Built In the USA, a Kickstarter Story


“It costs too much to manufacture in the USA.” That’s what you year over and over again, it is why everyone from Apple to specialty clothing manufacturers may design their wares in the US but ultimately decide to do the actual manufacturing outside the USA (often in China). It is also why FedEx is apparently “unavailable” to many companies as their planes fly some sort of Apple product into the US in record number.

Yes it costs too much to manufacture in the United States… Until it doesn’t. There is a great story about the TouchFire, a Kickstarter project I backed moving their manufacturing back into the US. They were ready to go with a Chinese manufacturer until a US company contacted them and said “not only can we do it but we can do it for the same price”.

Along the way here is what they discovered:

We’ve had to put together an entire supply chain for all the parts of Touchfire – cover clips, sticker pads, packaging, etc. Since we’d gone so far down the road in China, we had a very good idea of what each component should cost. Piece by piece, we’ve found that if you work hard and if you find the right partners (or if they find you), it is now possible to make an iPad accessory in the US that is as competitive as doing it in Asia.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.