Once in a while, a Kickstarter project just hits a nerve and compels thousands of people to donate money to make sure it becomes a reality. PonoMusic, a startup that aims to create a music download service and physical music player focusing on ultra high-quality sound, is the most recent example.
PonoMusic, which set out to raise $800,000, ultimately raked in $6.2 million by the time of its fundraising deadline a little over a week ago. Endorsements from music industry luminaries such as co-founder Neil Young, investor Bruce Springsteen, and many others certainly didn’t hurt PonoMusic’s cause — but it’s not celebrity clout alone that can bring this kind of success. Ultimately, even though there are many critics of the claims PonoMusic has made, it seems the Pono Player is something that thousands of people can’t wait to have for themselves.
So following the funding, there is no time for PonoMusic to rest on its laurels. In many ways, now the hard part really begins. I met with Pono Music’s CEO John Hamm to get a hands-on look at a prototype of the Pono Player and hear more about the company’s vision for the months ahead. According to him, the first production-level players are set to ship later this year in October, so all hands are on deck working toward that. A major focus at the moment is on hiring staff for its San Francisco headquarters, and proper VC funding is likely on the way.
Watch us discuss that and more in the video embedded above.