The $150,000 Bicycle Bell
On Kickstarter, most projects get a couple thousands in funding. Projects that break the $150,000 barrier are few and far between, and typically reserved for really inventive and breakthrough projects. But sometimes, improving on a tiny item that has existed for many years is all that's required. When the Spurcycle team set out to create a new bicycle bell, they spent a lot of time creating what they thought was the perfect bell, and figured they would need around $20,000 to start production. Within 24 hours, that goal was blown out of the water.
A bell may not seem like a big deal, and in fact it is a remarkably low tech device. Over the years, many companies have attempted to create new bells that would be higher tech, with gadgets and added functionality. But the basic feature of a bell, warning others when needed, is the most important part, and so far it has been lacking. So the Spurcycle team went out and researched a way to create a bell that would be both simple yet very powerful. The tiny bell is constructed of high quality material, and in a way where it creates a sound that is much louder than you would expect from such a tiny device.
They didn't stop there however. They created it in a way where it could be mounted in any orientation on your bike, and small enough where it would stay out of the way until needed. Plus, everything is assembled in the US. This project is proof that innovations targeting a niche market sometimes turn out to be quite popular. With 30 days still left on their Kickstarter project, it's likely that the amount will keep going up.