By Nancy Dahlberg
The Miami Herald
For this Miami entrepreneur and his first product, the beat is on.
David Packouz’ crowdfunding campaign for BeatBuddy, the first guitar pedal drum machine, became a smash hit on the fund-raising charts, surpassing his $75,000 funding goal in just 24 hours.
By Friday afternoon, after just four days, the BeatBuddy campaign on the Indiegogo platform had attracted about $110,000 from more than 620 funders and there are still 46 days to go. But this seemingly overnight success is really a story about knowing and pleasing your customers.
Packouz, a musician, got the idea for BeatBuddy when he was doing his own jam session and wishing for a product that would provide hands-free creative control of a beat through his amp. Research revealed no other products that accomplished exactly what he wanted. Packouz, who was a mechanical engineering student at Miami Dade College for several years, was smart enough to patent his system, which gives a musician pedal control over a variety of drum beats and sounds. With his prototype and plans, he hired a team in Montreal to engineer the product.
Packouz, 31, has launched and run other businesses including electronics importing, government contracting and smartphone app development. But this is the first company to match his passion for music and invention, the singer, songwriter and guitar player said.
Nine months ago, a stranger found his prototype demo video online and posted it on a guitar forum. “And then it exploded on the forums,” he said. Packouz was flooded with supportive forum comments, emails and Facebook posts from all over the world, but he wasn’t ready to go into production. He kept a list and began conversing with his new-found fans, asking what they wanted in the product and how could he make it better. “I took care of them, I listened, I responded,” he said.