The Weekly Spoon for 04/05/17 : PicoBrew Breaks Kickstarter Record, Mellow Gets New CEO, A Conversation with Crowd Cow

If crowdfunding is a science, then there's no doubt that PicoBrew has a PhD in the subject. 

That's because the company launched their latest Kickstarter campaign this week and managed to break the record for the fastest funded food project in Kickstarter history. The record breaking campaign is for the Pico C, the company's latest home beer brewing appliance, which early backers could buy starting at $279 this past Monday. 

I've followed a lot of hardware crowdfunding campaigns and believe there is a recipe for success. One of the key factors is creating lots of interesting pledge options and rolling them out over the course of the campaign. This is something PicoBrew has proved masterful at in the past, so I'm sure we'll see some new enticements later in the campaign.  

Another is offering good value compared to full retail price. At $279, there's no doubt this campaign provided a compelling reason for the homebrew curious among us but didn't want to take a flyer on an $800 home brew machine (the retail price of the first generation Pico). 

Lastly, success begets success. Having done three of these, the company has checked this box. This success has allowed the company to build a big community that continues to grow and support them in each successive campaign. 

We've got the news about the campaign so make sure to check it out

Speaking of crowdfunding, I invited Crowd Cow CEO Ethan Lowry onto the podcast to hear more about the company's crowdfunding for meat platform. If last month's interview with Ethan had you asking more questions about cattle crowdfunding, hopefully this podcast will provide the answers.

There are lots more stories in this week's newsletter, including a CEO change at Mellow, a look at how some companies are trying to reduce the number of kitchen fires and what Samsung's new AI platform Bixby means for the smart kitchen.

If you missed out on our March 31st deadline for Super Early Bird tickets for the Smart Kitchen Summit, don't worry: we still have some great deals. You can get Early Bird tickets and when you apply our discount code NEWSLETTER to get 15% off of any ticket price. Simply use this link which has the discount automatically applied, or go to the SKS17 website and use the code NEWSLETTER at checkout.

If you're a loyal reader of this newsletter, make sure to share and suggest your friends and coworkers subscribe.  They (and you) can catch up on past issues here.

Talk to you next week.


The Spoon

Analyzing the future of food, cooking & the kitchen.

In the 04/05/2017 edition:


Podcast: Tipping Cows With Crowd Cow’s Ethan Lowry

By Michael Wolf on Apr 05, 2017 10:28 am
Here’s one thing you probably haven’t tried: crowdfunding a cow. But now you can with Seattle area startup Crowd Cow. The brainchild of former Urban Spoon cofounder Ethan Lowry, Crowd Cow lets backers buy their choice of meat by crowdfunding local farm raised cattle one cow at a time. In this episode, I talk to Ethan about how he […]
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PicoBrew Breaks Kickstarter Record In Food Category

By Michael Wolf on Apr 05, 2017 09:36 am
You do this crowdfunding thing for a while, you start to get the hang of it. Especially when you’re a company like PicoBrew, which has had three successful previous campaigns for its beer brewing appliance products. According to a statement made by the company, this time around they reached their target funding goal in just seven […]
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Sous Vide Startup Mellow Gets New CEO, On Track To Ship This May

By Michael Wolf on Apr 05, 2017 07:05 am
The Spoon has learned that Mellow, a startup that has gained attention for development of a hybrid sous vide appliance with unique features such as a built-in refrigeration and a scale, has a new CEO. Long-time supply chain executive Gary Itenson, who served as the company’s COO for the past year, has stepped into the top spot […]
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Cooking Is The Number One Cause of Home Fires; Innohome Wants To Change That

By Michael Wolf on Apr 04, 2017 04:38 pm
If a house catches fire, there’s a good chance the culprit is a cooking device. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly half of all home structure fires – 46% – are started by some type of cooking equipment, and while more people die from fires started from cigarettes (stop smoking in bed, people), […]
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Dutch Grocery Delivery Service Picnic Cuts out the Middleman and Possible Profits

By Allen Weiner on Apr 04, 2017 08:16 am
All eyes are on Amsterdam-based grocery-delivery startup Picnic, fresh out of a 100 million euro ($123.5 million dollars) investment from a number of Dutch firms which will allow them to fund a national rollout of their service. The Hague, the third largest city in the Netherlands, will be the newest marquee name added to the […]
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A Look At The New Machine Washable Pico C Keg

By Michael Wolf on Apr 03, 2017 10:59 am
This morning I wrote about PicoBrew’s new Kickstarter campaign and their new lower-priced Pico C homebrew appliance (starting at $279). While much of the focus for PicoBrew in this most recent product launch was reaching a more affordable price for new brewers, the company also focused on making the process of home brewing a little easier. […]
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PicoBrew Debuts All-You-Can-Brew Subscriptions With New Lower-Priced HomeBrew Appliance

By Michael Wolf on Apr 03, 2017 06:00 am
Today PicoBrew announced the latest addition to their connected homebrew appliance lineup, the Pico C, in a newly launched Kickstarter campaign. Alongside the lower-priced entry, the company also is debuting BrewUnlimited, an all-you-can-brew subscription service for $59 a month. The newest Pico is a cost-reduced version of the Pico S, the original Pico model. By offering their […]
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The Cubit Is A Modern Tape Measure That Makes Home Design A Drag & Drop Experience

By Michael Wolf on Apr 02, 2017 06:44 am
Hanging pictures or measuring for simple home decorating tasks can be arduous. Not only is it time consuming to get things exactly right using that pencil and old school tape measure, it’s also hard to visualize how things will look until you have that picture hanging on the wall, which often means there’s a hole or two […]
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Believe It Or Not, We Now Have A Connected Salt Shaker

By Michael Wolf on Apr 01, 2017 11:01 am
Like many people motivated to create products, Bipan Singh found inspiration in words spoken by his child. And just what were the magic words that turned this health executive into a connected home entrepreneur? “Daddy, you’re putting too much salt” said Singh. When Singh heard those words from his daughter as she complained about the scrambled eggs he had made her, he […]
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What Does Samsung’s Bixby Mean For The Smart Kitchen?

By Lauren Knope on Apr 01, 2017 06:58 am
If you follow any tech news, you’ve seen announcements in the past week coming out of Samsung around their Galaxy S8 launch. One of the most intriguing parts of the Samsung event was the news around Bixby, Samsung’s AI assistant and answer to Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant. In some ways, it competes with the […]
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