The Yeehaw Wand has disappeared, sort of.
Readers may recall a post earlier in which we described the unique Yeehaw Wand, a startup project that was attempting to raise funds through an Indiegogo launch.
We thought it was a very unusual take on the notion of a “3D printing pen”, which typically means you’re holding a very hot extruder in your hand and doing all the work manually.
But Yeehaw’s wand is quite different: it’s more like a 3D mouse that you move in the air to perform 3D sculpting. The sculpting actually takes place on a nearby tablet, which uses its camera and position to figure out where in 3D space the wand is positioned.
This movement system, combined with a few key buttons, enables you to do 3D sculpting in a way you likely haven’t done before. It’s a very good idea.
The company launched their fund raising campaign and apparently scored around USD$30,000 in a few short hours, indicating the popularity of the concept.
Then suddenly the campaign was closed. Pledges were fully refunded, and the Indiegogo campaign page now says:
“Yeehaw Wand: Anyone Can Draw & Print in 3D!” is currently being updated.
What happened? We contacted Yeehaw to understand the situation, and it turns out that it is not a bad thing at all, as one might expect when a crowdfunding campaign suddenly shutters.
We were told by a spokesperson that the organizers “weren’t sure our strategy was the right one”, so they’ve shut down the launch to reformulate a new campaign strategy. They expect to re-launch very soon.
One more thing: they say the new strategy will most likely involve a Kickstarter launch, and this perhaps suggests the reasons behind the move.
The two most notable crowdfunding platforms are Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where almost all serious crowdfunding campaigns end up. Kickstarter is by far the largest of the two, and as such tends to gather up more backers for their projects than Indiegogo.
In this chart you can see the Google Trends analysis of the two sites, clearly showing Kickstarter’s advantage. Note, however, that Indiegogo leads in certain regions. This is because Kickstarter was for quite a long time available only in particular countries, so Indiegogo was in many cases the only option available, and thus grew a very good reputation outside of the US. However, more recently Kickstarter has opened for business in many more countries.
My suspicion is that the folks at Yeehaw saw a massive demand from Indiegogo and realized they probably should have launched on Kickstarter to gain even more backers.
Is that the right thing to do? Perhaps, but I would actually consider launching on BOTH platforms. Why not? A wise man once told me, “the more people selling your product, the better”. And that’s the truth.