Issue: September/October 2012
Three Questions with Josh Dryden
The futuristic-looking organizer is touted as “your desk’s best friend,” and it offered a big-time boost to three Cleveland Institute of Art graduates who recently won the chance to have their product distributed in Brookstone stores. Last spring, a professor suggested Josh Dryden, Sam Li and Peter Whitworth seek funding for their flexible desk organizer, known as the Nesl, via Kickstarter. They went on to raise more than $30,000 by way of the online fundraising tool and won another $25,000 in the William McShane Fund Kickstarter competition. We talked to Dryden about the past few months and the future of the Nesl.
1. What was it like to have your product on Kickstarter?
Being design students in school, we do research and concepts, but the product or idea never gets brought to life. We saw Kickstarter as an opportunity to do that. That’s the main reason we did the project. … The first $1,500 was from friends and family, but then it got legs and began to walk. We had backers from Asia, Russia, the Middle East, Europe, everywhere.
2. In addition to the $25,000 prize, the Nesl also won the chance to be sold in Brookstone stores. How many will be distributed?
We’re still working with them. [Brookstone wants] something along the lines of 5,000 to 10,000 Nesls, and if things go well, they’ll purchase more. Our main focus right now is just fulfilling the [Kickstarter pledges]. We’ll have a separate production line just for Brookstone.
3. Will there be a Nesl Two?
Once production is over and we have the 4,000 Nesls [for the Kickstarter pledges], we plan on doing another project. We’re not sure if it will be another Kickstarter project, but we plan to continue what we call Birdhouse Studios.
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