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Author Topic: What is kickstarter.com ?  (Read 2442 times)
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Central MN, USA
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I admit my ignorance. After being introduced to kickstarter and reading through wikipedia I still can't make any sense of what this thing is. Has anyone used it? Someone wants to invite me to start a project there but I'm not sure what it means to be involved in such a thing. Sounds like asking/giving money from/to random people. What does it mean to back a project or start one?
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Kickstarter functions as a sort of clearinghouse, middle man, where people with projects looking for funding can post their project, in the hopes of getting commitments for funding. Think of it as crowdsourced micro venture capital. A project has to set a funding goal, and if that goal isn't met by whatever the deadline is, no funds are disbursed. I suppose it isn't exactly like venture capital, because it isn't apparent to me that the monetary contributors get a stake in the product or company, but I haven't read the gory details either. The projects I've looked at, the people funding it get whatever the product is, i.e. they're first in line for the output, perhaps at a discount, which provides some incentive. So somebody with an idea can get enough startup funding to get things rolling -- but it's typically small scale stuff (again, from what I've looked at).
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Central MN, USA
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I still don't fully understand the motives of the backers. The project organizers don't have to provide any solid credential but just some fun video of what they want to do. Yes it's $35 but it's still money. Maybe I'm too cheap. I need to read reviews about this kind of activity.
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The backers are motivated by the fact that a project won't happen unless it's supported. If you want something to happen, you have to contribute to make it so!

Our Beat707 was a (successful) Kickstarter project.

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on the other hand there are a lot of lofty goals by total noobs in any department ... IE in video games

Tim Schafer? Al Lowe? yea ok these guys have made a pile of top notch games over the decades, its a pretty safe bet ... 3 guys from Ohio promising the most epic RPG ever... maybe not so much

invest wisely

unfortunetly most people are not, and there is concern about how it will fare in the not to distant future 
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I might give it a try. Just not the "sleeping like a baby at night with a bag of others' money" type of person myself.
I do have a project that leads to THE FPS game of the century type of claim but don't know if it's worth my time.  smiley-wink
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nr Bundaberg, Australia
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I've been tempted to give it a try but they only allow Americans, anyway I don't want to be printing t-shirts as rewards for a $20 donation.

There have been a lot of success stories though.

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Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

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No mention of Kickstarter success stories would be complete without this all-time-winner:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper-watch-for-iphone-and-android

Yes, they really did raise $10 MILLION dollars, and you still have 22 hours to get it on it smiley

Given that the Kickstarter founders get 5% of revenue, those guys made a cool $500k on 1 project.

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One of the "secrets" of being successful on Kickstarter (my opinion, based on the successfully funded projects I've seen there) is that you need to either have a real product already in some kind of production, or you have a working prototype of some kind. If you have either one of those, and your product meets a need that enough people will contribute to, then you might have a successful funding happen.

That said, I have heard of people who've said that they had all of that, but then read the Kickstarter terms and decided it wasn't for them. I haven't read the terms myself, so I can't say for sure - so I wonder what the "catch" is ultimately? One has to wonder, because generally if you meet the above criteria, you can generally get funding other ways (although I don't believe Kickstarter requires anything like a business plan or other such paperwork, so maybe there's that going for it - though you should have this done if you are going for funding, no matter what the idea).
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$10M for a watch, unbelievable.

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Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

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

Can organizations like a manufacturer pledge too? Saves market research money if you just show customers what you want to make and see if there is any interest.
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smiley
http://m.xkcd.com/1055/
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Rob Tillaart

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I've been tempted to give it a try but they only allow Americans..
Same here, I find it frustrating that only US Residents are eligible to start a project but anyone in the world can pledge to a project
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There are in the UK also crowdfunding initiatives - all disclaimers apply as I have no experience with them -
e.g.
- http://www.pleasefund.us/ -
- http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ -

There are probably more
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Rob Tillaart

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It's not just for Americans!

Marcus and Maddy from LittleBird have gotten their "Ninja Blocks" project funded, they needed $24,000 and got $102,935!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ninja/ninja-blocks-connect-your-world-with-the-web?ref=history

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