Pro Ject Crowd Funding site.

A new way to Fund and Follow Creativity - All projects must offer rewards. Kickstarter is not a general fundraising site, it’s a form of commerce and Patronage. If you’re not viewing rewards as core to your project, Kickstarter may not be for you. Please note that raffles, discounts, coupons, financial returns, and investment offers are prohibited. The number one thing we see: Make sure you're actually giving something to people. Especially a physical object. The number two thing: Make sure you're targeting a passionate crowd at the right time.

  • Roberts argues that the best fundraising pitches always emphasize this personal aspect.
  • By design, Kickstarter tells its users, "the best way to inspire support is to offer people great rewards. Everyone loves limited editions, one-of-a-kinds, and fun experiences (parties, screenings, balloon rides!). Spend some time brainstorming your rewards and people will respond. No one needs another coffee mug."

funded by USV, for some reason that was kept quiet for over a year -

launched Apr'2009

Takes 5%, plus Amazon's payment cut of 2%.

Nov'2010 -

  • Despite the perception of Kickstarter as a fundraising site, a large number of high profile Kickstarter projects are, at their core, product sales... So while Kickstarter has many high-profile, successful pledge drives under their belt, the campaigns that raise the most cash tend to not look much like traditional donation drives.

Mar'2011 -

  • The site launched in 2009 as a way to crowdsource the funding of idiosyncratic arts projects. Rather than run a gauntlet of agents, studios, producers, publishers, gallery owners, foundations, and philanthropists, applicants simply uploaded a description of their idea. Kickstarter empowered creators, who had a new, no-strings source of funding, as well as audiences, who had the opportunity to help realize the kind of art they wanted to see, rather than what some suit thought would be profitable.
  • More than 14,000 people have posted projects on Kickstarter, and more than 400,000 people have supported them, contributing a total of more than $35 million. Eighty new projects are launched every day, and $1 million is pledged every week. The site has tapped a source of Patronage that was all but nonexistent before.
  • But now people are using Kickstarter for more than just quirky arts projects... Ray Riley, the general manager of Microsoft’s design studio, says that every industrial designer is now watching the site because it offers so much insight about forging a “deeper connection to consumers.” Brett Lovelady, founder and CEO of Astro Studios, a San Francisco firm that designed the Boxee Box Internet TV appliance and works with A-list clients like Microsoft, Nike, and Virgin, says his firm has discussed putting ideas on Kickstarter periodically to gauge their potential. “It’s a pretty brilliant way to find markets you never knew you had,” he says. (Market Research)
  • They figured they could start out offering the service for free and eventually take 5 percent of the contributions to fund the site.
  • “I said I was interested in investing only if the vision was more than creative arts projects,” Scott Heiferman says. “When businesses are being started and products are getting made this way, interesting things are going to happen.”
  • When filmmaker Gregory Bayne set out to make a documentary about mixed-martial-arts champion Jens Pulver, he didn’t just get money to make his film, he got the names and email addresses of thousands of Pulver’s most dedicated fans, many of whom were happy to share more details about themselves. He’s using the intelligence he gleaned—a large percentage of them are in the Midwest, and a surprising number of the most vocal supporters are women—to plan where he screens his movie.
  • But if Kickstarter loses its personal touch, if it becomes little more than a corporate pre-SalesChannel, things get more complicated. (At least one would-be competitor, a New York startup called Quirky, is taking this kind of sales-driven approach.)
  • Klein, the Vimeo cofounder, says that if Kickstarter outgrows its current vetting process, which has Strickler’s team approving each project, it will have to adapt. The solution, he says, is more transparency: “Reputation systems will become very important. They became essential to good business transactions on EBay. We’ll need to know more about somebody before we give our money to them.” (Reputation Management)

Apr'2011 - 2nd anniversay

  • official post with some history
  • lack of real market? Based on the backers from half a dozen successful projects, the overwhelming majority of people have backed a single project (but we knew that already). The next most common number of projects backed? Two. And after that? Three. You can probably see where this is going.
    • I Commented: Hmm, were those recently-closed projects? Maybe they're growing at such a rate that it screws your sample - maybe you should think of these as those backers' first backing, rather than only. Taking a sample of projects from a year ago might be much more accurate.
    • He replied that he took non-recent projects, but nothing older than a year.

Aug'2011: Stowe Boyd contemplating how to succeed there. I was particularly struck by his (Rob Walker's) description of the necessary but somewhat unobvious match between creators’ visions and the form factor and aesthetics of the service, embodied in the way that projects have to provide tangible value back to the donors in order to be funded, and the way that creators make their case... So, the background story is that Kickstarter is not some passive disposable launchpad for conventional creative projects, like a truck that carries paintings to a gallery. Kickstarter is the gallery, and like a gallery owner, Kickstarter’s part in the presentation and socialization of the artistic work being created and distributed is significant, at least in those cases that best typify the company’s arc. They are actively involved in the work, and its promotion and reception.

Oct'2013: 2013-10-30-KickstarterNonexitPayback

Mar'2014: the Long Tail of projects that raise less than $100k raise an average of $6k each.

May'2014: Len Kendall on Why Crowdfunding Doesn’t Work for Content... Instead, find ways to make it really easy and personally fulfilling for your fans to support you on an ongoing basis... think about how you can use tools that maintain a long-term relationship between you and your fans. At Cent Up, we recommend a few of these tactics to our community. (Tip Jar, True Fan)

List of successfully funded software projects (not including games, apps).

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