Kickstarter Crowd Funding Website
What is Kickstarter About?
Have you ever had an idea for a project you’d like to do, but needed funding for? Or seen a project, maybe a play, a documentary, a book or a work of art, which you would have liked to support but didn’t know how? Kickstarter was created to solve these problems. It brings together people who have a creative project they need funding for, and people who want to help support a project. It could be anything from funding for a new band to record their first song album, a budding film-maker who wants to produce a documentary about the plight of the local wildlife, or a game designer who has a great idea for a new board game but doesn't have another way of making their dreams come to life!!
Perks of Supporting Projects on Kickstarter
The key ingredient in Kickstarter is the perks. To encourage people to give money to support projects, the project creator offers perks for different levels of contribution. If the project was a new chicklit novel say, then a $2 donation might get you a thank you on their website, a $10 donation might get you a free e-book of the novel as a perk. A $20 donation might mean a paperback copy of the novel, $40 a signed hardback and $100 a chance to meet the author. If anyone was generous enough to give $500, the author might offer to name a character after the donor.
These rewards ensure that those who simply want to support something and those who are willing to put some money against something to give it a try both have a place around the Kickstarter table. However those Kickstarting get to decide what is available and at what rates. Also look out if it is a physical thing, for shipping costs to your country.
All projects start off with a target amount of money to raise, and a time limit (30 days is a common one). Money raised can exceed the target and some projects but unless at least the target amount of money is raised within the time limit, no money changes hands. This allows money to be safe from projects that don't get funded. There is some small risk that rewards may not come in the desired timescale - this happens occasionally, or at all- which happens very rarely.
Who Can Use Kickstarter?
People across the world Kickstart different things and new categories such as Crafts and Dance have been added recently to encompass more projects. There are thousands to choose from, but of course not every project gets funded. It depends when it can get up to or exceed its 100% of its target amount or not.
Anyone can fund a project, they just need a paypal account or other form of online payment.
Some Top Projects Funded by Kickstarter
There are always a couple of really popular items on Kickstarter at any one time which might be 400% funded (achieved 4x its original goal) or maybe you'll see one much higher, but these projects really took the biscuit!
Pebble: E-paper watch for Android and iPhone - raised $10.2m
OUYA - A cheap android based games console to plug into your TV (Play Angry Birds on your TV). Raised $8.6m
Pono Music - music player for perfect sound raised $6.2m
Reading Rainbow - working against illiteracy for children in the USA - $5.4m
Also, several 3D printers have raised $2-3m, and a board game raised $950k.
The vast majority of projects however raised between $5-10k.
Some not so great Kickstarters
Kickstarter is a great concept, with lots of great projects to support. The only snag is it is quite US-centric. Currently to start a project, you must live in the US, though as mentioned they are starting to open up to more countries. You can still support projects no matter where in the world you live, but you will be limited on the perks you can get for your contribution, as many projects with physical perks that have to be mailed will only send out within the US. Apart from that little niggle however, it’s a fantastic site.
Kickstarter is the world's largest funding platform for creative projects.
Do you think Kickstarter is a good thing for innovation?See results without voting
More by this Author
10 of the most annoying things about Facebook.
Facebook is currently at the undisputed leader in the world of social networking, but could it be toppled, and if so what are the the threats to look out for? This article sets out three of the major threats to watch...
Don't like Facebook? There are plenty of alternative social networks out there. This article introduces them, from Google+ to Pinterest, Path to Foursquare, including interest-based social networks.