In mid-September, the worst nightmares of AD, the company behind the ADzero bamboo phone, came true. AD's production prototypes revealed a fatal flaw: the bamboo cases — the phone's key distinguishing feature — were splintering. To make matters worse, the company was on the verge of launching a Kickstarter campaign, and the crowd-funding platform had just released a statement titled "Kickstarter is not a store," banning the use of renders (the sort of which AD was relying on). Between production hell and Kickstarter's new strict policies, the company's launch plans were, temporarily at least, terminated.

But Kieron-Scott Woodhouse and Jerry Lao are persistent. They're the pair of twenty-somethings behind AD, and they want to shake up the market with their high concept smartphone. It’s a tall order. Kickstarter has seen a handful of success stories recently, such as the Ouya Android console and Pebble smartwatch, but the ADzero isn’t creating a new market or refining a product category. Are a fresh design and unique materials enough for AD to gain a foothold in a market where established giants like Nokia and RIM are flailing? What kind of challenges does a small hardware startup face? In this series we’ll find out. We’ll track the progress of Woodhouse and Lao as they attempt to take the ADzero from sketchbook, to prototype, and onward, hopefully past production issues and onto retail shelves.