We're excited to be here with our first product, and we're certain that you're going to love our super sleek, low profile GoPro handle -- the GoBall.
If you're reading this, you probably love your GoPro as much as we do. You bring it everywhere and you use it to capture any and every activity. You have a plethora of mounts for every application imaginable, but none feels too comfortable in the pocket or allows for a grip that gives a steady shot. We feel that the compact design of the GoPro should be accompanied by an equally compact handle.
A Brief History
Marco and I are GoPro fanatics and we like to keep it close by -- usually in our back pocket -- so we can capture as much of life's nuances as we can. Our first version was just a cheap DSLR stabilizer handle mated with a GoPro tri-pod mount. It could fit in our pockets, worked great and provided us with months of great footage.
When the GoPro Hero3+ arrived, we knew we wanted something smaller to accompany the more compact size of the new GoPro casing. This was essentially the same handle but smaller. It totally satisfied our needs, but was lacking in aesthetic design.
That's when Marco and I came up with using a spherical handle. We were able to cut down on the overall size even more, yet we maintained a generous surface area for grip. Our first prototype was just a screw in a tri-pod mount with a ball of aluminum foil wrapped around it and then covered in duct tape. As simple as it seems, it really proved our theory to be valid - the spherical handle was the way to go.
We went through the most basic design, had it 3D printed and tested it. It performed great. The grip feels incredibly natural and allows you to pull the camera out of your pocket faster than a Formula 1 pit-stop.
As soon as our final version 3D printed prototype arrived, Marco and I knew that we were onto something and immediately thought about how this could be used by so many GoPro users around the world. We instantly thought about Kickstarter and started talking to manufacturers.
Our goal of $5800 covers the bare minimum to produce enough GoBall handles and ship them to all the pledges. This scenario would be a short run of 270 units and we found a Minnesota manufacturer that specializes in short-run, short time-frame production. The way we have scaled this is for the first 100 backers to receive a GoBall for $19 and every backer after that will get one for $23. Both prices make this one of the most affordable GoPro accessories on the market. If we are considerably over-funded, we have plans for GoBall stickers, lanyards, etc that would be given to each backer for free. However, the goal of $5800 provides us with just enough funding to produce a short run of GoBalls.
We knew that high quality, a short turn-around time and good communication with the manufacturer were paramount. We had numerous discussions with multiple factories here in the USA and we refined the design of the GoBall for maximum weight savings, great looks and a design that would be compatible with super-strong ABS plastic injection molding.
At this point we have settled with two different factories for two different scenarios. The factory in Minnesota is if we just scrape by, but if the GoBall turns out to be a big hit, we have also been in contact with a large-scale manufacturer to crank out a boat-load of GoBalls at an equally fast turn-around time.
Speaking of turn-around time, the manufacturing process can take 2-4 weeks depending on the size of the order. Then comes our part -- to send each GoBall out to all of you Kickstarters. We estimate that shouldn't take more than 2 weeks. Adding a 2 week cushion brings us into May. If you've noticed, we indicated in the rewards section that delivery will be June at the latest. We are very confident that we will meet this mark with time to spare. Of course, we will be updating all of you backers of our progress all along the way.
Now that we have all our pieces in place, it's time to see if the GoBall really is what Marco and I think it is - the most usable GoPro handle on the market. Over the last week, we've had a very favorable response on our Instagram account @kickstartgoball, but it's ultimately up to you Kickstarters to see how far this handle will go and how much more footage you'll get out of life. We're excited for the ride!
Risks and challenges
The GoBall has been refined to be the most simple and robust product possible. We have have been in direct contact with our manufacturers to ensure a quality product and finish. With such few steps between us, the factory and shipping, the delivery of the GoBall should be very simple. Of course, delays are always possible, but we are confident that your GoBall will be delivered in a timely manner. We believe in constant and direct contact with our supporters. We've had multi-directional contact with our excited, soon-to-be backers on Instagram and email and we are excited to gain many more satisfied GoBall adopters. We've even received an inquiry to see if we can get one to Brazil before the World Cup; by our calculations, it should get there with time to spare! Obrigado! (Thanks! Danke! Gracias! Merci! Grazie!)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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