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The Cosmonaut is a minimal, wide-grip capacitive stylus for touch screens. Perfect for sketching and doodling on any tablet.
The Cosmonaut is a minimal, wide-grip capacitive stylus for touch screens. Perfect for sketching and doodling on any tablet.
The Cosmonaut is a minimal, wide-grip capacitive stylus for touch screens. Perfect for sketching and doodling on any tablet.
6,192 backers pledged $134,236 to help bring this project to life.

The Experiment

Hello everyone!

Well, even with the Kickstarter server troubles today, we still managed to fill all 3000 slots! Doing so in less than 48 hours has definitely exceeded our expectations.

While this has been a great experiment, let’s be honest, we want to make the Cosmonaut, and we want you to have it! It would be a shame to sit here for 21 more days, begging the $1 backers to raise their pledges. When it comes down to it, we think making this project a reality is more important than our pricing model.

This has ended up being a fascinating case study in game theory. We are looking forward to analyzing the backer breakdown and seeing how the pledge amounts were distributed. As of this writing, the pledge average came to $14.85, just shy of the $16.67 we needed to reach the goal.

So, we have decided to add two more tiers, which are both unlimited. One for $25, which will get you a Cosmonaut, and another for $50, which will get you 2. You are of course more than welcome to switch to either of those tiers if you so choose, but there is no need to. All current backers will be getting Cosmonauts. The advantage you all gained by being one of the first backers is you could set your own price, and will still be able to do so up until the campaign ends.

We want to thank you all so much for being the first out of the gate to support our project. We are blown away that we came so close to meeting our funding goal. A pessimist would have said we would raise exactly $3000 - one dollar for every backer. But clearly, the vast majority of you have an inherent sense of fairness.

We had considered just letting this campaign ride, and crossing our fingers that the community would collectively raise their pledge amounts. Our concern though, is that the people that would be raising their pledges are the same people that had already pledged more than their share. And we don’t want that to happen.

So again, thank you all so much for your support. We are looking forward to making this thing a reality, and keeping you guys all in the loop along the way!

Tom & Dan


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    1. Missing avatar

      Ken Kaiser on April 8, 2011

      Owning a Glif I know the build quality will be there for the cosmonaut. I already own a stylus which I don't use, so I ignored this when I first saw it. I recently found more apps where I'll use for it, so $25 seems reasonable. For this to actually show up in stores it'd have cost $10 and sell for $25, I don't think there is a market for a $40 stylus so this won't. I see this as a great opportunity to buy luxury item that otherwise wouldn't be made at all. Keep up the quality and I'll be blindly funding Studio Neat projects in the future. I'm sure/hope that the $1 backers didn't realize that you previously sourced the Gilf in the US and made an impeccable product. Thank you.

    2. Missing avatar

      Eric Diamond on April 2, 2011

      Well, on the other hand... I pledged $15 and here was my reasoning. If they had asked for $25 I would have paid it. I am looking forward to seeing the cosmonaut too, and am still ready to kick in extra money if they need it (doesn't now look like they do.) but since this was an experiment, i did my calculus like this: I would expect to pay $30 for a top notch stylus (and did, for my Just Mobile stylus), one that had been reviewed and endorsed my users. This one is merely an intriguing concept, so there was a discount on faith. Then I thought, at what amount, if I saw this on eBay would I pay for it to be a fantastic deal? And that price was $15...half of the $30 I paid for the JustMobile. Now even though the JustMobile is good, it is mostly metal and that's not so good around glass screens, especially when the stylus is heavy. So the Cosmonaut has a really good opportunity here to be a better product.

      Is it fair? Dunno, maybe. It depends. If the Cosmonaut is a fantastic product then it was a steal. If it sucks, has durability issues, too light, too heavy, etc. then no, it was a loss. That's kickstart for ya.

      Having done the experiment, if there is a call for more funding, I will be happy to pitch in some more dollars to make this happen. It's good karma.

    3. Missing avatar

      Mari on April 2, 2011

      Amazon sent an email that explained it was a premature payment. 2.5 weeks to go.

    4. Tyson Quick on April 2, 2011

      It just said I got a refund of my $15? Are you guys backing out on the proposal that made this product popular. Wouldn't want this to be a bait and switch scam guys

    5. Ayman Van Bregt on April 2, 2011

      Hi guys, Amazon payments did the transaction but 10 minutes later the money was refunded? What happened?


    6. Missing avatar

      Aditya Sharma on April 1, 2011

      This is AWESOME!

    7. Missing avatar

      Mari on March 31, 2011

      The glif was the first project I supported and it's now I found Kickstart. It was a simple yet super useful tool and I felt the whole KS thing was fantastic.

      I pledged what I thought to be fair $15 which for me I calculated that what I was looking at should sell for $9.99 compared to other similar accessories. It was my choice. That was the name of the game. Now I haven't read the entire thread here but from what I have read I see people ripping on others for having bid less than $16 - specifically $1. While I don't find $1 to be a resonable amount even less including shipping, it was a choice available to them and they shouldn't be ripped on because they end up walking away with a kick ass deal. I look at it differently I guess. If you feel ripped off cause you pledged higher thats nobody's fault. It was your choice. I personally see my kickstarter pledges as a way of supporting "the little guys" who have fantastic ideas but just need someone to take a chance and fund them up front and guarantee their success.

    8. Rodrigo on March 31, 2011

      If this works out how long will we have to wait for The Cosmonaut to be in our ands???
      I think it is a great product

    9. Levi Figueira on March 31, 2011

      I love seeing how freeloaders justify their options… I real cool sociology/psychology experiment right here. :)

    10. Sandrine Thinnes on March 31, 2011

      I'm glad you did put up the two other tiers! Otherwise I wouldn't have be able to be a backer! And just let me tell you, excatly 3 days ago I discussed the need of a rubber-tipped pen to be able to type comfortable on my smart-phone's touch screen and on my pristine new touch screen at work, I hate smudges on my screen :-) and here you guys come up ... I got my kickstarter newsletter and what do I see, exactly what I need!! I ordered two ... one for my work and one for my purse!

      I LOVE KICKSTARTER!! and hope I'll love the Cosmonaut

    11. Sharon O'Hara on March 30, 2011

      Coolness of the product aside I participated because I love the debate the funding model generated. Thanks for the interesting sociological study - interesting watching the group dialogue.

      P.S I love writing on a white board with a dry erase marker - you had me at "styled like a dry erase not a pen"

    12. Kerenna Samynathan on March 30, 2011

      Great idea guys. Im glad this reached its funding goal. Thanks for making it happen!

    13. SethJaffee on March 30, 2011

      I was a little bummed there's not an efficiency in ordering 2 though, like 1 for $25, 2 for $40 or something along those lines. Ordering 2 to the same address probably saves them a bundle on shipping. Shipping 1 pen probably costs an obnoxious amount, but throwing an additional pen in the package probably costs just about 0 additional $ to ship.

    14. SethJaffee on March 30, 2011

      Judging by prices on a quick google search for "iPad Stylus" it would seem about $15 on the average for online discounted rates, and $20-$25 MSRP. As such the Cosmonaut appears to be appropriately priced at $25, and you could likely get one at a discount if you wait for it to be available and then order from an online discount store. Or by being one of the first 3000 people, you could have gotten a discount as well.

    15. F. Ricardo Chiappe Vegas on March 30, 2011

      How are you going to ship it worldwide? I've already had problems with another Kickstarter project because they sent it via UPS and they never told me I had to pay customs (was MORE than what I backed that project).


    16. Ben Stanfield on March 30, 2011

      I'm one of the $2 freeloaders, so I can still look down my nose at those $1 freeloaders!

      I kid, I kid. I fully expected to pay a lot more than $2, and knew that I could up my bid when it came time to figure out how close we were as a group to the $50,000. I figured it was more important to reserve my spot now, since the limiting factor was 3,000 people, and then figure out later: A) What I can afford to pay, and B) what the fair price is based on the goal the group is shooting for.

    17. Thomas Paine on March 30, 2011

      I also did the trivial math to see how much was going to be required of each person to fund the project. Then I added 25% to account for the people who would pledge $1 and those who live in Guatemala but won't pony up for extra shipping. Guess it wasn't quite enough but I'm glad you guys took the high road on this one and just added more tiers. I wouldn't want to spend this next month cajoling selfish cheapskates either.

    18. Missing avatar

      deleted on March 30, 2011

      The author of this comment has been deleted.

    19. Tyson Young on March 30, 2011

      dan + tom, firstly guys well done on creating an awesome project
      secondly, i am sorry to hear about some peoples economic situations or displeasure with the pricing structure but at the end of the day this is a business - and business has to profit. i don't believe people were guilted into any decision. there's no need for me to reiterate what so many other people have already said but it is a cool product with a legit (ethical) social experiment behind its approach to funding. kudos boys, keep it up
      can't wait to get my 0.50c pen with free shipping to australia ;) haha

    20. Missing avatar

      Brett Dansie on March 30, 2011

      Awesome project and I am very impressed by your fairness and transparency. Your innovation on raising donation will be the model that many use going forward. Congrats on your success.

    21. Missing avatar

      Jose Munoz-Nieves on March 30, 2011

      I am so glad that you've reached the min total but believe that you should leave the option to join open for a longer period of time. Best of luck and success.

    22. Benjamin Bertrand on March 30, 2011

      Bottom line: this should be the default for all Kickstarter project funding. Early adopters can get in for minimal contribution, they'll be more apt to share to their circles, and it keeps you coming back to Kickstarter for more neat ideas to fund. The later you buy-in, the more it costs. (Of course this would be an optional project setting.)

    23. Lonnie Hanzon on March 30, 2011

      Levi - Why are you mad? what gives you the right to ge mad? Dan and Tom set the perameters. You have no knowledge of the other people or their circumstances. What a kill joy! By the way, I pledge enough for the group to make it. Dan and Tom's last project went through the ceiling, and this will too. Don't play if you can't play nice.

    24. Missing avatar

      Jill on March 30, 2011

      I thought I was helping out a cool project because I don't even have a tablet. Since it turns out that I am a freeloader, I would be more than happy to give up my slot to somebody who wasn't planning to give their stylus away. Sorry for not doing the math.

    25. Timothy Zork on March 30, 2011

      I wish everybody would quite complaining about "freeloaders." The rules of Kickstarter and of this project were clearly stated. You're not purchasing anything! You want to support Dan and Tom because they have good ideas, and as thanks for your support, they are giving you a gift. If they want to give gifts to people for absolutely no reason at all, they are free to do so. This isn't an economic transaction in the traditional sense where rules of "fairness" apply. Gifts are inherently "unfair," and that's what makes Kickstarter such an interesting concept of supporting creativity and ideas.

    26. Missing avatar

      Gavin McKeown on March 30, 2011

      I'm interested in the $16.67 figure. Is that the break-even price? I doubt it as you'd probably want to build in some contingency and profit into even the first round, Kickstarter-funded production run. The fact that the pledge average was a little below $15 and the goal was a little above says to me that your target sale price of $25 is too high. It it was $20 (or $19.95 if you want to play those games) I think you'll have more sales. I think it would sell very well at $15, like 3000 in 48 hours, but maybe that's not an economically viable price. $25 just seems too high though and the 3000 pay-what-you-like slots seem to have verified that.

    27. Missing avatar

      Tim Amirzadeh on March 30, 2011

      You guys are awesome! Can't wait for the Cosmonaut!

    28. Missing avatar

      Michael Miller on March 30, 2011

      Interesting but flawed experiment. I saw it as an opportunity to set a fair price for the stylus, which is certainly not $25, or even $17. I also didn't realize, though, that 3000 was the cutoff for pledges. I thought that was just an "early adopter bonus". I think the unwarranted guilt trip on people that would potentially be repeat customers if this thing is really worth the $25 you asked for it is odd. It almost seems that you were looking for an excuse to berate people. You set the minimum price by only requiring $1.

    29. Justin Scheetz on March 30, 2011

      We're just $50 away! Just a backer or two to go!

    30. Carl Diver on March 30, 2011

      Hi guys I'm hooked on the concept are you both on Twitter or linked-in ? I'd like to keep up to date with future projects etc..

    31. Missing avatar

      Andrew M on March 30, 2011

      It's a pleasure to have pledged. Keep doing your thing guys

    32. Missing avatar

      SRkickstarter on March 30, 2011

      Would have been interesting had there been a way to conceal the number of slots available. People would have been motivated to put in an initial price closer or equal to their maximum bid amount (were they using a non-altruistic approach).

    33. Missing avatar

      Jacob on March 30, 2011

      Just wanted to apologize, guys, I was one of the $1 backers, I was going to donate more, but with all the kickstarter problems they had yesterday, and there being only about 50 slots left, I rushed through the process, I'm still having trouble even posting this comment due to continuing trouble, but I'll try to increase my donation at some point before you hit 50k.

    34. Mirko Maurice on March 30, 2011

      Thanx a lot for the great work :-)

      How long will the production take, after this project will be funded?

    35. Ronald Ip on March 30, 2011

      It would be interesting to maintain a collection of time-based statistics on the Pay-What-You-Wish pledging group and to observe the direction of pledge amounts.
      Publish the statistics please?

    36. John Arnold on March 30, 2011

      This is a tricky one. I have no sense at all what it costs to make one of these things. So all I have to go on is what I feel a good quality stylus is worth to me. I'll be honest, though, I normally wouldn't buy a stylus at $25. I did bid that much here but only because it's kickstarter and it's you guys. To me a moulded piece of rubber seems to be worth more like $10 tops. Pricing is very difficult. Good luck with it.

    37. Byron Darlison on March 30, 2011

      Guys, love what you do, and want to make sure you can do it. Just raised my pledge from $25 to $50. Cheers

    38. Missing avatar

      Paul Harwood on March 30, 2011

      If I had an iPad and was short of funds for food I would probably sell it.

    39. Will Adam on March 30, 2011

      Tom & Dan, have raised my backing up to the $25 from my initial $20 pledge, have no problems with an extra $5 to see (what I will find) an extremely useful addition to my iPad! I have no doubt that you will reach the target today or tomorrow! :-) I do hope that some of the negative comments on this update does not put you off trying new ways to raise funds!

    40. Missing avatar

      Miguel Marcos on March 30, 2011

      I don't understand the guilt -trip thing. From the start it was crystal clear the funding process was different and it was explicitly labeled an experiment. Once you pledged you accepted these conditions and became part of the *experiment*. It was easy to figure out that $16.67 was the average expected from all.

      For those who gave far less and couldn't afford more, kudos. For those who gave far less and could afford more, there a guilt-trip may lie. Nevertheless the path to follow is easy: Keep your pledge where it is or, if you'd like, up it. Quite clear.

      I'm also with the previous commenter who was interested in knowing the funding level as soon as it got to 3000 users. How close did it get to the goal?

    41. Missing avatar

      Nick Brawne on March 30, 2011

      I do think that there is a lot of guilt tripping going on, and entirely agree with Katherine. I also come at this as an industrial designer who knows what tooling costs. If Dan and Tom where going off shore (China) the tooling would probably be less than $5000. Since they are very admirably staying on shore you can probably triple that to $15,000 or even $20,000 which gives them $30,000 to pay for materials and shipping on 3000 pieces, or $10 per unit. Materials costs are probably less than $0.50 per unit and I would guess packing and shipping could be had for less than $4.50 per unit, that leaves a very comfortable $5.00 profit on every unit sold. What they are grousing about is that their very comfortable $15,000 profit margin has been reduced.

      By the time this thing goes into volume production, the cost of tooling will already have been amortized over the first 3000 units, which leaves only the cost of materials, admin and shipping to come out of the $25 that they will be asking. The tools should be good for well over a 100,000 units. If fixed cost’s are $5 per unit that means potential profit is 100,000 X $20 = $2,000,000. These numbers assume that that there are no other marketing costs, and that they sell 100K units (which they probably won’t), but I think you get an idea of the sort of numbers the duo could be making, for a zero upfront investment (other than their time). Should we really feel so guilty?

    42. Raun Burnham on March 30, 2011

      I think it's incredibly cool that you are already more than 90 % funded in two days. I bet enough people will see the elegance and necessity of this product and fund it to completion. Best of luck!

    43. Jonathan Lally on March 30, 2011

      Originally had pledged $5, then pledged $50 (however couldn't pick the $50 option, so just raised my backing from $5 to $50). Am I still eligible for two? Just bought an iPad 2 and handed down my first generation to my mother. This will open up a whole new world for her coupled with a good drawing app.

    44. Zach Wendkos on March 30, 2011

      So once this project hits the $50k goal, won't we see a lot of people dropping their pledges to $1?

    45. Lucius Kwok on March 30, 2011

      Interesting. So if you change your reward fro the $1 to one of the unlimited rewards, one of the 3000 slots for the $1 reward opens up.

    46. Richard Murray on March 30, 2011

      Personally, I donated initially just to get into the 3000... and then planned to adjust my amount later once I got a chance to do the math :)

    47. Missing avatar

      Wayne Whatford on March 30, 2011

      Kicked in $30 and still feel guilty as this is a terrific concept and much needed for anyone even slightly creative who wants to fully realise the potential of their iPad. Suspect that when we finally get our hands on that first Cosmonaut we'll be ordering a bunch more for our team. Cant wait for blast off!
      Wayne Whatford

    48. Jose Lema on March 30, 2011

      @Justin Totally agree. I personally own two styluses and have backed another one here on Kickstarter. The fact that I was given the opportunity to pay what it's worth *to me* was awesome. And so my pledge was less than the $16. On the plus side, I tweeted the link as well as posted it to Facebook. I also found this a great opportunity to introduce my teen to Kickstarter. He signed up and pledged as well. Sure, he didn't put in a lot of $$$ but he's actually really excited about getting in on the ground floor.

    49. Justin Cardinal on March 30, 2011

      I think it's funny how everyone automatically places such a high value on this thing because of the $50k/3000 calculation. I asked myself how much I would pay for this simple item if it were an impulse buy at the registers at a place like Micro Center, and decided on $3. I didn't think I was "freeloading" or screwing anyone over; I was using the opportunity given to tell the seller what I think their product is worth. It seems some people are forgetting that products are allowed to fail if they can't be sold for a price people are willing to pay.