April 23rd we launched the Siva Cycle Atom on Kickstarter. We made the decision over a year prior, wanting to go directly to our customers and supporters in order to validate our idea (and be sure we weren’t not crazy to think the Atom was a fantastic concept). We started the sign up process months in advance, scheduled to shoot the video in San Francisco with Ivan Bercholz, a friend to Siva and AMAZING director/photographer, and shot for what felt like three days straight – let’s say sleep was a secondary goal. In April we were still working through voice overs, editing, and messaging, all leading to Tuesday, April 23 and all the weight of uncertainty it brought with it. This scene below (Aaron rode on the rollers for 10 minutes straight to be sure we had an unbroken 5 mins to show the charging power of the Atom) was especially trying, shot from 12am – 2am after a full day of outdoor takes.
On the 23rd when we launched, we knew of potential articles in Gizmodo, Wired, FastCompany, and VentureBeat, plus interest from a variety of other sources. Waiting to see what would publish when was agonizing as we figured many of our customers would learn about the Atom from their favorite sites. Turns out over 40 outlets published articles online about the Atom and a number of print publications are forthcoming. Below is an image canvas we put together at the end of Kickstarter showing the majority.
What kept us going through all this and after launch was the incredible response from backers, press, and supporters. More than one Twitter follower tweeted us a variation on “I f***ing want this now!”, which you pretty much can’t beat. TechCrunch called it “A brilliant idea.” Was it all worth it? Absolutely! We have over 1300 active supporters, that we have the honor of sending the first Atom’s (and the challenge of doing so in a timely manner…we’ll get it done). We also have over 100 generators to donate to communities in need where we hope to make a positive impact by providing free, renewable electricity.
The 30 days on Kickstarter were the most draining and rewarding of our company’s nearly two years in existence. It’s now easy to divide our history into post and pre-Kickstarter era thanks to that surge of belief and a support. (To all of our backers, thank you so much yet again). It is also still possible to pre-order an Atom generator (or multiple) directly via our site now, deliverable in November same as Kickstarter. Just click the big “ORDER the ATOM” button above.
Here’s to the next 30 days (and the next, and the next…), working hard on a project we love and believe in, to transform the energy and passion of the ride into usable electricity for everyday.
All the best,
The Siva Team
We’re overwhelmed with the generous backing on Kickstarter and excited to keep this going. The Atom generator has been reviewed positively in Wired, Gizmodo, Fast Company, Gizmag, Digital Trends, Dvice, and VentureBeat to name a few…thanks in large part to everyone’s backing! The next step for the Siva community is to please share and keep the good times rolling. We’re getting there, but there’s no doubt that we’re still a ways from the finish line.
Keep on pedaling,
Aaron and David
Thank you! Thank you for reading, thank you for riding, thank you for supporting. It was almost two years ago that we first started talking about turning the vision of pedal power into a reality. We wanted to transform, even transcend the purpose of biking – getting from A to B – into independent power from your own two legs. Now, the truth is we weren’t the first to think of power on a bicycle. Plenty of generators have existed over the years, but we wanted simple, easy to use, 21 st century power that didn’t require an engineering degree to install…and that didn’t exist…until the Atom.
Up to today’s launch, this project was one very big, pricey hobby for both of us. What makes this real, beyond meetings or conferences, is you – our customers, allies, friends – who can stand up and reassure us we’re not crazy, that the Atom really is a killer product for the modern, connected cyclist. At various points over the past eighteen months we left our jobs, dug into savings, worked far into the night, and learned the hard way that it isn’t easy creating brand new hardware. Every prototype we developed, every conversation we had, turned up new information on generators, electronics, the bicycle industry, and what our customers like you really wanted (hey, what do you want?).
Ultimately this whole endeavor is about demanding more out of your ride, out of your passion, out of your community, and yourself. What started as putting power at your fingertips is already changing not only what’s possible on a bicycle, but also what’s possible when cyclists who care give back. Soon we hope to have enough donated generators (we give away one for every ten purchased) to ship to one of our partner organizations, destined to aid either healthcare workers in Uganda or other areas of the developing world without power.
Going forward, we’ll be using this blog to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the workshop, answer persistent questions, post videos, news, and generally keep you informally informed. We hope you’ll contact us with your feedback, thoughts, questions, and own experience with the Atom.
Keep on riding,
Aaron and Dave