Shining Light On A New Bulb
Light bulbs haven’t changed much in the 175 years since their invention, but that hasn’t been for lack of trying. From LEDs to CFLs, innovators have tried to create environmentally sustainable and cost-effective bulbs that are also a hit with consumers. A recent entrant in the field is LIFX, an LED bulb with built-in Wi-Fi that users can control via a smart phone app. The light bulb’s brightness, color and schedule are customizable.
The story of Melbourne, Australia-based LIFX begins with a meeting of two minds: One, co-founder and director Andrew Birt, ran a small-cap investment fund that gave seed money to startups. The other, co-founder and CEO Phil Bosua, was an electrician and musician with experience in theatrical lighting. “The more we got to talking about it, the more I realized Phil knew his stuff on this idea,” Birt said. “It’s taking something we’ve all taken for granted for so long and applied modern thinking to it.”
They launched the project on Kickstarter. No marketing campaign or outreach, just a solid and engaging Kickstarter script because, from Bosua’s experience, that was key to getting project backers. The team took the Kickstarter route because it gives quick access to a lot of people and their feedback. “We wanted some market validation and Kickstarter is sort of the perfect place for that,” Birt said.