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Topic: What is kickstarter.com ? (Read 6723 times) previous topic - next topic


Maybe I should dig a hole and start living underground from now on. This world has become too crazy for me. ;)

Crazy? You're developing boards and investing your own money while projects like the Extracore get everyone else to invest money for it.

Who's the crazy one now?


It's not just for Americans!

Marcus and Maddy from LittleBird have gotten their "Ninja Blocks" project funded,

From the kickstarter guidelines

To be eligible to start a Kickstarter project, you need to satisfy the requirements of Amazon Payments:
   Be a US resident and at least 18 years of age with a social security number (or EIN), a US bank account, US address, US state-issued ID (driver's license), and major US credit or debit card.

So I don't know how they did it.

Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com


May 18, 2012, 03:29 pm Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 03:59 pm by focalist Reason: 1
The part I don't understand is funding for "Community Arts"

I proposed a calendar of photography (alternatively a coffee table book) of photography done by patients of chronic illness, the result of providing twenty four disabled patients with a basic digital camera and a series of classes.  Note- though I have not taught in years, I am a certified vocational teacher (two years) and special education teacher (five years) specializing in adaptive hardware and occupational therapy for physically and mentally handicapped adults.  I was a teacher in a residential school for severe and profound mentally retarded - that's how I paid for college.  Also note that I know how to build a proposal.. my budgets in the workplace generally were in the range of four to six million dollars per quarter.  The "investors" were to get free copies of the calendar/book, and remainders marketed.  Though sales wouldn't be huge of course, the idea is simply to reward the investors with having done a "good thing".  The proposal was refused by Kickstarter staff as "not providing enough long term income potential".  Note that it wasn't the project didn't receive funding.  It was refused outright and not even listed.

SIX  "Burning Man" floats were approved as projects the same day.  Note these same people have been approved and done Burning Man floats before as Kickstarter projects also.  There's a serious problem with Kickstarter when this is the case.  Just understand that the staff of Kickstarter has "pet" groups of people that WILL get their projects listed, and they steer the interest.. and appear to not have a lot of actual interest in the Arts, just in sending their friends tens of thousands of dollars so that they can go to Burning Man or New Zealand.  If you peruse Kickstarter right now, there's a plethora of "projects" from college kids whose project is "I want to go to Burning Man".  Understand Burning Man is a outdoor rock concert and festival.  It's a party.  It's also becoming more and more funded by kickstarter.  A parade float for spoiled rich kids, who couldn't spare a little of the money they set aside for GHB and MDMA to build the float, and expect others to do it for them.  Makes me physically sick.  Note that I was proposing myself as the instructor and administrator, and the goal for funding was put at a very modest 5k.  The funding would cover the cost of the cameras, transport for patients, and printing.  I was not planning it as a for-profit venture, and my time was unpaid.  The conclusion of the proposal also included progressing the project from a one-off to a registered nonprofit charity, to repeat the classes and start similar programs in other cities.  This proposal was shot down.. but Burning Man floats and nonsense proposals from untrained teenagers for MMO's get approved.  You can't imagine how much this angers me, after I had gone to Kickstarter based upon news stories about how they planned "to be the newest and most powerful way to fund community-driven art."

Please explain how a Burning Man float provides ANY income potential, and how it could possibly be more "Community Arts" driven than providing two dozen handicapped people their first ability to express themselves via art.. as a therapy to help them cope with severe chronic illness.  I decided to propose the project because my photography has been very therapeutic for me.. depression and related MENTAL ramifications of severe long-term illness can be as bad or even worse than the physical condition the patient may be suffering.  Coping with the mental side of chronic illness is as important (if not more so) than coping with the physical.

Kickstarter just plain pisses me off.



I understand the frustration but in the end there is some human and his/her gut feeling that makes a decission. But I assume there are more kickstarters alike websites in the US.? You could also use some abroad like the two I mentioned before:

- http://www.pleasefund.us/ -
- http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ -

At least those in the UK use the English language which makes it as easy for you as kickstart.com, why not give it a try...
Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
(Please do not PM for private consultancy)


May 18, 2012, 04:31 pm Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 05:03 pm by focalist Reason: 1
Well, when it comes right down to it, I have decided that such an undertaking would require a bit more, as I would want to have a backup for myself "on staff".  There's a reason I can't work.. and the reason is course that I get far too sick far too often.  I am unreliable.  I get sick as a dog at the drop of a dime, and if I were responsible for a busload of other patients at the time without backup, I would at a minimum be unable to teach, and at the worst end up in a condition where I need medical care and transport myself.  Though the planned "field trips" primarily consisted of a local greenhouse/botanical garden, and the Mass/New Hampshire seacoast, even those distances would be a real problem if I became unable to coordinate the situation, with two dozen other people with medical issues relying on me.  I've decided that if I were to do it, I would want to hire at least two assistants, at least one of which being either a paramedic or nurse.  That's a lot of increased cost.  Even then I would need a backup instructor also.. I have to admit to also not being reliable enough to have twenty four other people waiting for me as their teacher.  Incredibly frustrating.. nature of the beast.

The reality is that I am too ill myself to be depended upon, and because of that, hiring "backups" to myself would be quite expensive, roughly tripling (if not more) the cost of trying to pull something like this off.  Even with the commitment from several nurses I know (you get to know a lot of nurses when you spend as much time with docs as I do) it would be tough.  

Without the up-front ability to create a registered charity, which is expensive.. I've decided that if this is going to happen, I'll be more likely to apply for some type of state or private grant.  I'll be looking into it this fall, as well as discussing the project with the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America, the charity for my disease.  The problem there is that they may want to restrict enrollment to Crohns/UC patients, and it's a pretty rare disease.  I'd likely have to expand the program to metropolitan Boston, and to be honest, that would likely make the trips (including pickups and dropoffs) too long for me.. and therefore presumably too long for many of the patients that the program is intended to reach in the first place.

What's kind of funny is that now that I am thinking about it, it occurs to me that it would be easier to teach a class in Arduino to the patients (with admittedly less likely interest in most students, it takes a special kind of sickness to fall in love with Arduino).  The other option is to restrict the "outings" and classes to indoor subjects and things local to a medical center.  I have to say from experience.. you don't want to spend any more examining a hospital in high detail after you've been stuck in one for a month a time on a regular basis...

None of that plays into the Kickstarter rejection, however...


Government money is not easy to shake loose. I might give up on this one since I feel sick reading through all the material. I thought I had a creative idea about teaching, now frustrated and pressed against deadline, I'm thinking why should I have to go through all this crap just to get my idea wrapped inside scholastic crap to be viewed by these experts. I think being mediocre is much easier for me. No need to try so hard to be good unless I want to open my own pocket to fund this.

No one has tried my idea so how am I supposed to find prior success?! National average of relative gain of a semester of college physics is 20%. If that's called success, I'd just give a multiple choice final exam and give up on my students.


focalist, I think there's probably no real expert in the kickstarter team in any field except for some code geeks. If they pick burning man (whatever it is, kids party?!) over your charity project they've showed they have no interest in charity. Hiring an expert to review stuff is not cheap. Every business is in for the money. I hope you find funding elsewhere maybe at a charity (don't stop trying government money either but just don't hope too high). You have a noble cause, someone with money will eventually recognize your cause I hope. Sometimes associating yourself with a college instructor may get you some access to funds in universities for such activity. I've sat on a couple of these funding committees in my university and gosh I should be paid extra to read some of those craps that we ended up funding or awarding. Give it a try, contact a local school's art/sociology/etc. department to see if there's interest. You get student assistants too (maybe a photographer in training but better than paying a real one) so you just have to hire a nurse.
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


May 18, 2012, 06:07 pm Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 07:06 pm by focalist Reason: 1
Well, it was quite some time ago, and changed my goals a bit more since then also.  In addition, I have had to deal with some additional medical issues, not the least of which are spinal issues which have severely restricted me physically.  I simply would not be able to do it physically at the moment.  I'm too muddled from meds if I take enough to stand or walk for a reasonable period of time- I don't feel right taking that level of responsibility on that level of meds.  I have instead taken to doing local stage and arts council photography, as well as local events, when I can.   The core of my "work" is enjoying what I am doing and having others enjoy it.  I can't ever let my photography become something that causes me stress.  I will stop doing it completely before I'll allow it to become something that only makes me sicker...

Enough bitching out of me though.

Back to the topic of the OP.. Kickstarter does seem to have some success stories, and some very confusing ones too.  I can't reject them out of hand completely.. I just have a beef with their selection criteria, at least as pertains to works of 'Art'.

Crowdsourcing in my mind isn't all that different than a corporation issuing stock to fund expansion, or munipalities issuing bonds to raise money for public works projects.  I do wonder how they get around that legally, I mean in all intents as far as I can see, it's just an end run around doing the stock and corporation thing.  I just wonder how the investors react when a project fails to come to fruition.. An all too common result of any R&D effort.  For every success, there's as many failures I am sure.. It is a very interesting concept to be sure...


So I don't know how they did it.

From what I can see ninjablocks appears to be based in San Fransisco, even if on paper only, which would allow them to obtain an EIN. There are also specific rules in the eligibilty facts pertaining to how to meet the requirements if your are not in the US. Read this article from another kickstarter on how they did it, http://www.elizemorgan.com/2012/05/anatomy-of-kickstarter-campaign-manual.html

So in the end it is not impossible, just have to be creative or know/trust some one in the US.




To understand recursion, you must understand recursion.
-- David J. Hunter
... it is poor civic hygiene to install technologies that could someday
facilitate a police state. -- Bruce Schneier


Kickstarter has worked well for me also. The selection process is two fold, they have to approve your project and they have to approve your rewards.  I had a difficult time coming up with "acceptable" awards per their guidelines. Since they use Amazon as their payment gateway, they rely heavily on their requirements.  Other than that, the whole process has been pretty smooth.  We'll see how the rest goes in 5 days when my listing ends though.


thats where they could land into trouble, by getting in the mix and putting a seal of approval on a project along with its rewards, they are backing an item

what happens when that item turns out to be a flake or a scam, while also being major, like some million dollar item over thousands of people?



thats where they could land into trouble, by getting in the mix and putting a seal of approval on a project along with its rewards, they are backing an item

what happens when that item turns out to be a flake or a scam, while also being major, like some million dollar item over thousands of people?

It wasn't so much as a seal of approval in terms of liking the rewards, it was more of a compliance issue.  They had two issues with my rewards 1. The reward can't be a commercial item that you would normally buy in a store.  They were under the impression that some of my rewards were not made by me.  Once I explained it to them they were fine with it.  2. Apparently you can't have any rewards that are "gambling" related.  I had a reward contest in the works but they wouldn't allow it.


May 23, 2012, 04:51 am Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 04:54 am by Osgeld Reason: 1
I honestly fail to see the difference

for example, Craigslist they dont back up their ads by a pier review, and I cant really blame them if I show up to some dude's house and the desk is already sold, kickstarter on the other hand reviews projects and rewards and deems them to be an acceptable thing.

I invest, and it turns out to be bunk or a scam? well it was approved by a company to be an acceptable risk to them, I on the other hand never received a risk analysis or any of the other "good stuff" that comes with putting money into an investment. For all intensive reason I have bought a future product though kickstarter, not an investment. Its not really my problem or concern that their risk did not pan out, I bought a future product as advertised... see how this could go skunk if hit hard enough?

They just need to be less involved, like craigslist, if they put their seal of approval on something, then they could be held accountable

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