I love my iPhone 4. It’s a great phone and the camera features are pretty super too, especially when you use some of the camera apps available to really bring out your creativity. The one killer photography feature missing from the iPhone 4 – the ability to use a tripod for low light and panoramic images.

A few months ago, while on Twitter (user name @gushin), I saw that my friend @mikedmerrill had tweeted about an item he had just purchased for his iPhone 4 called the Glif.

The interesting thing is that Mike had only placed an order that would be fulfilled ONLY if the product had enough supporters pledged to buy the product though a website called Kickstarter. To those unfamiliar to the concept and the site, as I was before I saw Mike’s tweet, here’s how it works:
A company or individual comes up with a concept for a product, service or creative thing, they put together a proposal, add text, video, graphics, whatever will convey the idea to someone on the web. Kickstarter reviews it, decides to include it or reject it. If accepted Kickstarter adds it to the site with different “offers” for people to choose from. Sort of like levels of participation. For a product it could be that you get one shipped for pledging $xx, for $xxx you get three shipped signed with a bonus and so on. There is a time/date limit set, a $ amount needed to fund the project and it goes live. If the project gets the needed funding pledged within the time frame set, the project is funded.

For the Glif, the goal was $10,000. That was the sum the developers had projected would be needed to start manufacturing. They got pledges of $137, 417 from 5,273 people so the project was on.

I pledged $20, which entitled me to one Glif shipped. I don’t remember exactly when I pledged, but on November 2, 2010, it funded. The Glif arrived on my doorstep right around New Years. During the two months that it went into production, the project team sent updated emails with video’s and images keeping the 5,273 updated on the progress. It was really neat.

The product does work as advertised and has a really snug fit to the iPhone 4. More on the actual product after I have had some more use with it.

To read more about the Kickstarter concept, Ryan carson over at Think Vitamin has written an insightful post about the concept that explains it way better than I have. The comments on the post have some interesting takes on the positive and negative aspects of the concept as well.

Does anyone have any experience with the Glif or Kickstarter they would like to share?