Man Raises Over $500,000 to Build iPod Watches

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When Apple announced its new 1.5-inch touchscreen iPod Nano in early September, it didn’t take long before people started dreaming of making the tiny music player into a wristwatch.

About two weeks ago, a Chicago-area designer named Scott Wilson turned to fundraising site Kickstarter.com to try to drum up some financial support for two iPod Nano watch products—a $35 model called the TikTok and a $70 model called the LunaTik.

The project’s financial goals were nothing exorbitant; Wilson estimated that he needed $15,000 to get the designs ready for production.

Fast forward to today, and the project has raised over $500,000 on the Kickstarter site. That’s far more than any other project before it, with the next closest being an independent film that raised just under $350,000.

The Kickstarter site allows anyone who wants to raise money for “creative ideas and ambitious endeavors” to set up a project page and solicit monetary pledges. Each project carries an exact goal amount that must be met before any money is paid out, and project owners can entice people to pledge at various levels by offering special rewards based on pledge amounts.

In Wilson’s case, pledges at $25 will receive the $35 watch kit once it’s ready and pledges at $50 will receive the $70 watch kits once it’s ready. There was even a $500-or-more pledge level open to 100 people that included a special edition watch and 10 regular watches.

Pledging is set to close on December 16, at which point the credit cards of anyone who pledged will get charged. Wilson gets a nice, big infusion of cash to start building the watches, people who pledged get watches themselves, and Kickstarter gets a cool 5% of any funds raised.

How’s that for cutting who-knows-how-many middlemen out of the picture?

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