Steve Warren loves Apple products, which is why, when Apple came out with the iPad Pro, he bought it almost immediately.
“As soon as I saw Apple launch this thing, I knew I had to have it,” Warren said.
Warren’s background is in marketing and design, mostly. For him, doodling on an iPad is the best way to go. However, he said as he began to use the iPad Pro, he realized he didn’t have a good “docking” solution.
“I got on Amazon and did Google searches and was looking everywhere to find something that would do what I had in my mind,” Warren said. “I couldn’t find anything that came even close.”
Warren began drawing on his iPad, beginning to design his ideal dock. After jotting down a few designs, he shared them with someone he worked with, Steve Peterson.
“I’ve always been an Apple ... user myself, and of the entrepreneur-type mindset,” Peterson said. “I’m always looking to try new things and to back different ideals ... and so we decided to partner on this project.”
Thus, the MagicDock was born. Warren and Peterson took Warren’s design to local firm HadCAD Product Development and hired them to help engineer it into a physical product.
The MagicDock’s key aspects include: magnets to attach the iPad with; ports for various cables; a separate connector that connects the iPad to the dock, and therefore all other cables; and the patent-pending “MagicGear” which allows the iPad’s orientation to switch between vertical and landscape easily. Warren designed it based on the functionality he was looking for.
“(Warren) is a very creative, driven person,” Peterson said. “I (think) it’s really cool.”
After coming up with a prototype they liked, the duo began a 30-day Kickstarter campaign on July 22. The campaign goal was $8,000 — in a week, it reached $60,000. As of Friday afternoon, the Kickstarter raised $78,055.
“It’s truly gratifying to see the incredible enthusiasm for MagicDock after surpassing our Kickstarter campaign goal in the first day,” Warren said. “Clearly, this indicates a strong demand in the marketplace for this type of accessory.”
As for whether or not the campaign would actually be successful, Warren said he had no idea what to expect.
“This is really the first in depth Kickstarter campaign that I’ve launched and run,” Warren said, although he did have a previous Kickstarter that he said he made when he was “goofing around.” It didn’t take off.
Of course, a lot of the success has to do with the product itself. Warren describes himself as “pretty heavily invested” in the online tech community, and said there’s been a lot of feedback from people saying things like “finally someone has made something like (the MagicDock).
“I’ve tried starting a number of different businesses before, and ... I guess the timing was never quite right,” Warren said. “I wasn’t able to get any traction with any previous project.”
Partnering with Peterson, Warren said, has also been intrinsic to their success.
“He’s been incredible and really helpful with getting the whole thing off the ground,” Warren said. Peterson officially serves as the COO of the company, while Warren is CEO.
The final key was aiming low for their Kickstarter goal.
“Some of the reason behind that is strategic,” Peterson said. “If you are able to exceed your goal in the first 24 hours, then you kind of get more people interested ... we did a lot of preliminary research.”
Peterson said they didn’t have any doubts their Kickstarter would be successful in the first week, but they’re still ecstatic to have exceeded their goal — and they’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much organic interest has been generated.
“We’ve been working with a lot of different partners in terms of strategizing,” Peterson said. “But just through some of the analytics that we’ve sen ... there’s a lot of people that have organically found and backed the product. Which is really exciting to see, it wasn’t someone that was already kind of ... be following.”
Money from the Kickstarter will go towards manufacturing the first batch of MagicDocks, Warren said. Currently, backers can essentially purchase a MagicDock for a discounted price. Once the MagicDock is available, it will cost around $149 for a 12.9-inch MagicDock and $139 for an 11-inch one, according to the Kickstarter. The MagicDocks will be available to purchase at the MagicDock website, and currently retail partnerships with Amazon and Best Buy are being sought out. Plans are to begin shipping in October.