One of the most successful wearables crowdsourcing campaigns appears to dead in the water, undelivered. The details of Skully’s story will eventually unfold, but what everyone is wondering is…
Imagine you’ve spent countless hours dreaming of a device to make your life perfect. Then a crowdsourcing campaign launches, filling your every need. It’s exactly what you imagined.
After you stop saying, “Man, I wish I’d patented my idea,” you’d probably celebrate. You may even drop some investment money on the device. In fact, you may have dropped $1,500 on the device.
Now you hear the company is belly-up, but you never received the product. In fact, you may never receive it. Think it couldn’t happen?
It just did.
What is Skully?
In case you aren’t a motorcycle enthusiast, you may not know about Skully. Arguably, it’s the most logical solution to making motorcycle operation more user-friendly.
Available in two colors, matte black or matte white, Skully was to be the augmented reality helmet of your science fiction fantasies. It featured a 180-degree, blind spot camera visible through a heads display.
Skully had it all. It wasn’t just a great idea, the story behind their product was cool.
The founder, Marcus Weller, dreamt up Skully after suffering an accident on his motorcycle. When he couldn’t find anything similar for sale, he carved out his own market. Then he formed a company.
They ran an Indiegogo campaign, crushing pre-order records. Other than a shipping delay, everything looked fine until Weller walked. That was this past week.
This news is coming from Tech Crunch, who announced when the CEO walked. Then they announced that the company may not recover.
Weller was securing a deal with a company in China, called LeSports, for a takeover. What exactly happened with that deal is not clear, but the apparent demise of said deal precipitates him leaving.
In one version, Weller botched the deal. In another, Skully’s investors were not keen on the deal. Who knows which version is true?
Every answer begs another question. If they collapse, what will happen to the company’s 50 employees? Also, they had over 3000 pre-orders of the helmet. What will happen to those orders is anyone’s guess.
What’s Gonna Happen Now?
Hopefully, helmets will ship as promised.
Let’s not forget there are 50 people out of work if they tank. That’s on top of the thousands of unfilled orders. Translation: The story could worsen.
The question we can’t answer is, do the investors care? We have to imagine they do. Evidenced by the crowdfunding interest, it’s a sweet helmet. It should make money, especially in the future.
Weller reports that they were working on a version 2 so there has to be money on the table. One possibility is that the LeSports deal will still go through. If it does, then we can assume which version of the breakup story is true.
Everybody knows that you have to be dreaming to experience a nightmare. Weller probably never imagined that his dream would go so far, only to fall so short of the finish line.
Our thoughts are with the people employed by Skully, but also with the people who pre-ordered the helmet.
Hopefully, everyone gets what they want.