Sunday, June 15, 2014

Kick Start, or Kick to the Curb: Coffee mugs, spices, and more

Photo courtesy of Spiceologist
Ya gotta love Kickstarter. People with great ideas don't need to have rich friends to launch their products. If enough potential customers love the product, they'll fund the project. And that's a good sign that other people will like it as well.

On the other hand, people with not-great ideas don't get funded, so they find out early on that they might need to tweak things to get the public to spend their hard-earned dollars. It's probably not a pleasant thing when a project doesn't get funded, but it's better to find out than to end up with a garage full of product you can't sell.

Here are a few things that I thought were interesting. Not necessarily that I love all of them, or that I'm funding them - just that I was amused enough to mention them.

The Hey Joe Coffee Mug brews coffee right in the mug, so if you've got access to water and you've got coffee (they also sell pods that fit the mug, or you can use grounds, which would be a tad more messy) you can brew hot coffee anywhere. I can see how this would be useful in an office, where you could brew a cup of your own favorite coffee any time, or for folks on-the-go.

I've been using an Anova Sous Vide device for a while now, and the newer model looks pretty slick, with an interface to your phone to control and monitor it. I'm looking forward to seeing this one when it's available.

One feature that I'm particularly interested in is the programmed settings, where you you can choose a meat, a doneness, and a weight or thickness, and the app will calculate the proper temperature and cooking time. I think you can also create your own settings within the app, so if you create your own fantastic recipe, you can save it and make it again.

The Anova Sous Vide has exceeded its funding goals, but you can still fund and get stuff.

The blogger behind The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen has launched a kickstarter campaign to fund an online bake shop. I'm intrigued by this idea - could it launch a commercial enterprise? A brick-and-mortar bakery? Even if you don't want to fund it, go gawk at the cookies. They look pretty good!

The Sealy Cap is a stretchy cover that fits over cans, fruit, small bowls ... things that you want to cover for storage. Sure, you could use plastic wrap or shove you lemons into a plastic bag, but these are washable and reusable. Until this one actually hits the market, I'm not sure how different it will be from similar products that are on the market. But it's good to have competition, right? It looks like this one's not going to get funded, and the creator says right now he's focusing on a relaunch, so keep an out out for that.

Spiceologist successfully funded the Spiceologist Block and now they're back in the kitchen creating a variety of spice rubs like Greek Freak, Raspberry Chipotle, Purple Haze, and Cowboy Crust. I've got no idea what they taste like but they sound interesting. And I'm a sucker for interesting packaging, so I like the spices packed in flasks. (See the photo above.)

What do you think of these? Have YOU found anything interesting on Kickstarter?