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Fidgeters made this toy one of Kickstarter's most successful campaigns

How to raise millions to help fidgeters

The original goal for the Fidget Cube Kickstarter was $15,000. It had raised around $1.5 million by the time I contacted the hardware’s inventor to ask how they were dealing with the sudden success. When I sat down this morning to write this article the campaign had raised more than $3.3 million, with more than 83,000 backers.

The Fidget Cube was designed as a way to help people who liked to fidget at their desks or other places where fiddling with nearby objects could become a distraction to themselves or others. It’s a vinyl cube that offers a different sort of satisfying interaction on each face, from clicking a toggle switch to rolling a series of gears. The Fidget Cube was designed to be carried anywhere you’d like and to keep your hands busy in a non-distracting way. That simplicity may be part of the reason this campaign has taken off so dramatically.

"We believe that the reason this is resonating with so many individuals is because fidgeting is a very relatable behavior," Antsy Labs’ Mark McLachlan said. "In our design process, we were very intentional in making Fidget Cube something that we could hand to anyone, whether a student or an executive, and have it be a useful tool for them."

The Fidget Cube is the fifth Kickstarter that Mark and Matthew McLachlan have put together. Two of the previous four were cancelled, with one raising $10,180 against a $6,000 goal, and the other raising $51,026 against a $25,000 goal. The Fidget Cube has introduced them to a new level of success.

"With regards to the excitement, as you can probably imagine, with each day that passes we’re continuing to be completely overwhelmed with the response we’re receiving," Mark McLachlan of Antsy Labs told Polygon. "As for the scary part, we’re no longer dealing with a small-scale production that’ll be shipped out to one or two thousand backers. We feel a tremendous amount of responsibility to our rapidly growing community of supporters."

The Fidget Cube’s success is bigger than they had ever fantasized, however.

"We did expect, and hoped, one [of our projects] was going to blow up, and that when that day came, we’d be blown away with the $150,000 we raised," McLachlan said. "What we’re experiencing now doesn’t even remotely come close to being an accurate representation of what we had dreamed of."

The Fidget Cube is the 29th most-funded Kickstarter in history on the morning this story was written. That’s only part of the story, however: The most-funded item in Kickstarter history is the Pebble Time, with over $20 million raised against a $500,000 goal. To put it another way, that campaign raised 4,067 percent of its goal. Very impressive.

In comparison, the Fidget Cube has already raised 22,000 percent of its goal, with another 37 days left to go. In relative terms, this makes it one of the most successful Kickstarters in the platform’s history.

Kickstarter is also littered with the wreckage of campaigns that became massively successful, only to crumple under the pressure of fulfilling so many orders. It’s a fate Antsy Labs is hoping to avoid.

"This is obviously the biggest thing we’re focusing on currently," McLachlan said. "Our initial game plan took into account approximately $15,000 in funding, including a few multiples of that, and we’re dealing with an entirely different operation now."

What’s important to the two brothers is they communicate what’s going on, but as of now the campaign list still shows a December shipment date for the cubes.

"One of our main goals throughout this project is to be transparent with our community regarding timelines and delivery dates," McLachlan explained. "As we gain more information regarding these dates, we will be communicating them in updates to the entire Fidget Family community."