2 Million orphaned Pebbles
First of all I have to thank you for backing my campaign early. You are a valiant caretaker of one (or more) of the 2 Million orphaned Pebbles. This campaign is off to a slow but steady pace. Please help make sure it's successful by sharing it with all your friends and enemies.
This update is primarily to answer the obvious question:
Why would you launch a campaign for Pebble watchfaces after Fitbit just bought them out?
I was set to launch this campaign the week that the rumors about the Fitbit buyout started circulating. At first I was totally stunned. I didn't know what to do. But after a few reassuring posts from Jon Barlow (from Pebble/Fitbit developer relations) and Fitbit, Inc, I was hopeful about Fitbit eventually coming out with a smartwatch that supports third-party apps. I was also reassured by a potential community supported ecosystem to keep the Pebble hardware viable, and the fact that there are over 2 million Pebbles out there. Finally, I realized that when looking at all the other available smartwatches, I would rather keep wearing my Pebble. So instead of waiting to see what and when Fitbit will deliver something, I revised my campaign for the current state of affairs and launched it.
Before the Fitbit announcement I had much grander plans for the Kickstarter campaign. I have 12 designs that were going to be included and I was going to try for a much larger minimum goal. I've had the Idea for several of these design for about 3 years, and the plan to use a Kickstarter campaign to launch them. But smartwatch face design, so far, hasn't become a lucrative industry. Between my full time work and making time for my son (now 2 and a half) I didn't have the time to complete these designs. This fall I finally had time to focus on the designs and the Kickstarter campaign. With the video and the rest of the materials done, I couldn’t bear the idea of having prepared it all and not sharing it with Pebble community.
Even though I still think Pebble is the best smartwatch available. Given the current uncertainty, I don't expect this campaign to make much money. My goal is to get the designs out there. After delivering these 8 faces for Pebble, what's next really depends on how the smartwatch market develops. I sincerely hope that Fitbit comes out with a smartwatch that supports third-party apps similarly to Pebble. I'm doing my part to show Fitbit that there is niche for wearable art beyond health trackers. I can see bringing my designs to a Fitbit smartwatch, Android Wear, Apple Watch and even desktops or other platforms. Running this campaign is like launching myself into the unknown. I hope the publicity for these designs will help open doors.
Some of this writing was included in an excellent article by Patrick Catanzariti that goes into more detail about the current state of the Pebble community. For more info from the “the unofficial spearhead organization for continuing the advancement of the Pebble platform” see Rebble.io.
If anybody still questions your dedication to stick with Pebble you can direct them to a recent post by an enlightened writer at Forbes who is also buying up the few remaining Pebbles.
For anybody considering gifting these watchfaces or The Edition, tomorrow I will be posting an update with a downloadable home printable gift card, and before the end of the week I should have the first draft of The ("I made awesome happen") Edition ready to preview.