I am a massive fan of those platforms, while I admire crowd financing in general. What those two platforms have created is so much more.
It is a product management heaven. It takes out some of the broader issues during product cycles. You can test the demand for your idea, getting customer feedback, and, on top of it, you can finance it. It is allowing you to start and grow much more naturally without betting big.
And what comes out of it is also quite astonishing, as I go through all the items I bought there already. From super-fast drying towels to air purifiers and even personal air conditioning.
It also becomes a great source of physical products paired with software. So many day-to-day products get Apps attached to it to make it smarter and more convenient to be used.
But what all of it also shows is in the details, when you read between the lines of all those updates in those campaigns. The relationship between the factories and the inventors. Much of this wouldn't have been possible years ago, with hefty prices for tooling and a manufacturing process aimed towards cheap mass production.
While scale still supports lower pricing, it is nowhere near the level it was before. And this democratizes manufacturing access. It is giving more people the ability to create based on the shoulders of others.
This should also be a warning sign for many established companies, those who had bet on owning a factory as a competitive advantage and a barrier of entry. It has never been easier to create physical products, and consumers will love what comes out.
What we have seen for years in other industries and especially on the internet in the form of software, will also enter the physical world rapidly.
Not necessarily in the way some people have envisioned through 3D printers sitting in every household, but on a changing supply chain that simply got more accessible.