Our second crowdfunding campaign for Turris routers will end in a week. The first one for Turris Omnia ended up being a phenomenal success. That time we set our target amount to USD 100,000. In 60 days, we collected an incredible USD 875,000, which was — and still is — the second highest amount collected in Czech campaigns. That’s why we figured that in the case of MOX we definitely cannot stay too close to the ground in order to maintain our trustworthiness. Eventually, we set the target amount to USD 250,000, which, compared to Omnia, looks like a low figure, but it is actually quite ambitious. This campaign is different in two important respects:
I hope former US President Ronald Reagan would forgive me for borrowing and altering the slogan of his presidential campaign. After all, quite a few people seem to be doing it these days.
What am I talking about? The first Turris Omnia routers, of course! By this moment, the first routers should be unpacked and pleasing their new owners. Not many of our projects in CZ.NIC brought us as much joy and as many troubles at the same time. The joy came right at the beginning. First prototypes were finished in record time. Tests showed that despite the great performance and a significant number of connectors we managed to maintain a very compact size and reasonable consumption. Naturally, the main joy came when during our Indiegogo campaign, we collected the required amount of USD 100,000 in less than 24 hours (the total amount as of today is almost twelvefold). The reception in the world media was also great.
The title, which I took the liberty to borrow from the German site MacLife.de, quite nicely captures the pleasant surprise we experienced during the campaign for Turris Omnia. I admit that the amount of collected money came as a bit of a surprise even to us. Just by the way, in our guessing competition among the team members, the most daring guess was USD 560 thousand, almost USD 300 thousand less than was eventually collected. We perceived this campaign only as a test, whether there is any interest in the market. And now we know there is, especially when we remind ourselves that certainly not everyone would contribute to the crowdfunding. Sending money to some of such campaigns means that the person prefers a pig in a poke to the bird in the hand. It already happened many times that a promising-looking project simply wasn’t finished or that the result didn’t live up to the original promises. Another problem is that businesses do not usually purchase through such campaigns, as it is not simple for them in terms of accounting. This also makes the collected amount a great promise for future.
This Hamletesque question has haunted our team in connection with Omnia for a few months. Turris Omnia was introduced as a home router in a nicely shaped plastic case and for a long time we did not even think of other options. 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection was intended to be provided by three outside antennas and the “older” Wi-Fi at the 2.4 GHz frequency was supposed to be broadcast, sort of obligatorily, with two internal antennas, more or less for backwards compatibility with older devices.