We don’t often stop and think about the design of the objects we use everyday. Take electric kettles, for instance. Rarely (if ever), do we pause to think about how much energy is wasted heating extra water we don’t need and won’t use. In fact, a 2013 report in the UK found that $106.5 million worth of electricity was being wasted per year on boiling more water than was required.
Inspired by sustainability expert Leyla Acaroglu’s TED talk that highlighted this completely avoidable waste, Jasmina and Nils set out to turn the standard design of the electric kettle on its head. The result is MIITO.
According to their site: “MIITO is simply but intelligently designed to heat any liquid directly in a vessel while cutting down on excess water and energy usage. It is a super adaptable device that can heat a variety of liquids directly in the vessel of your choice…You only have to heat the amount of liquid you need using whatever vessel you prefer. And it heats more than just water – it can also heat milk, soup and even more.”
It’s an innovative product founded on the idea that small efficiency gains spread out over many users every day will add up to significant energy savings in the future. Their followers on Kickstarter seem to agree. Since the crowdfunding campaign first launched, 5,114 people have pledged a total of €642,275 ($724,366) to put the MIITO prototype into production. And there’s still 5 days left to back their project!
We sat down with Jasmina to talk about Miito’s mission, what it’s like to run a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, and how the team stays in sync on all of their important projects.
What do you do?
JG: We design everyday products with little moments of discovery by going back to zero and looking all around us. Right now we are developing our product MIITO: the sustainable alternative to the electric kettle.
How did you get started creating Miito?
JG: MIITO began as Nils’ graduation project while at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. A quote by Leyla Acaroglu during her 2014 TED Talk inspired us as designers and innovators to rethink the electric kettle. In her talk, Leyla explained how wasteful some products around our homes are and that we need to take on the challenge to make our surroundings a better place.
What do you find most rewarding about your role? Most challenging?
JG: The biggest reward is all the positive feedback we get on daily bases from people who write to us and push us further. The challenge is to maintain their happiness and make sure we don’t disappoint the early supporters because that would hurt the most.
What’s it like to manage a successful Kickstarter campaign?
JG: It really is 24/7 job maintaining the campaign and reacting to all the messages and comments while still brainstorming and arranging new ideas and promotions. Someone who had done Kickstarter campaign before made the perfect comparison that having a Kickstarter campaign is just like having a housewarming party. Its really fun but at the same time you are never relaxed because you have to worry if the others are having fun, have enough to drink or haven’t vomited in your bathroom :)
Why did you start using Todoist?
JG: We are big planners and list makers. We have our own private to do lists in notebooks plus in the office we have a post it note board where everyone have stickers in their colors so we have an overview to see who is busy with what and when it needs to be done. It works perfect but the problem is that we have no clue what needs to be done if we are out of the office. So we needed a digital version and Todoist was the most logical and good-looking app we could find.
How do you use Todoist on a day-to-day basis?
JG: I am definitely the most active user and constantly try to convince the rest of the team to use it as well. We have different groups of assignments and groups of projects. It is so nice to click that Nils is suppose to do this or that assignment and it just dissolves from my to do list :) Sometimes the lists becomes a bit messy as we keep on adding assignments but don’t manage to finish them on time but seeing all that mess also works as a motivation to get things moving.
If you had to live with only five apps/tools (besides Todoist) what would they be?
What’s your go-to strategy for conquering email?
JG: Do fast and urgent replays on the train in the morning and take proper emailing time every day to clean the inbox. I make promises to myself that if I clean my inbox then I am allowed to have another coffee or something like that.
What’s your best productivity trick?
JG: I wish I knew! :) Possibly taking some time off. We rarely do it and we are very bad at not talking about work, but we do see that if we have had the weekend off, we become more productive.
What does your workspace look like?
JG: Right now- a mess. We have a lab as the workspace where the electronic development is going on. That place normally is clean and neat (except a lot of tea cups) but the office is filled with post it notes with tasks, fruit, dark chocolate and lavender plants because we felt like spring time has to enter our workspace as well.
Why do you do what you do? What motivates you to keep going?
JG: We have a naive hope to make the world a better place by the help of our work. We want to leave a mark in the world even if it’s just a scratch.
What is the greatest piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
JG: Make mistakes but make them fast. You’re going to make them eventually anyway.
Jasmina Grase is co-founder of Miito, the sustainable alternative to the electric kettle. Miito’s Kickstarter campaign ends Sun, June 14. Back them here! You can also follow Miito’s progress on Twitter (@projectmiito), Facebook, Instagram, or Tumbler.