We all like a good fidget now and again. Indeed, it could be argued that fidgeting is a great source of stress release, and thus should be actively encouraged, especially amongst office workers. We recently saw the limited edition release of the NiceBalls from Imaginarte, which took the form of a literal pair of fake, hanging testicles glued to the bottom of an office desk, and designed to be fiddled with in order to alleviate the stresses and tensions accrued during an average work day. But this latest toy (the designers probably wouldn't care much for us calling it that) is geared squarely towards the mass market. The product from the Colorado-based Antsy Labs might have been engineered for mass market consumption, but it's doubtful its creators had any idea just how popular the concept would be. The original goal for the Fidget Cube Kickstarter was $15,000. With 36 days still left to go on the project's page, the little gadget that could has raised around $3.5 million with almost 90,000 backers. This is a staggering achievement by anyone's estimation, but it's especially impressive given the simple elegance of the product and the small size of the company behind it.
The Fidget Cube was designed as a way to help people who liked to fidget at their desks with nearby objects that could become a distraction. This could be anything from a click-top pen to a set of keys or even our smartphones. The vinyl cube offers a different, and less distracting sort of satisfying interaction on each face, each one designed to be played with subconsciously with one hand, so the user can continue being productive even whilst fiddling. Unlike many other tech toys that have failed to ignite on Kickstarter in recent years, the Fidget Cube is an incredibly simple device. It was designed to be carried anywhere and to keep your hands busy in a non-distracting way, and it's undoubtedly that simplicity which is a huge part of the reason this campaign has taken off so dramatically.
The Fidget Cube is the fifth Kickstarter that company co-founders and brothers Mark and Matthew McLachlan have put together. Two of the previous four were cancelled, with one raising just $10,180 against a $6,000 goal, and the other raising $51,026 against a $25,000 goal. The Fidget Cube has introduced them to a new level of success. Mark McLachlan, the founder of Antsy Labs, said: “We believe that the reason this is resonating with so many individuals is because fidgeting is a very relatable behaviour. In our design process, we were very intentional in making Fidget Cube something that we could hand to anyone, whether a student or an executive, and have it be a useful tool for them. With regards to the excitement, as you can probably imagine, with each day that passes we’re continuing to be completely overwhelmed with the response we’re receiving. As for the scary part, we’re no longer dealing with a small-scale production that’ll be shipped out to one or two thousand backers. We feel a tremendous amount of responsibility to our rapidly growing community of supporters. We did expect, and hoped, one of our projects was going to blow up, and that when that day came, we’d be blown away with the $150,000 we raised. What we’re experiencing now doesn’t even remotely come close to what we had dreamed of.”
The Fidget Cube is currently only the 29th most-funded Kickstarter in history, but in relative terms it's actually one of the most successful products in Kickstarter history, given the comparatively paltry $15,000 funding goal. The most-funded item in Kickstarter history is currently Pebble Time, with over $20 million raised against a $500,000 goal. To put it another way, that campaign raised 4,067% of its goal, whilst the Fidget Cube has already raised 22,000% of its goal and the gates are floodgates are still open for another month! Whether or not this unexpected success derails the project (Kickstarter is littered with the corpses of campaigns that became massively successful, only to crumple under the pressure of fulfilling so many orders) or helps it along remains to be seen, but the brothers seem adamant that they will still hit their December shipping date. Good luck guys!