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Crowd Supply is Kickstarter for product designers. That's an overly simplistic description and a disservice to what Crowd Supply has accomplished at launch, but it's the best way to explain what it is. When you dig past the surface, into what a crowdfunding site developed specifically for product designers could mean, the differences become exciting.
The site launched this morning with nine projects and three read-to-ship products, ranging the gamut from an iPhone case with a built-in hand crank charger to a cyclocross bike to a dog collar with a built-in leash that I am admittedly thinking of Backing for my own dog.
About two weeks ago, I spoke via Skype with Crowd Supply's CEO, Lou Doctor. He was coming from Crowd Supply's headquarters in Portland and had the familiar look of someone under the gun getting ready to launch a product—happy and sleep deprived. Doctor, like the five other employees at Crowd Supply , comes with a background in engineering that has veered into business, entrepreneurship and running project teams.
I came away from our discussion thinking that Doctor and his team have smartly thought through the experience of running a crowdfunded product design project while simultaneously creating a better experience for Backers.