OMG! I just saw a new project on Kickstarter that is guaranteed to make even the most grizzled and curmudgeonly of old engineers squirm in their seats as they fight the urge to click one of the “Pledge” buttons. The project in question is a modular kit of magnetic parts that you can use to build myriad mesmerizing marble courses (and that’s not something you expect to hear yourself say very often).
Who amongst our number wouldn’t want to play with this? (Click image to see a larger version — Image source: Screenshot from Kickstarter video)
The parts in question attach quickly and easily to your refrigerator, filing cabinet, locker… whatever magnets usually attach to. As one of the commenters to the project says, “I’m looking forward to using this product as a fun ice breaker for work meetings and to encourage office drop-ins or just time to clear my mind so I can be more efficient. Thank you for designing such a creative product. I can’t wait for September to arrive so I can play with it (FYI: You are the first Kickstarter project team I have ever backed).” Did you see the part where she says, “Or just time to clear my mind so I can be more efficient”? Talk about being self-delusional LOL. On the other hand, that’s certainly an excuse I would be tempted to use if my boss came in and saw me furiously working on a new marble masterpiece. Unfortunately, since I am the boss, I fear this wouldn’t fly and I would have to chastise myself soundly (again). Seriously, this is something I could happily spend weeks playing with on my own, but I can also imagine having hours of fun with my grandkids (whenever my son gets around to marrying and giving me some to play with). I think it’s safe to say that if we’d had one of these kits when I worked for a big computer company, then there’s a more than batting chance our team’s productivity would have taken a bit of a nosedive. Every now and then you see a Kickstarter project that soars. I’m watching this one as I pen these words. They just crossed the $1,000,000 mark in pledges, which is amazing when you realize their original goal was only $10,000, so they’ve already achieved 100X of their initial target. The “Pledge Counter” continues to accumulate in front of my eyes in a hypnotic fashion, and there are still 41 days to go on this project at the time of this writing. All I can say is that my hat is off to the originator of this project, Elyasaf Shweka, who describes himself as an industrial designer, woodworker, and maker who loves machines (CNC’s, laser cutters, 3D printers) and anything that moves in a cool manner, preferably with gears in it. Who amongst out number could argue with sentiments like that? So, what do you think? Are you, like me, tempted to click the “Pledge” button? If so, which of the project packs will you opt for – the Basic, Starter, Standard, Full, Pro, Obsessed, or Even More Obsessed?