Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why I Love Kickstarter


The first Kickstarter I contributed to was about two years ago. It was a project that sounded pretty cool and I wanted to help make it happen. I was so excited when it fully funded that I did little cartwheels in my living room. They were very little due to my lack of skill, not my lack of enthusiasm. It was exhilarating to see someone put an idea out there and then have enough people see the beauty of it to hand over their money.  It's so much better than buying stuff in a store.


You can go into most stores and find lots of things that companies have made. Some of it is really good and some of it is really bad, which is exactly what you find when you look at Indiegogo and Kickstarter. There are some ideas that you look at and and they are so very, very bad that you want to personally call the guy who had the idea and tell him to stop. Now. But, in some ways, that's the best part of the whole thing.

Say you've invented a widget-wadget. This is better than a mere widget which is why you've called it a widget-wadget. It's an entirely new concept that you know everyone is going to love and that would surely make any investor savvy enough to see your vision a very rich person. Sadly, you have no sugar daddy waiting to write the big check. You could try for years and years and years to find one, but it may never happen.

Instead, you decide to crowdfund your widget-wadget. You already know what it will cost to produce and you think you know how many you can sell and you absolutely know that the world will want this more than they want bacon. Crowdfunding gives you a platform to showcase your widget-wadget that is more wonderful than bacon, and you are sure it will be a success. One of two things will happen.

Your baconish widget-wadget will fund in no time. You will get all the money you need to make it happen, maybe more, and you will be doing full-on backflips in your living room. It will be a happy, happy day. You will then take that money and make the widget-wadget a reality. It may do so well that you're able to sell your idea to someone who knows bacon when he smells it and you'll be even happier. You are a crowdfunding success and your idea and determination have been validated.

But, maybe it doesn't fund. Maybe what you thought smelled like bacon, everyone else thought smelled like that fake turkey-bacon stuff they sell in a box near the deli case. Yuck. Who wants that stuff? I know I don't. You really, really thought you had bacon. You really did. But no one smelled your vision. Is it a failure? Absolutely not. You see, you've gotten valuable information that you can still use.

Your feedback from the masses and their firmly closed wallets tells you that you're slightly off the mark. Maybe you need to make a few tweaks to your project. Maybe you need to pitch it and move on to the next even baconier idea. You may not have succeeded in funding, but you've succeeded in getting feedback that might otherwise take years to uncover. Fund or not, it's still a valuable part of the the creative process.

If you've never checked out the stuff on sites like kickstarter or indiegogo, give them a look sometime. You'd be amazed at the incredibly talented people and ideas that you'll find. A good place to start is either of these two projects, which I currently love.

Marian Call European Adventure
Marian Call is a geek musician extraordinaire and she wants to tour Europe. Her kickstarter actually lets you go on a quest with virtual coins and decide where she'll play on her tour. If you haven't seen her live and you're in Europe, go, contribute, get her to your town!

Hone
This is a little key fob that works with an app for your iPhone and searches out the keys you didn't put where you think you put them. This will save me untold hours of frustration.

There are hundreds of cool (and not so cool) projects looking for your support. Go, find the goods ones and help make stuff happen!

1 comment:

  1. It's funny how for some of the things that I have backed on Kickstarter, I'm not sure that I would have ever eventually purchased the item IRL. I would have wanted to purchase it, it would have been on my backburner or my wishlist, but I may never have actually gotten out my wallet. Kickstarter makes me go ahead and spend the money because without me that thing might never exist and it is important to me to have the thing exist.

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