Photo: Soma Water
There’s a slow phase shift in Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurs are focusing on physical products more than ever before.”There’s a deep hunger to create products you can actually hold in your hands,” says Michael Del Ponte, a serial entrepreneur who just launched a new company today, Soma Water.
“When I talk to entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley about this, they talk about seeing their product in someone’s home. It’s going into someone’s house and being able to say, ‘Yeah, I helped build that.’ There’s something about that experience.”
The shift originated with Steve Jobs turning Apple into a consumer-products company, says Del Ponte, but really gained momentum when iPod creator Tony Fadell redesigned the thermostat. Robotics companies like Romotive are also a huge part of this trend.
“It was software, now it’s hardware,” he says. Just look at hardware accelerator Lemnos Labs.
Del Ponte decided to launch Soma after founding Sparkseed, a global nonprofit investing in social entrepreneurs. Soma Water is an innovative, compostable water filter designed by David Beeman, who’s created water formulas for global brands like Starbucks. Del Ponte was inspired by Apple designer Jony Ive, and aimed to make his product just as sleek and minimalist.
“We’ve eliminated every single nonessential feature, even the handle,” Del Ponte says. “Water is the most valuable resource on earth and it’s often taken for granted. We wanted to elevate the experience of water.”
Today Soma launched its Kickstarter campaign, with a goal of raising $100,000. Entrepreneur and angel investor Tim Ferriss is an advisor to the company.
“I’ve been involved with the company and product since its first draft days when they were looking at different business models and designs,” says Ferriss, who met Del Ponte while working as an advisor at BranchOut. “Soma goes along very nicely with my ‘4-Hour’ ethos. People have falsely believed for years that you have to choose between sustainability, great design, and other factors. Companies like TOMS prove that you don’t have to choose between doing well and doing good. You can have a sustainable business that scales to address the biggest problems.”
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.