Reporters' Roundtable: New tools for inventors

If you've got an idea for a product, there are new ways to bring it to market. Rafe Needleman talks with Yancey Strickler of Kickstarter and Jim Newton of TechShop about innovations in funding and prototyping.

The game is changing for inventors. It costs less than it ever has to build a technology product or launch a company to sell it. There are new marketplaces to sell your goods, too--even if you haven't yet built a single unit.

Securities laws in the U.S. are also about to change, which will dramatically expand the funding possibilities for new companies. So get ready to be barraged with requests to help build small new companies, and prepare to be tempted to do it yourself.

Today we're talking with two real innovators who have built companies that make it possible for anyone with an idea to pre-sell products, learn how to design and build them, and manufacture prototypes and even the first batch of units. Our guests:

Our episode, in two acts, is below:

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Discussion points
Yancey Strickler:
Kickstarter in a nutshell.

Why now? What's the model?

Is Kickstarter changing the competitive landscape for entrepreneurs?

What are your standards for running a project in there?

Are we in a small-startup bubble? An art bubble?

How can crowdfunding go wrong?

Why not raise funds the traditional way? Why is crowdfunding better than traditional models?

Do projects have to have a consumer appeal?

What are the secrets of successful Kickstarter projects?

Let's talk about the JOBS Act and how it affects Kickstarter.

Jim Newton:
What do you think the JOBS Act means for startups?

Describe Techshop.

Examples of interesting projects

How many people are using it just for fun?

Talk to us about the importance (or not) of 3D printing.

How do inventors reach potential customers?

Is TechShop for solo builders or is it a social/community resource?

Where do people learn to think like inventors?

What's next?

Listen now



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