Tech | February 25, 2017 5:00 am

How a 24-Year-Old Made $345K in Two Months by Beating Crowdfunding Products to Market

The Fidget Cube
The Fidget Cube (Antsy Labs)
The Fidget Cube
The Fidget Cube (Antsy Labs)

 

It may not be ethical to bring someone else’s idea to market faster than they can, but it’s definitely profitable and not necessarily illegal. That’s exactly how a 24-year-old entrepreneur, who identified himself to media only as “Jack,” made $345,000 in just two months.

Last August, Google Trends alerted Jack to The Fidget Cube, one of Kickstarter’s top 10 most funded projects in history, CNBC reports. The tiny toy, which aims to help anxious people engage their hands, raised nearly $6.5 million during its crowdfunding campaign. But after the Fidget Cube ran into manufacturing issues that caused a delay in deliveries, Jack and his partners saw their chance. They moved quickly to launch a Stress Cube site to compete with the Fidget Cube, and sold more than 100 units a day after operating for just a week.

At their peak, they sold 800 daily—a big reward for a major risk. To beat Fidget Cube to market, Jack had to wire $70,000 to a factory in China with no guarantee that the cubes would ever be shipped to him.

“All I have is a Skype contact with some lady in China, and I don’t know what her name is—not that that would matter if I knew her name, anyway,” Jack told CNBC. “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

But although Jack’s work isn’t free from criticism. It’s why he only agreed to speak under the condition of anonymity. The co-founder of the Fidget Cube’s parent company, Antsy Labs, told CNBC that a patent is pending, and he isn’t worried about knock-off competition. It’s “the nature of the beast,” he says.

Learn more about the companies aiming to beat Kickstarter products to the market here.

—RealClearLife Staff