Do you think Light Phone alone will significantly change people’s relationship with technology? How?
We always want to remind everyone that the Light Phone is not some magic solution that will automatically cure you of your vulnerabilities to the smartphone, and that using the Light Phone is not always “easy.” It takes some self-awareness and discipline, and it’s likely a holistic approach for which the Light Phone hopes to inspire.
There is an initial anxiety many users describe when first using the Light Phone. The choice to bring the Light Phone instead of your smartphone, however, can be empowering as you overcome the infinite excuses you might be able to make for why you’d need a smartphone.
Overall, our users describe their light moments as incredibly refreshing. There is an awareness that is gained in taking yourself away from the smartphone. Perhaps you might feel that you were more addicted than you realized, and that even upon returning to the noise of your heavy phone, your perspective and relationship with the device has changed. The Light Phone helps you to appreciate your life, taking you away from the streams of advertising that will try to convince you that you are not enough and need to buy more to feel complete. Users have described the benefits to their productivity. We have a lot of creatives—artists, musicians, writers, photographers—who use the Light Phone as they find inspiration and create new work.
Our research certainly told us that going light is a powerful experience, and if one can find and maintain a more healthy relationship with their smartphone, or the internet at large, there are likely to be many health benefits.
So far, I'd say it seems that you've built more than a product, you've built a movement, with two successfully raised crowdfunding campaigns. Can you talk about your fundraising strategy, why you chose crowdfunding and where you go from here?
We wouldn’t be where we are right now without our backers from our crowdfunding campaigns (Light Phone I on Kickstarter, and II on Indiegogo). Most of them have stayed in this journey with us for many years which is truly amazing.
Going Light or leaving your smartphone behind wasn't a familiar concept to the market at the time. But the success of our campaigns actually gave us our suppliers, investors and customers a lot of confidence in the company and it also helped us close our seed investment round with private investors.
I’d say a majority of our investors are mission aligned and believe in what we are trying to do even though we are practically moving against the technology direction that keeps us connected 24/7. We will continue to share Light Phone II with the world and hopefully more consumers, investors, companies will join us.
How has Light evolved and what's next?
We’re really excited for the launch of Light Phone II. We’re planning to continue to build a roadmap of optional tools users can choose to add to their Light Phone II. That would include things like directions, calculator, timers, ride-sharing tools, hot-spot tethering, etc.
We’ve been working closely with our backers to understand what is possible and what makes sense, and it’s been a really interesting conversation. We love the idea of starting to sell other objects that compliment the experience of going light, things that give the phone more context of how you might see yourself using it.
We’re always curious what other objects we can run through the same ‘light’ design lens that we’ve used to create our Light Phones, and look forward to exploring those possibilities. We’re trying to build a unique technology brand, founded by two creatives—an artist and a designer—that respects and empowers its users through beautifully-designed products.