It seems like every day I'm inspired by someone throwing caution to the wind and just going after their passion. Today, it came from this video below.

Do yourself a favor and take two minutes to watch it. My favorite line is 55 seconds in:

"For two years I had the perfect solution in my head and finally last April I quit my job as an engineer and decided to create the solution myself"

PS: I just realized (via a RT on Twitter) that this is the perfect example of yesterday's post in action.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Judah

    Thank you for sharing this!  It is so encouraging to see something like this.  =)

  2. Ubermab

    Just great.Fred – do you surf kickstarter or did someone turn you on to this?

    1. fredwilson

      both, but @gcsf:twitter tipped me off to this one. if you don’t follow him, you should

      1. Donna Brewington White

        I love that I could click on Gary’s name in your comment and immediately his mini Twitter profile appears — complete with a follow button.  Can’t believe I wasn’t already following him. (Clever, Disqus.  You know your user.) 

  3. Mbrharris

    Nice to see someone taking the plunge on something that they are passionate about, and then see the overwhelming initial response from the market.

  4. Christian Brucculeri

    Very cool.  Great idea, as well — I’m sure he’ll sell buckets of these.

    1. fredwilson

      he already sold $230k of them!

      1. Vasudev Ram

        How many units does that work out to?I’m having problems viewing the video so I can’t see if that info is in it.

      2. Christian Brucculeri

        unreal.  What a great story so far.

  5. Guest

    Nice follow-up to yesterday’s post.  Most of the backers were over the $50 mark so they could pre-order.  

    1. fredwilson

      the pre-order model on kickstarter is a winner. it’s like a futures market for cool stuff

      1. markslater

        yep i agree – very smooth process to order this. how does kickstarter scale though?

  6. William Mougayar

    It’s a great example of Art meeting Technology, going back to one of your previous posts. His advantage was being both a photographer and an engineer. So, a secondary take-away is that- if you have two orthogonal areas of expertise, the results could be very interesting at the intersection of both.

    1. Harry DeMott

      Yes. There is a great speech out there by Charlie Munger (Buffet’s partner) where he talks about lollapalooza  effects – effectively the compounding of two or more different trends.http://www.loschmanagement….Everyone interested in investing should give this one a read – phenomenal stuff.But that intersection of peoples knowledge and p[passions are often the most fertile areas for investing.

      1. William Mougayar

        Thanks Harry for that link. What a piece! I see from your signature you’re a fan of that duality theme: old+new, traditional+disruptive, etc. Definitely, unique intersections yield astounding creativities. 

      2. Dave W Baldwin

        Thanks Harry!

      3. fredwilson

        ooh, munger on compounding effect of trends. two of my favorite things in one!

  7. RacerRick

    Great video. He tells a perfect story.

  8. QJH

    I find it interesting how effective this is as an introduction to the project. In two minutes I can check two big boxes – I’ve seen the product demo and have met the founder. I’ve heard his story and believe that he is qualified (engineering diagrams, etc) to pull this off. As far as non-present pitches go, this one is quite effective.Further, the FAQs are thorough as they dig into uncommon, but valid questions (“Your video mentions that the plate is “Arca-Swiss” compatible. What does this mean?”). All the resources for decision-making are laid out.To the extent that making a similar video is cost effective for other kickstarter creators, this can serve as a solid example. 

    1. fredwilson

      yup. communities like kickstarter, etsy, etc should try to get the most successful creators to coach the newer ones

  9. LIAD

    Strong Apple-esque videoLots of Steve Jobs style voice inflection.Kickstarter couldn’t pay for better PR than normal people using them to try and ‘raise’ $10k and ending up with $220k+

    1. William Mougayar

      Well…I’d prefer to see the raw originality come through rather than a polished/overly re-hearsed pitch. The polish could come later when they raise subsequent rounds, so there’s a case for letting the personality of the creator come through almost untouched, because that’s who you’re investing in.

      1. LIAD

        Agreed.But, if you’ve only got one shot, and it absolutely, positively must work – probably best to follow a tried and tested formula.

      2. CJ

        Maybe that is his personality?  In any case it’s effective so I’d probably go with that rather than raw.

    2. awaldstein

      Very true.I sent the video out to my network of amateur photographers friends (travel and wine bloggers mostly).Not only will it sell but it is bringing mass market attention to what Kickstarter is about,

      1. CJ

        Ditto – I have a lot photobug friends on FB.  They all know about this now.

      2. Carl Rahn Griffith

        The Customer has become the Product Manager.

        1. awaldstein

          Or at least the marketing and sales channel, ala, Apple-like enthusiasts.

        2. Keenan

          Great quote!

    3. kenberger

      “I think you’re gonna love it!”Just missing the word ‘really’ in there to be patently SJ.

  10. Josh Hanson

    Kickstarter is amazing.  The “Shark Tank” is awful. 

    1. LE

      Josh – A person that I consulted with appeared on Shark Tank. I can assure you that the “results” from appearing on Shark Tank and the follow up orders and opportunities from the national publicity were PHENOMENAL.  (And they had appeared on GMA and many other places prior to Shark Tank). As a side note I will say that the shark who invested actually backed out of the deal but that ended up being a good thing. The value of Shark Tank is national publicity, contacts and exposure, not money.

  11. Robert Thuston

    2 years… The process of developing ideas into products fascinates me.  I imagine there was some subconscious processing here.  I think its human nature (for entrepreneurs) that after your idea settles in (after the the Ah-ha moment), you naturally develop a process for seeking additional insights from others, and deepening your understanding of the original thought.I wonder what eventually lead Peter to quit his job.  I would bet that it was a mix of continuing to have friends and potential customers encourage him it was a good idea, his own personal insights, and seeing other people doing similar things with success on Kickstarter.  He’s done a great job with his video. That being said, “inspiration” and “feedback” are such hearty foods for entrepreneurs.  This blog, as well as Kickstarter, other videos, and other blogs are such a wonderful place to discover them.

  12. Trevor McLeod

    Build something you wish already existed.  Awesome!

  13. Dave Pinsen


  14. Carl Rahn Griffith

    i am not a photographer but this is very cool and relevant. Well done to him – hope it becomes a huge success – looks like it will from the pre-orders!Do people here think a tangible (‘hardware’) product/solution is sometimes easier to garner plaudits and market traction/revenues if it addresses a need once it is manifested and ‘real’? Software sometimes seems so hard to communicate re: relevance/opportunity and a solution to a problem/need/opportunity, no matter how good the idea.Thoughts?

    1. Carl Rahn Griffith

      By the way, for clarification, by using the word ‘easier’ I certainly don’t mean ‘easy’  🙂

    2. fredwilson

      software is harder to grok but easier to manufacture

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Grok? Lol. Not heard that in ages – have now welcomed it back to my lexicon – thanks, Fred!

    3. Don Welch

      This is an interesting question. I have written software for a number of decades, and I tell clients that I am a translator first, and then a programmer. That my job is to listen and understand their needs, and translate them into a manner that the computers can understand and executre.I have also done actual software products, where I am having to explain the points you bring up, [ re: relevance/opportunity and a solution to a problem/need/opportunity ]. And I certainly encountered a barrier communicating to consumers those points.So I changed my approach. I begin with what they know and understand [accepting that I am not my customer, and they are likely not as tech oriented], and I explain it with real world / physical metaphors, making the ‘pain’ clear and common to them, and segue with terms like, wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to do that, or it didn’t take that long, or it happened automatically while you sleep.

  15. awaldstein

    I’m ordering one today.Great product for me. Great proof of concept for Kickstarter. A crowd funded solution for a mass market consumer product.Terrific case study.

  16. Neil Braithwaite

    Two things.First, as someone who loves inventing new things to solve problems, I am inspired by this young man.Second, the AVC blog has already helped me significantly in several new ventures while inspiring me to never give up.Living in a country founded by entrepreneurs, it’s great to see that spirit kept alive.To Fred and everyone who comments, thank you. 

    1. ShanaC

      You’re welcome

  17. CliffElam

    Funny, I was watching that thinking: but SLR’s are dead, aren’t they?Turns out, maybe not:…The money quote: According to IDC, DSLR sales reached 131 million units in 2007, up 24 percent over 2006. The company forecasts 14-18 percent growth until 2012, at which point they expect it to peak and then decline.This is counter-intuitive to me.   I spend a lot of time around people with lots of disposable income and kids and over the last three or four years I’ve seen a startling decline in even point-and-shoot cameras in favor of phones.My wife won’t even take our Rebel out of the bag – our 13mp pocket Casio is the go-to when the iphone won’t cut it.Anyway, I kept thinking that an attachment system like this for pistols/rifles for the military would be darn handy.I am impressed that he was able to get to the camera-totting population so effectively for, basically, nothing. Very very cool.-XC

    1. ShanaC

      I agree about this being super useful for pistols.  I also think that you’re missing the market – as the cost of cameras came down, there has been growth in pseudoprofessional training in photography.  I know a number of people who ended up shooting weddings after a basic training course in photoshop and playing around with slrs…

      1. CliffElam

         I agree that the entry level to get the technical equipment to make a good picture has come down a ton.  (Except, weirdly, for good flash equipment.)I’m just reflecting that the crowd I’m around a lot has gone from a significant percentage of DSLR to none in just a few years of “good enough” phone cameras.  Which is not a good thing for any market.-XCPS – My Nikon F (1963) still works…..

    2. BillSeitz

      If you want to shoot at a distance, with rather low light, then a point-and-shoot (digital) is going to suck.

      1. BillSeitz

        Hmm, though I’m not sure that use-case ties well to the instant-access story. The high-quality need (for me) tends to come up at events (kids performances, etc.), so I’m specifically carrying the big camera in the shoulder bag, not moving around much during the period when taking photos, etc.I’d never carry that weight/bulk around on a daily basis.I wonder how many of these will get bought and then sit in a bag…

  18. EmilSt

    This will be my first donation on Kickstarter!

  19. ajhai

    Typo in the quoted text. s/guit/quit/g

    1. fredwilson

      yup. fixed it. thanks!!

  20. Becca Niederkrom

    Wow.  First, my husband and I have the same problem as new DSLR adventurists and I now know my next purchase for him.  Second, The video concisely shows how he solved the problem and the many variations to wear it.  We no longer have to decide between the Camelbak and DSLR backpack to bring with us.  Finally, bravo to someone who saw a problem, fixed it and is adding value to our lives.  

  21. Guest

    Fred. I love the fact, that a platform like Kickstarter (virtual) helps people iterate a camera (physical). I think we will see more of that sort, where the virtual and physical world will more and more merge together. Inspiration is everything.

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      Virtual becomes Physical and vice versa…. you just said more than you may realize. 

    2. BillSeitz

      The biggest Kickstarter successes have been physical-product-driven, I believe.…

    3. fredwilson

      that has turned out to be one of the strongest categories on kickstarter

  22. kenberger

    I’d use it on my motorbike handlebar, but now he needs to innovate a lens bugscreen !

    1. fredwilson

      or a lenshield wiper

  23. Guest

    Thanks for posting this Fred.He clearly made the right decision. With 25 days left to go, already the project has raised more than $230K. Anyone else sense a little bit of Steve Jobs in his video? Very effective. 

  24. Noah Lucas

    I love Kickstarter for what it stands for and other reasons but perhaps what i love most is that through customer financing it has effectively lowered the barrier of entry for entrepreneurs that have a passion for manufacturing and industrial, mechanical and electrical engineering. There is a serious need to increase the attraction of bright minds into these areas in the United States and I think Kickstarter’s ability to facilitate funding in manufacturing projects certainly helps bridge the gap between ideation and realization by focusing on the inventor’s passion and story-telling ability to effectively convey their vision. I’m personally really excited for the Dot 360 Video ( ) and the Freaker ( )!

    1. fredwilson

      yes, yes, yes

  25. markslater

    +1 – i’m in

  26. CJ

    I appreciate that guy’s passion, so much so that I’ve now backed him on Kickstarter, the first time I’ve ever done so.  I was at the Zoo with the family last week and wishing for something to fix everything he mentioned in the video and I can’t deny his passion.  Thanks for posting this Fred!  It feels good to feel like you’ve made a difference to someone elses dream.

  27. Vasudev Ram

    Cool to see that Kickstarter helps startups get going, whatever the project may be.

  28. joe

    so…. this guy quit his job in a bad economy to invent a clip for a camera ive never even heard of?……..

    1. fredwilson

      and got $240,000 of orders so far

  29. toddysm

    It is really an INSPIRATION! The guy is amazing.

  30. matthughes

    Kickstarter is pretty cool -Is there a way to harness the enthusiasm of Kickstarter Backers into feedback for the start-ups? (for iteration)

  31. Parafly

    Notwithstanding the fact that only a camera lover could love this holster (haha) I do think @QJH:disqus  makes some great points on the effectiveness of the video. Bing, bam, boom. If only all business owners were this clear and concise with their work.Devil’s advocate – retail products like are often easier to compartmentalize than the often fringe technologies many tech companies are building.

  32. Matt A. Myers

    My intention is to fix the healthcare system in Canada – and I’m on my way there.One motivation is that the government isn’t going to do it, and it takes money and an audience for change – well, money can expedite the process and makes it easier.

    1. fredwilson

      that is god’s work Matthew. i’m glad you are tackling something big and so worthwhile

  33. Rohan

    Nice. Shared it with my photographer friends. Maybe they will invest.. Thanks!

  34. Donna Brewington White

    This is so cool.  Captures some of the best elements of entrepreneurism and even capitalism.  Two things I love. :-)Thanks for sharing this, Fred.

  35. Carl J. Mistlebauer

    Having lugged around a strapless SLR for 25 years I can tell you that this is a brillant idea!  I also made my contribution….As a stereo fanatic who has stayed true to 2 channel turntable based stereo systems I can also tell you that the SLR camera will enjoy the same resugence in popularity as turntables and records are enjoying today!Now, if this guy could figure out how to build a clip that will allow a middle aged guy to actually find his camera on his waist without sucking in his stomach everytime he will definitely have scored a homerun!

    1. fredwilson


  36. pguo10

  37. paramendra

    Good job, Kickstarter. 

  38. Suresh Kumar G

    Really its an small idea, but the will  and belief make it bigger 🙂 its very useful For everyone 

  39. essay online

    Very useful post! Thanks.

  40. Mtron

    I want one! Been looking for this solution for years.

  41. Don Welch

     Thank you for sharing this. I think some of the best ideas can be the simplest, and this invention proves that. And as someone who markets their own services, I learned a couple things from the presentation and his approach.

  42. Keenan

    I too get inspired by and excited for entrepreneurs when the throw everything to the wind and go for it. It’s one reason I love being a Techstars mentor so much.You can see his passion!

  43. Nic Fulton

    Seems like there’s a very similar product on the market already:…and it’s patented:…Not sure what the legal issues would be with kickstarter projects – i.e. who would a patent owner seek a licensing deal with?

    1. GraemeHein

      Thankfully real world patents are MUCH more sane than software patents. You can’t patent the concept of a clip, but only your clip.The spider device uses a pin much like those on security chains for hotel doors.This kickstarter project uses a rectangular clip designed to work with some existing tripods. He also has filed patents for his design.If this were software, the first person to think of a clip gets the patent and we all have to get a licence regardless of our implementation. 

  44. fredwilson

    yup, nice follow up to monday’s post