Amazon launches a Kickstarter-like program that lets customers vote on which new products to build next
One of the many reasons startups failed is because they build products that no one wants. Learning about what customer is foundational to the success of every startup. One of the tech companies that understand its customers so well is Amazon. This week, Amazon launched a Kickstarter-like program that lets customers vote on new products it will build next.
Dubbed “Build It,” the new program gives customers a say in what products Amazon will build next, and if the product gets enough support within 30 days, Amazon will “build it.” The program will help Amazon decide what products will be popular before it even builds them.
Amazon has used a similar program in the past, called Day 1 Editions, to build experimental products like its Echo Frames smart glasses. Amazon wouldn’t say whether it plans to use this program for all of its products or if it may open it up to third-party inventors.
Here is how it works: Amazon will periodically present its customers with some of its favorite concepts, and you then tell Amazon which ones you want to see built by pre-ordering them. If a concept reaches its pre-order goal in 30 days, Amazon will begin to build it—and supporters of the product will be among the first to get their hands on it. Startup founders can learn a thing or two from this new idea.
In a blog post titled, “A new Amazon program lets you weigh in on which devices we build next,” Amazon said the following:
“Obsession over you—our customer—has always been at the core of everything we do. We obsess over how our devices can add value to your life—whether that’s helping you stay connected with friends and family, keeping you entertained and organized, or making your day a little easier. You have always played a critical role in helping us decide what products to build, which is why we launched Day 1 Editions—a program designed to introduce products we love, and want your early feedback on. We recently launched Echo Frames through the Day 1 Editions program, and your feedback was so valuable that we had to ask ourselves: How can we involve customers even earlier in the process?”
Some of the first three projects are a smart scale, a sticky-note printer, and an Alexa-powered cuckoo clock.
Smart Sticky Note Printer
Using voice-to-print technology, this hands-free smart sticky note printer that works with Alexa makes it easy to print your shopping lists, to-do lists, reminders, and calendar events, or fun items like puzzles—all you have to do is ask. The printer uses thermal technology, so it never needs ink or toner, and paper rolls are easy to refill. The Smart Sticky Note Printer is available for a special pre-order price of $89.99.
Smart Nutrition Scale
A smart scale that works with Alexa to offer hands-free, instant access to nutritional information for thousands of ingredients and food based on weight. Paired with an Echo Show, you can also view nutritional information at a glance. Alexa remembers your frequently used foods and defaults to those items. Simply say, “Alexa, ask Smart Scale how much sugar is in these blueberries,” or “Alexa, ask Smart Scale to weigh 200 calories of blueberries.” The Smart Nutrition Scale is available for a special pre-order price of $34.99.
Smart Cuckoo Clock
This cuckoo clock is a fun way to help keep you and your family organized. It works with Alexa and features 60 LEDs, a mechanical pop-out cuckoo bird, and built-in speakers for timers and alarms. The clock has a removable pendulum so you can mount it on a wall or place it on a shelf. You can also easily configure it to sound on the hour or schedule it to mute the sound and motion at certain times. To get started, just say, “Alexa, set a 20-minute timer,” or “Alexa, set a dinner alarm for 6 p.m.” The Smart Cuckoo Clock is available to pre-order at a special price of $79.99.
Below is a video overview of how the program works.