Kickstarter: A Supportive Community for Creatives
Have you ever had an idea or started a project, but you weren’t sure that people would think it was cool, or even worth pursuing? Sure, the notion that people might not like it shouldn’t shut you down, but it’s always nice to know that people are on your side. Kickstarter saw an opportunity in this idea, and started an online platform where anyone on the internet, known as backers, can pledge money to make the dreams of project creators come true.
How does it work?
First off, project creators have to actually come up with an idea, outline it on the site, and set a funding goal and deadline. Then, potential backers can browse these ideas online and pledge money to the ones they like. There’s a catch, though – Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. That means that if the project doesn’t reach their set funding goal by their deadline, they don’t receive any money. Impressively, though, 44% of projects to date have reached their funding goals. So don’t be too discouraged by this rule.
Why would someone pledge?
This is something I originally asked myself. Well for one, you get to see a creative project you really believe in brought to life, and that’s pretty cool. Some backers are supporting their friends' projects, while some are inspired by new, cool ideas. Also, sometimes, backers get rewards for pledging. This is the fun part. Backers who pledge to make a book or film, for example, often get a copy of the finished work, or an invitation to a private screening or more, depending on how much they pledge. And backers of innovative tech gadgets sometimes even receive one of what they’re supporting if the project meets their goal! So not only are you bringing this cool product into the world for others to buy, but you get one to try out first-hand. It’s a win-win.
Cool Kickstarter projects:
This is Kickstarter’s most-funded project to date, and it even has local roots. The inventor, Eric Migicovsky, began developing the Pebble watch in his garage as a student at the University of Waterloo! The Pebble watch raised – wait for it – over TWENTY MILLION dollars in pledges. People really wanted to see this project come to life, and they really wanted one for themselves. The Pebble campaign offered backers a watch of their own if they pledged over a certain amount (which was still under retail value), so it was totally worth it if they believed in the project. This smart watch is water resistant, provides activity tracking and sleep tracking, organizes your events, lets you listen to music, has a built-in microphone for recording voice notes, is compatible with thousands of other applications, and has many other features. It pretty much does it all! Check out our blog about other fitness trackers here.
Another highly-funded project on Kickstarter was the “Coolest”, a cooler with a million features built in. This thing has a blender, a Bluetooth speaker, a USB charger, a compartment for plates, a knife, and a cutting board, and more. It raised an astonishing $13,285,226 in pledges! Check out this video to see more.
The Art of Loish: A Look Behind the Scenes
As mentioned before, Kickstarter isn’t only for tech gadgets. It’s also a place where artists can share their work, which is exactly what digital artist and animator from the Netherlands Lois van Baarle set out to do. She has done work for Coca-Cola and Lego in the past and her work is very popular online so she was already known by many backers, but her Kickstarter project is to create a book that showcases her art as well as gives a detailed behind-the-scenes look at how she creates her work. She has generated even more interest than she thought she would; £170,423 has been pledged of her original £20,000 goal! You can even still go online and pledge, as the deadline doesn’t close until September 24th.
Some more “quirky” projects:
The Ostrich Pillow
Okay, I want one. This one-of-a-kind pillow allows you to nap comfortably anywhere, anytime, in your own private space. And let me say, that sounds like a real blessing. Yes, you may look a bit odd while doing so, but it’s totally worth it. The Ostrich Pillow raised a whopping $195,094 in pledges in 30 days, so I’m clearly not the only one who thinks it’s fantastic. Check out the video here.
5 O'clock Shadow
I’m going to paint a sad picture for you. Imagine wanting a beard desperately, and not being able to grow one. Oh, the despair that would cause! Thanks to this project, buying a beard is now a real alternative to growing one! That’s right; these project creators knitted beards that you strap to your face. They are meant to be worn while doing outdoor activities such as snowmobiling, skiing, etc, but I think they’d be rather fashionable worn to work or a PTA meeting. Learn more about their campaign here!
Graphing the Deliciousness of a Chicken Burrito
This has got to be the most absurd KickStarter project I stumbled upon. The creator literally created a project stating that he wanted to raise $8.10 for a chicken burrito from Chipotle so that he could “graph its deliciousness” and share the data with his backers. AND THE GUY ENDED UP RAISING $1,050! Sometimes I don’t understand the internet. Check out his campaign on Kickstarter.
More about Kickstarter:
Kickstarter houses projects in a ton of categories like film, games, music, design, and technology. Since their launch in 2009, 9.4 million people have pledged more than $1.9 billion, funding 92,000 creative projects.
If you feel like funding an innovative project you believe in and making someone’s dream come true, head over to Kickstarter and discover a project worth backing!
Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor
Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.