Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
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7/3/2014
01:45 PM
David Wagner
David Wagner
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Geekend: A Tiptoe Through Kickstarter

Kickstarter is place where dreams go to become reality ... and to be mocked by the Geekend.

You bet. Introducing the MindRider, a product right out of MIT's Media Lab.

The MindRider is a smart bicycle helmet that helps you know exactly what you're getting out of your ride. Sensors mounted in the helmet monitor your brain activity to determine how relaxed or engaged you are on your ride. The helmet maps your brain activity in real time relative to your route to tell you later on which kinds of ride areas are optimal for you.

For instance, as you ride through the park, it could determine that you were relaxed and happy, but while you were riding through dangerous city traffic, you might be nervous. As you go by beautiful buildings, you might be engaged in the ride as you enjoy the scenery. Eventually, as it maps these feelings onto specific spaces using a smartphone app, the app can tell you where to go to get the kind of ride you're looking for. Want a relaxing ride? It can steer you to nearby places you've enjoyed before. Looking to be inspired or excited? It can steer you to those places as well.

Presumably, as the helmet becomes more sophisticated (prototypes already do everything described above), it could function as an exercise device or a safety device. If it sees you're distracted or agitated, it might be able to get you off the busy streets or remind you to pay attention before you have an accident. Eventually, it could be used for other activities as well, helping you map out your stress levels throughout your day.

One of the potential long-term goals could be to collect the information anonymously and see how city layouts affect way of life or how public spaces could be better designed to improve well-being.

Of course, there's one major problem: No one would want to wear the dorky hat if not on a bicycle or similar vehicle. The developer would need to reduce the bulkiness of the helmet to make it a sensor you can wear comfortably while walking or driving.

But MindRider has potential to help design better cities. It likely won't get there, as it has attracted a little under $12,000 of the requested $100,000 in funding. MindRider has only a week to meet its goal.

What do you think of our little tiptoe through Kickstarter? I didn't get a chance to talk about the Geek cookbook or the card game to help you learn to code. Or dozens more wonderful and crazy projects. Would you buy any of these products? Would you fund any of them? Have you ever funded anything on Kickstarter? If so, what did you fund? If not, why not? Comment below.

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David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio
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SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
7/29/2014 | 5:29:21 PM
Re: Ricky the cockroach
@pedrogonzales: Some projects need to be funded, like interesting approaches with the 3D printing needs to be explored to see what projects can be made useful in our daily lives.
We should only browse those kinds of ideas that appeal to us by making our lives better. Not funding some insane and amateur idea is a nice start.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
7/29/2014 | 5:27:33 PM
Re: Ricky the cockroach
@Alison: These funding sites need better advertisement approaches. Constantly annoying a user for a donation may (and does) lead to minimum amounts of money procured by the funding website. Moreover, these campaigns are region specific, and in some countries they do not work. In India most of the IT people seem to care about such campaigns and only a small percentage of them donate anything for such websites. Marketing approaches comes with advertisements and advertisement approaches should be region specific.
kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Moderator
7/24/2014 | 1:50:45 PM
Love the keyboard, hate the empty accounts
I now want the querky typewriter keyboard. It's adorable. Always wanted an old typewriter but wondered where i'd put it. Using it as a tablet keyboard would be awesome.

One hint for new kickstarters, especially that cockroach story woman without a penny invested. Take a low level investment and pledge it yourself, get your friends to kick in a few bucks (heck ask that to be your birthday present). Get the seed money in there. It's like a tip jar. no one's going to add the first dollar, but if there's a five in there already the'll add two.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/11/2014 | 7:11:59 AM
Re: Ricky the cockroach
I see GoFundMe a little differently than Kickstarter.  The GoFundMe stuff tends to be charity or donations to an individual so they can do what they want to do not an attempt to raise funding for a product launch that offers the participant a tangible object.  I don't mind charity but I do mind when a company is skimming part of the funds from donations.  I don't mind people having dreams but I do get irritated with GoFundMe requests like "Awesome Weekend in Vegas" where they want me to fund their vacation.  Sorry I don't care how you spin it that just doesn't fly with me.  As for more legitimate fund raising using similar sites what bothers me is that it would be just as easy to set up a PayPal account and manage the whole thing yourself and the fees lost would probably be significantly lower.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/10/2014 | 1:27:40 PM
Re: Ricky the cockroach
@Pedro- Please do. Because A) I'd love to see one of our community make tons of money b) I'd liek to then interview you on your secrets and c) If it didn't work, I think it would be fun examining what went wrong.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/10/2014 | 9:52:08 AM
Re: Ricky the cockroach
I wonder if a backlash against these funding sites is beginning to occur. Sometimes I get a little tired of being hit up by GoFundMe requests to help acquaintances fulfill their personal dreams -- things like attending divinity school (especially coming right after repeated requests for sponsorship in a charity that requires a set amount in order to participate in a walk).
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/10/2014 | 7:24:47 AM
Re: Ricky the cockroach
@Alison_Diana, that's how I feel.  If I had a kickstarter project that I had put a significant amount of time into and I thought I had a really great product that I could get off the ground if only I could raise 10K or so I'd be really let down that some guy got 70K to make potato salad.  Can you imagine how excited a small business would be to get 70K in a week? 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/10/2014 | 7:18:15 AM
Re: Ricky the cockroach
Hopefully Kickstarter puts some stops in there soon though.  It's funny to see Reddit mentioned because I do think that's 90% of the problem.  The hivemind is driving the funding and it doesn't stop to think about what it does to legitimate projects.  The Kickstarter model is a tough enough sell in the first place, it doesn't need to become another r/RandomActsOfPizza/.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2014 | 9:39:38 PM
Re: Ricky the cockroach
I wouldn't fund any of the projects.  I mean, they don't sound that useful.  Even the one from MIT,  I'm still waiting for the helmet that would read a pet's thoughts.  That idea would make millions.  I'm sure there are other good projects out there.  May be I should come up with my own silly project, I bet will make money.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/9/2014 | 5:02:11 PM
Re: Ricky the cockroach
Yes, I think that sums up my attitude too, @Dave! 
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