to believe I and my team have the talent and ability to build an Elevator on the Moon; yet I was worried about an unsuccessful Kickstarter project!
I want to thank each and every one of you! LiftPort has risen from the ashes; and that only happened because each of you willed it into existence. Truly, words fail me. Actions speak louder, anyway… So let’s get to work!
There’s lots of talk these days about ‘crowdsourcing’; and I get it. But I’d like to alter that slightly and talk about ‘community sourcing’. Because you folks might have started out as an impersonal and disconnected and anonymous ‘crowd’, but over the past three weeks, I think you have connected into an amorphous community. I’m certain as we move to the next phase, that this connection will solidify!
So what have we achieved, as a community, already?
1) Well, the most obvious is that we hit the first threshold of $8000 in less than 72 hours! In the midst of the International Space Elevator Conference I got to announce that we’d hit our first goal!
2) When Neil Armstrong died, it was you folks that suggested that we name the experimental robot Neil, and the Moon-landing robot Armstrong!
3) In a mad-rush you tweeted, talked, messaged, phoned, wrote, passed notes in class and sent carrier-pigeons – and we raised ~$23,000 in the last 48 hours! We crushed our previous records in terms of pledges and new backers!
4) A mind-boggling 1049 of you pledged $8 each to become “Card Carrying Supporters”. Let that sink in a moment… This campaign’s original goal was to get just $8000… We could have hit our minimum target with just you folks! That amazes me. I secretly hoped for something like this – but I we doubtful. You proved me wrong; and I’m grateful for it.
5) Finally, the metric that the media cares about – money and backers. I’ve said all along that the number of supporters was the most important aspect of this campaign. I meant it then, and I mean it still. So through your efforts, we earned over $107,000 and over 3400 backers (and we’ve still got 2 hours to go, and Europe is waking up and checking their messages as I type this – so the numbers are still climbing!)
This is important.
We are announcing here, that every quarter until there is an Elevator climbing down to the Lunar surface, that LiftPort Group will host a conference! This will be open to the public and will cover the myriad of problems needed to build our beloved Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure (LSEI or “Elsie”). It will be a gathering of our esteemed Board of Advisors as a technical conference. Expect lots of lively debate. As I’ve told my team countless times: “We don’t even have all the questions, yet, let alone have all the answers!”
1) January – San Francisco
2) April – Boston
3) July – Seattle
4) October – Europe (Considering Barcelona, Athens, Strasbourg or Reykjavik)
Since this is the last update on the active Kickstarter campaign, I just wanted you to know what to expect next. First, there will be a lot less updates clogging your inbox. We appreciate your tolerance over the past 3 weeks, but we just don’t need to continually bombard you anymore! So instead, we’ll take a more sedate path and send an update through Kickstarter about every 2-3 weeks. But don’t fret – if you want more frequent update, you’ll get them! You set the frequency and we’ll deliver. There will be activity happening every day, from all corners of the globe; we’ll have updates on the LiftPort blog, forum, photos, video channel, downloads and wikis! Please join us, and participate!
Let’s face it, with so many reward levels, I’d have to write a book here to update you on that. Instead, I’ll ask that you trust me a bit longer, and our team will send status reports to everyone, at every backer level. Expect that and the very-very important surveys by Monday the 17th.
So where do we go from here; and how can you stay involved with this community? First and foremost – if you haven’t already, please link to www.liftport.com and sign up as a member (the link is in the top right corner, a green button). Please participate in the forums – ask and answer questions. The moment the campaign ends, the website becomes a top priority. I’ll post hundreds of documents, and thousands of images. The website is the central repository for all things ‘Elevator’, so watch and help it grow!
Soon, in the late Fall or early Spring, we’ll launch the first stages of our video channel – watch for it. I think it will be terrific!
And finally, if you liked what we did with this campaign, and, once we’ve made some tangible progress; we’d like you to support other Kickstarter projects we’ve got in mind!
My final thanks go to my dedicated, talented, brilliant, amazing, tireless, enthusiastic, creative, cheerful (even when I’m yelling at them) team. Nothing – and I want to stress this – NOTHING would happen without the support of the folks behind me. I count myself lucky beyond measure.
Michael J. Laine
President, LiftPort Group
12 September 2012.
“LiftPort is a ‘…before this decade is out…’ Lunar Elevator Company!”
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FRIEND OF LIFTPORT: What do ya get for a dollar these days? Newsletter emails about the project. Links to behind-the-scenes images, and technical reports. FRIEND badge designation on our blog, wiki and forum. “Insider” status and progress reports on what we're doing. We’ll provide you with a special “Kickstarter only” email address that you can use to write to us. You’ll feel satisfied - knowing that you’re helping to change the world – and the Moon, and Mars, and eventually the whole solar system. AND you’ll know that, ultimately, you are contributing to humanity’s diaspora to the stars! AND Every single person that contributes will have their name laser inscribed on the robot. AND we’ll keep this list, so that when we build our Lunar Elevator, we’ll put your name on that ‘bot too… Not bad for a buck, huh? PLUS Our sincere thanks and appreciation.Estimated delivery:
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GREETING CARD: We will send you a custom card. We’ll send you a survey of image choices; some will be focused on Earth’s Space Elevator, some on the Lunar Elevator, and some on life-saving aspects of the Tethered Tower. Order as many as you like, and send them to your ‘cool’ friends for holidays and birthdays. PLUS everything at the FRIEND level.Estimated delivery:
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RIBBON: Same custom card as above… PLUS, attached to each card will be a 3cm snippet of the (potentially record-breaking) Ribbon that we use to climb into the sky! When ‘they’ build the museum about the Space Elevator, this will be a collector’s item. I’ll sign and number these cards. PLUS everything at the FRIEND and GREETING CARD level.Estimated delivery:
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CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER: Personally, of all the rewards we are offering, this is the one I most want you to buy. (Of course, if you are reasonably well off, please buy the more expensive rewards; you’ll get this included!) But seriously, for most of you, I think this is your best value for the money. So what do you get? Well for starters, you’ll get a special laminated wallet-sized card (We’ll give you choices on the image). You can carry this around as proof that you’re helping do something amazing: Shifting the course of civilization, unleashing humanity from the tyranny of gravity and building an Elevator in Space! This card is so awesome that your friends will be jealous. These cards will be signed and numbered to limit counterfeiting! PLUS you’ll get a “KS Supporter” designation on our website forums and wiki. The only way to get that badge is through Kickstarter, and trust me, you’ll want this. PLUS the most important part of this reward level is that there is a MYSTERY SURPRISE. I promise, you will really like the MYSTERY SURPRISE. PLUS you’ll get the stuff at the FRIEND, GREETING CARD and RIBBON levels.Estimated delivery:
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FRIENDSHIP BRACELET: This unisex bracelet is classy and tasteful. It is comfortable to wear. It may or may not start a conversation (we hope it does) but it is a regular reminder that you are a part of something important. The first step, Tethered Towers will help with disaster relief, the next step of the Lunar Elevator will allow a permanent research station and settlement of our nearest neighbor, and the final step is when Earth’s Space Elevator leads humanity’s diaspora to the stars… This bracelet (handmade by our team) signifies all of that. It’s made of the same high-strength material that we will build our Tethered Towers and the Lunar Elevator out of. PLUS, you’ll get the FRIEND, RIBBON and GREETING CARD rewards. (Also, please consider the NECKLACE reward below.)Estimated delivery:
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ART PRINT: Why ‘art’ for an advanced technology project? NASA and the Department of Education have a metric for what they refer to as STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math). At LiftPort we modified this to STEAM; adding in “Art”. We feel that art inspires, and sparks the imagination. We think that the arts bridge the gap between the folks that do STEM and everyone else. Art is a translator of sorts. We’ll give you an ART PRINT from our archives. Your choice of images. Themes will revolve around Earth’s Elevator, the Lunar Elevator or Tethered Towers. Initially, the size will be 5x7, high-quality and worthy of framing on the wall. If this proves to be a popular reward, we will increase the size. PLUS, you get the rewards at the FRIEND level. (Possible examples can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/space_elevator/sets/72157611636812783/. This is my personal Flickr account, please ignore images of my grandmother, birds and ex-girlfriends. But there are LOTS of images of our team at work, building robots, robots climbing into the sky and other artwork.)Estimated delivery:
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GROUP TALK: With the Space Elevator people. We’ll schedule a 2 hour chat, or video hangout, or conference call and talk about various aspects of the projects. We can talk about whatever you want: If this reward is popular, we’ll work it out so that we have multiple events and limit the number of people – so that you can really participate. We’ll send a survey to determine the best method, date and technology to work with you. Many options will be available. We’ll talk politics, religion, international policy, law and what might happen when we build it. We can talk about nanotechnology, too. We’ll schedule talks about each Elevator and Tethered Towers. PLUS You'll get the FRIEND, GREETING CARD and RIBBON level rewards.Estimated delivery:
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NECKLACE: Similar to the FRIENDSHIP BRACELET above, but longer and you wear it around your neck… ;-) This is your public statement that you believe in something big. We think these are attractive and something you’ll want to wear – whether you tell people you are involved with building “the biggest thing, ever”; well, that’s up to you. PLUS everything at the FRIENDS, GREETING CARD, and RIBBON levels. (Also, please consider the COMPLETE SET below. Or if you’d like the NECKLACE + BRACELET, we can take care of that with a survey after this KickStarter campaign ends.)Estimated delivery:
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MEDIUM ART PRINT: Same as at the $10 level, but a bigger print, on better paper and exclusive. It will be about 11x14 and we’ll design it as a limited edition print run for this KickStarter campaign only. At the $10 level, those are all (mostly) images that are about 5 years old or more. They’ve been around the internet for a long time… At this reward level, we will craft something entirely new and restrict its distribution. We’ll send a survey and let you choose which topic you are most interested in: Earth’s Elevator, the Moon Elevator or Tethered Towers. PLUS everything at the FRIENDS, GREETING CARD, and RIBBON levels.Estimated delivery:
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T-SHIRT: Honestly, is a geek-centric Kickstarter campaign complete without the obligatory t-shirt? I wear mine whenever I travel and people ask me about the project wherever I go. Warning: If you don’t want an open invitation to talk to strangers, don’t purchase this reward. We’re planning new designs, so I can’t give you examples. We’ll have choices between Tethered Towers, The Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure and our much loved Earth’s Elevator. PLUS everything at the CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, FRIENDS, GREETING CARD, and RIBBON levelsEstimated delivery:
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COMPLETE SET: The BRACELET and the NECKLACE and a matching pair of earrings. You’ll be the envy of your fashionista friends and gamer geeks… (O.k. that’s a stupid description… The sad, simple truth is this: there are not enough women involved or interested in this project. For this project to succeed, we must have a better boy:girl ratio. So I tasked my team to find some reward that would specifically appeal to women. The women on my team said they wanted jewelry… They said they wanted something that they could wear often – that would show their support. So we priced this ‘low’ and made it as versatile as possible. I’m told that the colors should accent your wardrobe. PLUS everything at the BRACELET, NECKLACE, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, FRIENDS, GREETING CARD, and RIBBON levels.Estimated delivery:
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MEET-UP: In a sincere effort to reengage our community, I’d like to shake hands and drink beer with you. What I’d like, is to travel to your city. To do that, we’ve got to cover airplanes, food, hotels and other logistics. If we can organize ~25 people per city, we can do this. (If not, we’ll refund you.) I’m trying to do this cheap; so that I can meet as many folks as possible. Target cities include: Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, and Boston. At the MEET-UP, I’ll give a short talk and long Q&A, and then we can commence with the beer! I’m happy to go to other places. I can also travel internationally. Dates will vary over the next year. PLUS everything at the CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, FRIENDS, GREETING CARD, and RIBBON levels.Estimated delivery:
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TRUE FAN: The combination of TSHIRT + GROUP TALK rewards above. These are our champions. They make the effort to know what’s happening with the project, and then they put a billboard on their chest – proclaiming their support. They understand that building an Elevator in Space will make the world a better place. PLUS everything at the T-SHIRT, GROUP TALK, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, FRIENDS, GREETING CARD, and RIBBON levels.Estimated delivery:
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STREET TEAM: We are making a commitment to use Social Media as our primary outreach tool. We’d like your help. So what we’re proposing is this – you follow our SM accounts, and we’ll follow yours. If you’ve got something to say that is relevant to the Space Elevator or Tethered Towers community, we’ll rebroadcast. If we’ve got something that is relevant to your community, we ask that you broadcast our updates. This means that you learn everything about the project first! No one will have faster access to our progress reports. PLUS, we’ll have a conversation similar to the GROUP TALK above, but restricted only to the people that chose this reward. PLUS We’ll dedicate a page on our website and acknowledge our STREET TEAM publicly. PLUS the FRIEND, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, and GROUP TALK level rewards.Estimated delivery:
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REALLY TRUE FAN: We’re bundling the GROUP TALK, T-SHIRT and MEDIUM ART PRINT just for you. PLUS you’ll still get the rewards at the CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, RIBBON, GREETING CARD and FRIEND levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT: Simple commercialism. Show support of our project by advertising on our website. One thing I’m certain of is this – that the people interested in our project have a hopeful and enthusiastic vision of the future. They are technically savvy and engaged in the world. They think (rightly so) that they can make a difference. If this sounds like the kind of audience you’d like your product or service in front of, why not commit at this level. We’ll give you 10,000 views from people that want to change the world. (If this is interesting, and you’ve got more ad dollars to spend, take a look at the VIDEO CHANNEL at the $250 level. Also, at higher reward levels, we’ll maintain this rate of $.01/View.) PLUS the FRIEND, GREETING CARD, RIBBON , CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, and CHAT level rewards.Estimated delivery:
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GET INVOLVED: Please, I’m asking you sincerely to put your money where your vision is. The group of people that commit to this level are important to me. (That’s not to imply that I don’t care about the other folks, but I’m honestly admitting that the people that commit at this level will have more of my attention.) Similar to the CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER above, this is my second favorite reward level. I hate to sound crass, but building an Elevator on the Moon will cost $800M. Do I expect to raise that all through KickStarter? Of course not. But it costs real money to do the things we need to, in order to build the “biggest thing ever”. So what’s your reward at this level? First, I wasn’t kidding. You will have my attention – Every month I’ll develop a survey and exclusively ask this community its opinion on something important. I will work with this community to create the policies and plans around building the Elevators. You will be our self-created focus group and I promise your opinions will be factored into how this Elevator develops. We will rely on you. For $100 dollars, it means your voice will be heard. From this community a few (you’ll pick among yourselves) will be raised to our formal Board of Advisors. What I’m looking for, at this reward level, is people that are willing to actively participate. So, is having my attention and having a voice in a project that will shift the course of humanity enough of a reward? I hope so. If not, I have a different MYSTERY SURPRISE II for you. Is it worth the difference between $8 and $100? Yes it is. We’ll create three teams; focused on each Elevator and Tethered Towers. PLUS everything at the T-SHIRT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, GROUP TALK, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
EXCLUSIVE CHAT – Same as the $15 reward above, but with a much smaller crowd, and 2 sessions of 2 hours. This allows us to get into some depth and have a conversation. Who knows where this might lead? I hope that this will be interesting, educational, inspirational, and perhaps spark questions you’d never considered. PLUS everything at the GET INVOLVED, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
VIDEO CHANNEL: We’re considering creating a video channel with our team of experts. We’ll talk space, materials science/nanotech, energy, robotics, computing, communications, space-centric bioscience, law, international policy, military and theological aspects of our technology, and a host of other topics. We will vary focus between the Earth and Moon Elevators and the Tethered Towers. We need a minimum of 30 sponsors for this to begin. We really want this to succeed, so everyone that buys a reward above this level will be included in this. What you’ll get is the warm and fuzzy feeling of helping educate (a lot of) people… You’ll also receive permanent website acknowledgement that you are the channel’s founding sponsors, and also 25,000 views of your sponsorship ad. If we don’t hit our threshold, we’ll refund whatever was pledged. PLUS you’ll get everything at the GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
WALK ON PART: So for our big balloons + robots experiments, we’re gonna need some help. Actually, we need a couple spots – video, photography and a writer. There is stuff to do before, during and after the experiment so if you choose this, you’ll need to be available 4 days. The roles of each will be as a ‘historian’. You’ll capture the process, and post it to our social media accounts. You’ll have to handle the logistics of getting to and from the experiment site. Likely, this will be in the Seattle region, but we’ve had to go to Salt Lake City and Phoenix before. We’ll share the media rights to whatever is developed over these 4 days. If this proves to be a popular reward, we’ll hold auditions of some sort and offer other options for ‘walk on parts’. We’ll give full refunds if the assignment, timing and location don’t work for you. The experiment will likely take place in early to mid-October. PLUS you’ll get everything at the GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or moreYou selected
EDUCATION KIT – LUNAR ELEVATOR: Designed for high school students. We will develop a set of curricula (meeting national educational standards) to teach students about a variety of topics. Using the Lunar Elevator as the central theme, we will explore math, chemistry, physics, communications, computing, biology, literature, sociology, law, finance, business, art, theology, nanotech/materials, energy systems and orbital dynamics. With this kit, we hope to inspire students and get them focused on their role in building something amazing. We plan to build our Elevator on the Moon in eight years – which means a high school student could become actively involved with the design, deployment and construction of the “biggest thing, ever!” CAVEAT: We need at least 5 people to support this level. If we reach that, each of you will be able to pick the school this KIT goes to. If we hit 25, you each get to pick 3 schools. If we hit 50, we’ll distribute it – for free – on our website; so every student can use this resource to make a difference in the world. Naturally, you'll get credit for this on our website, and in the support materials of the KIT. We’re working with a non-profit on this. You’ll get a receipt and a tax deduction. PLUS you’ll get all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, GET INVOLVED, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or moreYou selected
EDUCATION KIT – EARTH’S ELEVATOR: Same as above, but the topic is focused on Earth’s Space Elevator. While the concepts covered might be the same, the lesson plan is completely different and the knowledge gained is also entirely different. For example, when I say “physics”, in the Lunar Elevator I’m referring to gravity; while on Earth’s Elevator I’m thinking of leverage, mass and celestial mechanics. Same CAVEAT as above. We’re working with a non-profit on this. You’ll get a receipt and a tax deduction. PLUS you’ll get all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or moreYou selected
EDUCATION KIT – TETHERED TOWERS: Designed for high school students or early college. Complete kit of balloons, Ribbon, and other equipment sufficient to build a communications and observation tower off your high school. We’ll provide a curriculum and instructions to the teacher, and an educational wiki that the students can (should!) contribute to. Students will learn about chemistry, weather, physics, electronics and communications. This is not a toy. This is real science. We will collect data from each location. Your students will learn, and LiftPort will learn from the students… We will apply this knowledge to the real-world application and development of deploying Tethered Towers. Please note, there are significant FAA, Air Force and Navy requirements involved. We will have to talk with you about these before shipping. In most cases, your Tethered Tower will be ~200-300ft high. Two CAVEATS: 1) The system can be customized. We’ll talk about that in our pre-shipping survey. Depending on the sensors you select, the price may increase. I’m trying to keep the base price as low as possible. And 2) We need at least 5 people to commit to this. If we don’t get that many, we will refund everything. We’re working with a non-profit on this. You’ll get a receipt and a tax deduction. PLUS you’ll get all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: I’ll come and talk with folks about building an Elevator on the Moon; of constructing an Earth Elevator that will unlock the destiny of the human race; of the life-saving value of immediate communications (Tethered Towers). Or I’ll talk on whatever topic you want me to. I’m a story teller. I teach by telling stories about what we’ve accomplished; about lessons learned on the front lines of this project. And I teach by expanding the horizons of the audience. I try hard to connect with the people I’m talking with. I’m as comfortable in front of Congressmen as I am with high school students. I make it an interactive, multimedia dialog with the audience. It’s less of a ‘lecture’ and more of a ‘conversation’. You set the tone, location and group, and I’ll deliver. I’m an award winning public speaker, and have given ~200 professional talks. So if I’m that good, how can you have me at your event for just $500? Because ‘telling the story’ of building the “biggest thing, ever” to an interested audience is more important to me than putting ‘excess’ money in my checking account. Because I want to make this affordable to student groups as well as larger professional associations. I live in the Seattle area, so if we are going beyond that, you’ll have to pick up the extra expenses. I’m happy to provide references. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS everything at the VIDEO CHANNEL, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
JUMP!: Alright, you won’t be FIRST! (see below) but you’ll be on the list… Ride our balloons and robot up to the top, and then jump. What could be easier, right? Personally, I think you guys are all a little crazy. But then again, I’m building an Elevator in Space… Who am I to say what ‘crazy’ is? If you’ve got the waivers, jump certifications and guts, I won’t stop you from jumping off the tallest man-made structure in the world… and into the history books. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS everything at the VIDEO CHANNEL, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $750 or moreYou selected
CARBON NANOTUBE WEDDING RING: O.k., in this reward, I’m letting you all in on a little secret… Last year I was commissioned to create a “carbon nanotube wedding ring” for a couple of fans. In their words, “Diamonds are the 20th century symbol for strength, and we want the 21st century symbol for unbreakable love…” Well, I couldn’t do exactly what they asked, but I did something pretty interesting. I created a brand new CNT+Metal alloy… and made their wedding rings out of it. I can make more if you want. But there’s a catch. Each ring is custom designed, and I have to work with metallurgists to make this happen. It’s not cheap. Part of the price depends on what sort of precious stones you want, and the complexity of the design. $2000 is probably the minimum threshold, and it could scale to $5000 or $10,000 (or more) if you added a lot of shiny rocks. So here’s the deal, the $750 you pledge here is a deposit. We’ll talk over what you want, and what my team can accomplish, and if it’s a fit, we’ll talk over prices and your budget. If all of this works for you, then the money you pledged will be applied to the final price. If this doesn’t work out, we’ll refund $500. I would return everything, but I have to hire an outside metallurgist for this consultation. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
CUSTOM ART: Designed with you and your selected location in mind, we will create an original image for your home or office. We have artists that work in a variety of mediums, and will tailor an image for you. Your image may focus on the themes of the two Elevators or Tethered Towers, or colonizing the Moon, Mars or whatever it is that you dream about. We’ll talk about that when we send your reward survey. LiftPort will keep the rights, and will reproduce prints, but you’ll have the signed original. PLUS all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
DINNER PARTY: Invite 6 other people. Then the 8 of us will talk about the future, humanities move to the stars, acceleration of everything, civilization shifting technologies and our role in all this stuff. We’ll talk about how there is a lag between a society’s moral compass and the technology it uses. We’ll talk about how going to space, en masse, is the best possible future for humanity; and its benefits for most people down here on Earth. I’ll be charming. I know which fork to use. PLUS all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $3,000 or moreYou selected
ROBOT KIT: Everything you need to make a robot that can climb into the sky (or out the window, off the side of a building, or up and down the world’s most awesome tree house or a museum exhibit). All the parts, directions, an exclusive wiki, and access to our team of robotic engineers included. This kit is not for the timid. But it is perfect for an after-school club (with experienced supervision) or a reasonably talented DIYer. PLUS all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery:
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CORPORATE RETREAT: My team and I know an awful lot about tackling big, unbounded, problems. If you and your executive team are heading off-site to work on ‘stuff’, let me help. We’ve created special tools to deal with complex problems – like building Elevators in Space. What I know can probably help you get a handle on whatever it is you are working on. This is probably just like every other corporate coaching and consulting gig your HR people and the Board are trying to shove down your throat. Except it comes from the perspective that changing the world is possible. I’ve done it. And I can show you how. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $7,500 or moreYou selected
ASSEMBLED ROBOT: The same as the ROBOT KIT above, but we did all the work and put it together for you. You’re welcome. Comes with a display stand, and plaque. Use it as a ready-made museum exhibit, or as corporate art. (Really, I’m not kidding. The robots in our office always got the attention of visitors. It shows your support, interest and enthusiasm for advanced technology. If you are a patent attorney, this is your public declaration that you believe in the future of amazing technology.) Tell us how you’ll use the ‘bot, and we’ll custom develop extra stuff for you. For example, if it’s for a museum display, we’ll create a set of artwork and instructional materials to post beside your new acquisition. If you’ve got other ideas, we’ll work with you to implement them. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the ROBOT KIT, CUSTOM ART, VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
ANYTIME, ANYWHERE: If there is a disaster anywhere in the world, we’ll send three people to it, with our Tethered Towers and provide a communications, observation and security system for the emergency responders. We’ll train local responders how to use the system. Tethered Towers started out as a robotic test platform. But it evolved after the hurricane in New Orleans. Last year I literally cried as I was watching the news about the tsunami in Japan. I’m certain that if I could have gotten my team there, we could have made a difference. I’m really hoping someone buys this level. Together, we’ll save lives. CAVEAT: $10,000 is not enough to completely cover the costs of this. It will buy a complete kit on ready-standby status. It will also buy me team for a week (not really, but I’ll cover the difference). What it won’t do is cover costs of flights, lodging (I presume if it’s a real disaster we going to be in tents) and food. So this kind of logistic stuff will have to be covered separately, at the time of the event. Fair warning - I’ve talked with experts in this field, and this transportation cost could be very high as it’s a supply/demand problem. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the CUSTOM ART, VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
MOON WALKING: What I wanted to offer at this level, I can’t. There are laws prohibiting advertising things you can’t actually perform... And while I’m pretty sure I can perform, I can’t guarantee it. What I wanted to offer for this reward level was the trip of a lifetime; to allow folks to walk on the surface of the Moon. The way I see it, I’m building a railroad in space. My team and I have a lot of work ahead of us, before that happens. But when it does, I’ll have a lot of options. Which means I get to make the rules about who goes where, how often, and at what price. I know in the early days we will have a lot of excess capacity on the Ribbon. So I thought to myself, “why not give a true-believer a ride on the Lunar Elevator? They’d still need to spend about $50M to get a rocket to take them from Earth to the Lagrange point – at which point they’d take our Elevator down to the Moon. But I can at least offer a pre-paid rate on the services of my ‘railroad’…” Alas, I’m not allowed to make that offer. So, instead, I’ll offer my honest thanks. My team will use the money pledged at this level to work on the Feasibility Study. I’ll share EVERYTHING my team learns. And who knows? Perhaps one day you and I will sit down for dinner and discus our options... In the spirit of full disclosure, my company, LiftPort has already failed in its big plans once already. The odds are stacked heavily against us. But I’m committed to this. Buying this reward level might be a waste of money… but I don’t think so. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the CUSTOM ART, VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
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FIRST! “There can be only one!” Someone is going to jump FIRST! Off the top of the Tethered Tower… It might as well be you! Imagine it; you calmly, quietly, ascend 2 kilometers high, using our balloons. And then, when you’ve had enough of the tremendous view, after you’ve taken all the images you want, after you’ve had lunch at the top of the world, you jump! Of course, you’ll have to have all the necessary parachute qualifications, medical screening and the legal liability waivers will be about a foot thick… If you’re crazy enough to do this, we’re crazy enough to let you! You’ll go down in the record books for skydiving off the world's tallest man-made structure, and the history books as the FIRST! Person on the FIRST! Space Elevator. (Note, this is an experimental system. We’ll have to get flight approval from the FAA, Air Force, and Navy for cleared airspace. This is likely to occur near (way outside of) Phoenix. If we don’t get this approval, you will be refunded. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the CUSTOM ART, VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levelsEstimated delivery:
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LET’S MAKE A DEAL: You’ll have access to our internal working documents, review our notes and examine our intellectual property. (We’ll retain all rights while you’re looking.) You’ll get first dibs and a chance to say ‘let’s make a deal’ on any spinoff technology we develop. Then we’ll negotiate in good faith. I believe we already have about +20 patentable and lucrative technologies, and we will develop others in: Materials/Nanotechnology, Space, Energy, Communications, Computing and Robotics. The commitment that you are purchasing at this level guarantees you a seat at the table – not that we will make a deal. However, LiftPort can’t/won’t stop to commercially develop every widget that we create. If we do that, we’ll never accomplish our Vision of an Elevator on the Moon. (For example: CARBON NANOTUBE WEDDING RINGS could lead to a revolution in metallurgy; we forecast applications in specialty electronics. Another example might be commercially deploying Tethered Towers for communication, observation or recreation.) So we will actively seek partners to develop the concepts created in our “Idea Factory”. CAVEAT: There will be a lot of legal mumbo jumbo associated with this reward. We’ll try to hash this out together. If you don’t like the terms, we’ll refund $5000. I’d refund it all, but we’re gonna have to hire the lawyers – to create the mumbo jumbo. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the CUSTOM ART, VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT , a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
THREE WISHES: We’re going to have a long conversation. In person. Probably several. When you feel you’ve heard enough, you may ask me for three wishes… and like a genie, if it is within my power to grant, I’ll do it. Is this a gamble? Yes, I’m gambling a lot! Is this a gamble for you? Not hardly. I know I’ve got lots and lots of stuff worth this price. But this is a value for value exchange; I’m not giving you control of the project, or all of our intellectual property or something else that is way out of proportion. It’s a trade; I’ll give you something worthy of the price you are paying. Why am I doing this? I have realized something as I’ve been looking at some of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns – that I wanted something that wasn’t on the menu… Well, here’s your chance. This space intentionally left blank. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the CUSTOM ART, VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery:
- (21 days)