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ATOMS are a system of plug-n-play sensors, motors and logic blocks for kids and adults to make things that do amazing things.
ATOMS are a system of plug-n-play sensors, motors and logic blocks for kids and adults to make things that do amazing things.
1,362 backers pledged $183,232 to help bring this project to life.

10 Hours To Go! Announcing: Add-A-Set Option

Happy New Year Everyone!

Today is the last day for ATOMS on Kickstarter!  Our campaign ends at 11:59pm EST (UTC-5).

You Can Now Add Another ATOMS Set...

I know this is late in the game, with just 10 hours left, but we wanted to open up one more option to our backers...

We've had quite a few requests to get "two monster sets," or "two iOS sets." While Kickstarter is technically against volume sales (multiple units of the same item) to a backer, we understand that their intent is to prevent bulk wholesaling - some of which happened in the earlier days of Kickstarter.

Many of your requests have been driven by wanting to get ATOMS sets for each of your kids, or for you plus a friend, which we believe is well within the spirit of ATOMS and of Kickstarter. So today we're announcing that if any backers want to add additional ATOMS sets, you can do that too. Let's just keep the quantities reasonable - say max 4 of any set.

Sets and extra T-shirts can be added at their respective pledge level prices.

Since the math is getting a little complicated now, with the various upgrade options we've announced, we've created a simple spreadsheet to help calculate your new pledge total, if you want to upgrade.

Here's the URL for the spreadsheet: http://www.atoms-express.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/ATOMS_Pledge_Upgrade_Calculator.xls

Time to Call Your Celebrity Aunt or Uncle

You've all been chatting up ATOMS with your networks, your friends, and family, and that's been totally working to get us to waterproof + free Earthquake ATOMS (backers at $59 and over)! Thanks, you've been great!

We are closing in on that $175K goal, so we have a different kind of request for those who still want to help get the word out in these remaining hours.

If anyone has a personal relationship with a celebrity - engineer or anyone in a creative field, please reach out to them, and ask them to back ATOMS, even for just $1. Tell them how ATOMS could be potentially world-changing, and could be life-changing for kids interested in making creative things.

This will really help us when we go out to the venture capital community in the spring, and when we announce ATOMS for retail sales later in 2013, especially if they might be interested in continued engagement.

Thanks! 10 Hours to Go!

Michael and the ATOMS Team

ps: Here's a screen shot of the simple Pledge Calculator Spreadsheet, that you can download as an excel file here. If you don't have excel, it's easy to just work out on paper too.

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Reflecting on 2012... and 23 hrs to go on Kickstarter!

Dear Backers and Kickstarters,

The last few months have been an amazing ride. Together, we have launched a toy company, which most who have covered it agree is one of the coolest startups of 2012, and one of the neatest products to come out in a long, long time.

Which is amazing to think about, because just a few months ago, I was discussing with my wife Joanna whether or not to go for it…

ATOMS or Gangnam Style Socks?

On a cool evening in October, I had just returned from a business trip to South Korea. Anyone who's been to Seoul and has kids, may know about Dongdaemoon Toy Market - a standing toy market in an unlikely alley, filled with everything from die-cast cars, to angry bird stickers, to puzzles, to miscellaneous apparel. I bought our daughter several Christmas presents, and I bought 4 pairs of probably unlicensed PSY Gangham Style Socks for 1000 Korean Won per pair (about $0.94 USD).

My wife and I were discussing the what the upcoming commitment would require of my time during the course of launching ATOMS. I told her that we could take ATOMS to Kickstarter and change the world, or alternatively I was pretty sure we could make $1M in the next year selling Gangham Style Socks online in the US.

"Go for the socks," she said. I'm still pretty sure she was joking.

Still building the airplane that we're already flying.

At the beginning of October, David Allen, a friend from Boulder Open Coffee Club, and I had put together a list of the team we'd need to get ATOMS on Kickstarter by Thanksgiving and run the campaign through the end of the year. That list included 25 professionals and 10 kids. Thanks to the tightness of the Boulder startup community, ten days later we had every professional we needed, from PR to Engineering, and over 40 kids signed up to help.

I distinctly remember the conversation David, Shannon, and I had with the incoming engineering team working on the electronics - a pair of University of Colorado grads in their late 20's. We told them we needed 13 different prototypes, 5 units of each, and each had a custom circuit board to be designed and made, and each had its own firmware. We told them we needed the prototypes in 3.5 weeks.

They said that was 4 times faster than they normally do it.

We said, "Well then, it's going to be a rough 3.5 weeks." They agreed. It was.

You have to have a great message, but you also need a great team to tell it.

When I worked at Apple as a project manager for iPod, the best time to take vacation was always right after the product shipped. The week after we shipped the 2nd iPod Nano, I took a trip back to Boston, and I clearly remember walking in to Boston's South Station - every available billboard in the station was an Apple iPod Nano advertisement. You could not miss it.

Going into Kickstarter, one of the best decisions we made, even more clear in retrospect, was to invest heavily in our PR team. We allocated a good portion of the startup resources we had pre-Kickstarter, to building out a top-notch public relations team. We told them that we were making something great, something that helped kids and adults make things that do amazing things. We asked them to help us tell that story, and they've done an amazing job.

Make a great product, and everything else will fall into place.

This year, I've been studying up on leadership skills, and earlier this fall, I was talking about this with my former boss from Apple (4 years after we worked together). I asked him about how Steve Jobs instilled a commitment to innovation in the upper management at Apple.

"He didn't," my boss replied, "he just yelled at us all the time!" He was only half joking.

Then he got more serious. "Steve didn't worry about profit margin, or sales numbers, or ROI. He was just intensely, sometimes maniacally, focused on making the best possible products…. he totally believed that if we made great products, all that other stuff would work out well."

This is what we have to do now with ATOMS - take these prototypes, and focus on turning them into great shipping products…. and here's the catch: it's not enough to have a great product concept, we now have to shift our attention to the hundreds of details that will make ATOMS totally great or not. That will be our challenge for early 2013!

23 Hours to Go on Kickstarter!

Right now, we are $7,870 USD from hitting $175K, making ATOMS waterproof, and unlocking a free Earthquake ATOM for everyone ($59 pledge level, and higher). At the rate we're going, we are on track to hit $175K before the end of our campaign.

So keep doing what you are doing! Keep on telling friends and family - it's totally working. Get your pledge upgrades in before the campaign is over! Keep Tweeting and Facebooking - it's working. We'll get to $175K together.

Happy New Year Everybody!

Michael and the ATOMS Team

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35 Hours to Go! Waterproof ATOMS Just Around the Corner?!

Hi Everyone!

We had a great last 24 hours, with over $7000 in pledges raised! It's going to be really close, but we're definitely in striking distance of hitting $175K which will enable us to make ATOMS waterproof (!), and gives everyone at $59 or higher a free Earthquake ATOM.

So keep doing what you're doing! It's working!! We just need a little more of it!

  • This is the most powerful thing you can do: Call, write, or tweet up one friend or family member who would love ATOMS, and tell them you backed ATOMS! Show them our Kickstarter page: http://kck.st/RNsKaJ
  • Get in any pledge upgrades you want ASAP. The campaign ends at 11:59pm EST (UTC-5), and that's a hard stop, after which, Kickstarter will not allow us to accept any more pledges or upgrades. (see list below)
  • Tweet or post to Facebook. Here are some key messages to get you started (but totally feel free to modify/personalize).

35 hours left in @Atoms_Express #Kickstarter campaign. Help build the future of toys + be the first to get ATOMS: http://kck.st/RNsKaJ

I backed @Atoms_Express, plug-n-play electronics prototyping system for kids + adults. on #kickstarter for 35 more hrs http://kck.st/RNsKaJ

Help me back @Atoms_Express: helps u make things that do things. #waterproof, if they get to $175K by 2morrow nite http://kck.st/RNsKaJ

Help me back #ATOMS: "they will go as far as your kids’ imaginations can take them" says @garthsundem @WiredGeekDad http://kck.st/RNsKaJ

I backed @Atoms_Express "one of the coolest startups we’ve heard about all year" says Nibletz @startuptechguy http://kck.st/RNsKaJ

Thanks for all your support!

Michael and the ATOMS Team

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AVAILABLE PLEDGE UPGRADES:

Just increase your pledge by the additional amount(s), and we'll survey anyone who's upgraded after the campaign finishes to make sure we've accurately recorded your orders.

  • $20 - Prankster Set Upgrade (to any pledge $49, and above)
  • $15 - Motion Sensor ATOM
  • $10 - Not Gate ATOM
  • $15 - Tri Color LED ATOM
  • $10 - Add an LED ATOM
  • $10 - Add a Light Sensor ATOM
  • $10 - Add a Flip Flop ATOM
  • $16- Add a Motor ATOM

ATOMS on 6 Continents!

The ATOMS Kickstarter Campaign has been truly an international affair. At this point we've received pledges from every continent except Antarctica! 

So, as you are waking up or enjoying your day on the other side of the planet, we wanted to send a big thank-you to our backers in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia/Oceania!  (Americas, rest well tonight!)

As you know, we have only 47 hours left to go, and we just announced that if we get to $175K, we'll be able to make ATOMS waterproof, and give everyone (at $59 pledge or higher) a free Earthquake ATOM.

That means we're going to have to average $362 USD/hr through the end of the campaign. We can totally do that, but we need your help in the other time-zones!!

Check out this pretty neat heat-map showing a 7 day span in mid-December in Mountain Standard Time (UTC-7). We've been logging data hourly through our campaign, and it shows that the strongest backing hours are during our days in North America. Not surprising, since much of the media attention on ATOMS has been from North American based blogs and publications.

So, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia/Oceania... make some noise! 

  • Tell at least one friend or family member that you backed ATOMS, and show them our kickstarter page.
  • Get your pledge upgrades in ASAP, if you are planning to do that (see list below).
  • Post to Facebook: "I helped back ATOMS, the future of construction toys, on Kickstarter. You can too, but only 48 hours left! http://kck.st/RNsKaJ"... or something to that effect.  :)

Happy New Year's Eve! 

Michael and the ATOMS Team

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AVAILABLE PLEDGE UPGRADES:

Just increase your pledge by the additional amount(s), and we'll survey anyone who's upgraded after the campaign finishes to make sure we've accurately recorded your orders.

$20 - Prankster Set Upgrade (to any pledge of $49, and above)
$15 - Motion Sensor ATOM
$10 - Not Gate ATOM
$15 - Tri Color LED ATOM
$10 - Add an LED ATOM
$10 - Add a Light Sensor ATOM
$10 - Add a Flip Flop ATOM
$16- Add a Motor ATOM

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Heatmap of Backers by Hour of Day (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-7)

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Waterproof at $175K, plus an Earthquake ATOM on us!

Dear Backers,

Today, we're announcing one last stretch goal at $175K...

IF WE HIT $175K, WE WILL INVEST IN THE ENGINEERING EFFORT TO MAKE ATOMS WATERPROOF

Imagine if you could use ATOMS in the bath tub or swimming pool? iPhone controlled LEGO amphibious truck anyone? ATOMS submarine? How about in the kitchen? ATOMS-powered agitator to stir your spaghetti sauce hands-free?

Our team is up to the task (we've done underwater equipment before), but this increases manufacturing cost and development cost, so we need your help getting to the $175K milestone to make it possible!

PLUS A FREE EARTHQUAKE ATOM ON US!

Getting to $175K is going to take help from everyone (our team, and all of you), and we are going to make sure your efforts are rewarded!!

The Earthquake ATOM was a super-close second in the voting, so if we hit $175K, we're going to go ahead and make this one too, and give anyone who's pledged at $59 or higher, an Earthquake ATOM for free.

HERE'S HOW WE CAN GET TO $175K

We have $21.5K to $175K, and 61 hours left in the campaign to get there. Our data shows that this is totally possible. Based on what we've learned during the campaign, here's how we think we can get there….

1) Everyone get your upgrades in ASAP. If you want to add the Prankster Set to your pledge, or any of the original or new a la carte ATOMS, do it now. Just increase your pledge by the additional amount(s), and we'll survey anyone who's upgraded after the campaign finishes to make sure we've accurately recorded your orders. (see complete list of upgrade options below)

2) Everyone on twitter, tweet specifically at one person you know who would be interested in backing ATOMS and retweeting. Include the kickstarter link. The format would look like: "@mrosenblatt, check out ATOMS Express Toys, helps people build awesome things. I backed on @Kickstarter http://kck.st/RNsKaJ"

3) Everyone recommend to at least one friend or family member who would love ATOMS to back us.

TOGETHER, WE CAN DO THIS!

Michael and the ATOMS Team

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AVAILABLE PLEDGE UPGRADES:

Just increase your pledge by the additional amount(s), and we'll survey anyone who's upgraded after the campaign finishes to make sure we've accurately recorded your orders.

  • $20 - Prankster Set Upgrade (to any pledge of $49, and above)
  • $15 - Motion Sensor ATOM
  • $10 - Not Gate ATOM
  • $15 - Tri Color LED ATOM
  • $10 - Add an LED ATOM
  • $10 - Add a Light Sensor ATOM
  • $10 - Add a Flip Flop ATOM
  • $16- Add a Motor ATOM
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