Coolest cooler struggles with Kickstarter demands

Coolest Cooler creator Ryan Grepper is losing money on every cooler being made.

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The Coolest Cooler, the second-biggest project in Kickstarter history, is now at risk of becoming its biggest disappointment. By Grepper’s account, it costs his company more to make each cooler than individual contributors paid. He loses money on every one he turns out.

So Coolest has stopped making them altogether – with 36,000 coolers yet to be delivered and already more than a year overdue. Grepper has turned back to crowdfunding, hoping a groundswell of investors will emerge with $15 million to rescue the company and restart production.

This isn’t the first time a big-ticket Kickstarter project has gone sideways. Or the second. Or the third. And that’s just in Portland.

(READ MORE: Oregon Live)

Elevation Lab’s Casey Hopkins discusses what went wrong with the unfinished iPhone docks he proposed via Kickstarter.

Back in 2011, Hopkins’ Elevation Dock was the first Kickstarter project to raise more than $1 million. It was an online sensation, touted on social media and in the popular press. Manufacturing issues delayed the dock for months, aggravating many project backers and creating a cautionary tale about what can go wrong on Kickstarter.

… “I just had the vision of the entire Internet standing outside my house with pitchforks and torches if we didn’t deliver,” he says. “It probably took, like, three years off my life.”

…For new Kickstarter projects, Hopkins has some advice: Build in a wide margin for error on your expenses, choose your contract manufacturers carefully and allow plenty of time to get it all done.

(READ MORE: Oregon Live)


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