When inventory from a second order dwindled, Jack and his two partners placed an order for 15,000 Stress Cubes and faced the terrifying prospect of wiring $70,000 to a factory in Shenzhen without insurance or any guarantee that the cubes would arrive.
"All I have is a Skype contact with some lady in China, and I don't know what her name is — not that that would matter if I knew her name, anyway," says Jack. "It was the scariest thing I've ever done."
But the shipment arrived, and the fear subsided. Though Stress Cube's founders still have cause to worry: A patent could shut down the operation that grossed them nearly $350,000 in just two months.
KAISR recently shut down operations and refunded much of the $4 million it raised after settling a lawsuit with FatBoy, the company which now owns the Lamzac patent. And FatBoy has since aggressively expanded its battle against competitors in the U.S., filing four cases against imitators, a company director said.
Mark McLachlan, co-founder of Fidget Cube's parent company Antsy Labs, claims to have a patent pending. Still, he tells CNBC that he isn't overly worried about the competition from knockoffs, which he refers to as "the nature of the beast," since in his opinion the original cube is superior.
"It comes down to making the better product," says McLachlan.
"One of the few downsides with crowdfunding is that everyone … can see how much hype and demand (including sales figures) surrounds a product," McLachlan says. "Our advice to other inventors is to just make the best product you can."