September 10, 2021

Kickstarter: Why we're back after 5 years

by Levin Pablo

The idea of throwing cameras was born in late 2015. About a year later, on September 29th of 2016, we launched the original AER on Kickstarter. Now, exactly 5 years later, we’re about to launch another Kickstarter campaign.

A lot has changed since. I’m not the same person anymore, and we’re not the same company anymore. Back then I was a student - now I’m a founder. Back then I was ignorant - now I’m more experienced. Back then we threw GoPros - now we throw smartphones.

What has remained is our passion for crazy ideas and new perspectives. When I pitch the idea of throwing smartphones I often get reactions along the lines of “That’s insane” or “Why would you want to do that?” or my personal favorite “That’s never gonna work!”. These reactions remind me of the ones I got 5 years ago. And this is proof to me that we’re onto something big.

What might seem crazy to outsiders, seems so obvious to me. We’re taking this concept of throwing cameras to get dynamic aerial shots, and we’re making it available to absolutely anyone. The AER is no longer just for GoPro owners, it’s for everyone now. We’re quite literally democratizing aerial videography.

But why Kickstarter again? Well, there are a couple of reasons.

First of all, because we love it. It’s our origin. Without this community on Kickstarter none of this would be possible. The products, the company, our jobs - none of that would exist. We trust and love the support we get from the early-adopters who are brave enough to believe in something so crazy. Their encouragement gave us the energy to pull through with it, even when times were tough.

Speaking of tough times, not everything went as planned after our last Kickstarter campaign. The first mass-produced AERs weren’t as durable as we had announced, which meant we had to go back to the drawing board. This redesign process was necessary and also successful. But it cost us a bunch of time, so many of our backers received their products after months of delays. Now, we want to make up for that. We want to prove that we’ve got what it takes. This time our product will be immaculate and we will ship it on time.

And lastly, another reason is quite practical. The Kickstarter campaign will help us raise the funds we need to mass-produce our next product. For several parts of the product we need to manufacture expensive injection molding tools. This is a big financial investment for a small startup like us. Being able to raise the funds and check the demand early on helps us immensely.

We’re in the middle of preparing this new campaign right now. There’s lots to do. From product testing and filming the video to designing the campaign and preparing content for our various social media channels. It’s a magical time, we’re full of enthusiasm and anticipation. Just a few more days and we’re sharing our precious creation with the world. That’s a bit scary and very exciting. And that’s exactly what it felt like 5 years ago, too.

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