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Kickstarter Anniversary

By August 16, 2017 No Comments
Mycroft ideation kickstarter sketches

What started two years ago as a fun project is now a growing startup with a global developer community. Here’s a brief look at our history and the Kickstarter that kick-started it all.

Quick refresh: Mycroft ran the largest Kickstarter in Kansas history, and landed Mark 1 units in the hands of nearly 1200 backers. Interested in running a kickstarter campaign yourself?  We’ve got a blog post cooking that will detail tips and tricks we learned from our Kickstarter campaign. It wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine, but it’s worth the pot of gold at the end.

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Our CEO, Joshua Montgomery, wanted to voice enable his makerspace. He went looking for an open source voice assistant he could hack together for IoT and communications. As much as he tried, no tools out there could do the job. So he hacked together some code, which came to be the first version of our Mark 1 MVP (minimum viable product.)

With a few basic commands working, he started on the hardware design. Joshua is an engineer by training, so the first enclosure of Mark 1 was based on the needs of the internal components. Needless to say, it was not pretty.

While he was going through the engineering process, his co-founder, Kris Adair, was working to open the Lawrence Center for Entrepreneurship. Kris wanted to learn how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign, and Joshua thought this project would be the perfect test case. Sounds serendipitous right? It was. It accelerated Mycroft’s growth as an idea, company, and ultimately landed our Mark 1 unit in the hands of 1200 people all across the world.

Before launching the Kickstarter, Derick Schweppe, our Design Lead, joined the team. He started by making the enclosure for Mark 1 look more consumer ready. He has since been a crucial leader in UX design and production. The image above are from Derrick, showing the original sketches of Mark 1!

Thanks for taking that trip down memory lane with us. Stay tuned for a new blog series, AI Thought Leadership, that we’ll be launching in the coming days. It’ll touch on everything AI–recent happenings, the future, pro’s and cons. It’ll be a series of opinionated pieces from leaders in the industry, starting with our very own CTO, Steve Penrod.