Amazon is using crowdsourcing to create new products
Amazon launched a new program, “Build It,” that in a crowdsourcing scheme enables consumers to vote on which Alexa-enabled products will be developed.
Built It represents the extension of Day 1 Editions, an invitation-only program that offers a select group of consumers the chance to purchase an in-development product at a special price. In exchange for the discount, the buyers provide early feedback to Amazon so the team can review any flaws while gauging potential demand for a rollout. Day 1 Editions led to the 2019 launch of Echo Frames smart eyeglasses and Echo Loop smart ring.
Build It, which is open to anybody, is more geared toward accessing potential demand and apparently creating some buzz around launch.
Consumers participating in the program are offered a chance to pre-order in-development products at a special price as long as enough others pre-order, mimicking a Kickstarter campaign. If the concept reaches its pre-order goal in 30 days, Amazon will build it and those pre-ordering over the 30-day period receive the item at the discount price. The price increases when fully rolled out.
If the pre-order goal is not met, Amazon does not build the product and does not charge the consumer. A progress bar shows how far along a product is towards its pre-order goal. Amazon wrote in the blog entry, “It’s low risk, high reward, and a whole lot of fun.”
The Build It program launched with three Alexa-enabled items on Feb. 17. A Smart Sticky Note Printer reached its 30-day pre-order goal within three days. The item will ship between July and September.
By Sunday, a Smart Nutrition Scale was 42 percent toward its pre-order goal and a Smart Cuckoo Clock, 37 percent. The special promo price is available for 30 days regardless of whether the goal is reached. Amazon doesn’t indicate how many pre-orders are necessary for launch.
Amazon has long been a believer that embracing failure can drive innovation. Its clunkers have included the Fire Phone and Dash button. In recent years, the company has rolled out a stream of Alexa-enabled devices and new capabilities to support its Echo platform.
- Introducing: Build It – Amazon.com
- Help make your favorite device ideas real – Amazon.com
- Smart Sticky Note Printer | Works with Alexa | A Day 1 Editions concept – Amazon.com
- Smart Nutrition Scale | Works with Alexa | A Day 1 Editions concept – Amazon.com
- Smart Cuckoo Clock | Works with Alexa | A Day 1 Editions concept – Amazon.com
- Amazon launches a program like Kickstarter that lets people vote on new products to build – CNBC
- Amazon Build It program kicks off with smart cuckoo clock – CNET
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more benefits than drawbacks to Build It for Amazon? Does this type of process offer enough appeal to consumers for broad use in testing products?