Time to read: 3 min

At our recent Pancakes + Hardware event, Gabe Parisi-Amon, CTO at Nebia, shared product development insights on the wildly popular shower head that caught fire on Kickstarter.

The pancakes were also a hit (but thankfully not on fire) and engineers had a great opportunity to connect with Gabe and his Co-founder Phil since Nebia is hiring.

Read on for a quick snapshot of the Q+A session with Gabe.

What’s the toughest technical challenge you’re facing right now?

Gabe: I’d say the greatest challenge we’re working on right now is how we can create a product that looks incredible when you take it out of the box but also works just as well and looks great in a decade. A product with water running through it in tons of different climates is surely going to have temperature fluctuations every day, so it’s an important challenge to tackle.

Why Kickstarter vs VC funding?

Gabe: Our goal is to build a long-term company. Solely going the VC route puts you on a path to exit in a 7-10 year space and we want the option to be a long-term company, so we really wanted to emphasize the story and the journey behind our product which we believe elevates the design and water-saving properties. Kickstarter is a fantastic platform for helping you share your story.

How did you spread the word around your Kickstarter campaign?

Gabe: We seeded the campaign to 5 specific press outlets before we launched and actually had them come to try the product; we asked all press and potential investors to take the leap and try the product for themselves. I remember a journalist from Wired was one of the first to come and try it out and we were really nervous to see what her reaction would be since we’d invested so much time and care. Luckily, she loved it and went on to write about it!

Did you partner with any design firms and if so, which one and why?

Gabe: We chose to partner with Bxclvr to help on the design side. For the most part it was contract work, but it was also more than that — it was a relationship. When we first came to the Bay Area we were nobodies so we knew that whichever partners we decided to work with, we wanted them to be people who really believed in the product, who we enjoyed working with, and who would stick with us and continue to work hard through rough patches.

What do the next 12 months look like for Nebia?

Gabe: We’re working to finish up the research and development for our gen 1 product to find ways to make the nozzle immune to hard water. We’re also working on the spray pattern, to hone in on exact angles where water hits the body to improve experience.

On the engineering side, we’re working on the challenge of interfacing with plumbing systems that have been the same for 80 or 90 years while still maintaining a great user experience.

And, of course, on the manufacturing side we’re working to make 10,000 of these and get all 10,000 in homes across the country.

For more insight on Nebia’s product development journey check out the Nebia Hardware Spotlight.