What is this useful crap?

It’s fair to say I love a Kickstarter campaign. Well…I love a bad Kickstarter campaign. They’re such great theatre. The awful Kickstarter video is almost a genre of its own, with its own rules and narratives.

Its adherents stay faithful to the genre. Always they start by massively overstating the extent of the problem they’re trying to solve (queue guy struggling roadside with a standard pump, tubes and tyres scattered everywhere, pump broken, rain threatening, friends riding away…). Then they introduce themselves. They restate the problem (“Have you ever thought there must be a better way to pump up your tyres?”) Then they introduce their product. Hey presto it’s a crazy convoluted piece of crap with Bluetooth or some other technology to address a problem that never really existed.

I was very disappointed therefore to see this Kickstarter campaign for a bicycle lock that so shamelessly shuns the conventions of Kickstarter campaigns. There’s little joy for me in a campaign video with funky music, no narrative, no overstating the problem, no awkward introductions from the designers. What’s worse the product looks quite useful.

It’s a shame they’ve missed the finer points of Kickstarter campaigns in so many ways. Apart from the fact I’m usually carting a backpack when riding, I might even buy this product myself.  I hope they fund their campaign and make lots of money and can afford a weekend course on how to make proper Kickstarter campaign. (Queue guy on roadside struggling with lock and lights.)

Thankfully junk like this still exists for me to gloat over. It’s a bike light with built in Bluetooth technology. So you can custom program the flashing of your lights. Because that’s what you’ve always wanted to do right? Why ride your bike when you could be futzing about trying to get the Bluetooth to connect so you can make the lights flash that way instead of this?

I like it how the guy in the video looks like even he’s struggling to mount the lights.

Still, I’d like a narrative please. I want my problem overstated for me. I want to meet the designers. Well hello Maxwell EPO.

But still. That looks like a decently useful product. I need something that addresses a problem that doesn’t exist. I need a convoluted and expensive solution to a non-existent problem that involves “smart” (spits over his shoulder) technology, Bluetooth, a mobile phone, and loads of inter-connectivity that’s almost guaranteed not to function one day when you least have time to deal with the hassles. Oh, and can I have some cool German accents too please.

Thanks Cobi.

People funded this campaign to the tune of over $400,000. Which only goes to show the act of cycling is just too simple for many people.

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