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Kickstarter: A Creative Marketplace for Creative Individuals


The Greek Muses celebrating KickstarterAttention all starving artists and ambitious inventors! We bring you Kickstarter—a P2P platform that helps match creative and inventive individuals with potential funders. Here is the quick rundown:

  • What kinds of ideas are funded? Movies, books, photographs, recordings, crossword-puzzle contests, board games, plush toys, and eccentric pastimes, such as the daily sending of postcards.
  • How it works: Project owners create a profile that details the idea or endeavor they are attempting to materialize. The idea owner states the total amount of money required, the minimum that can be donated and the funding deadline. Interested patrons browse through the projects and contribute in some cases as little as $1 to a project’s fund. No interest is earned because the funds are not investments.
  • Why fund a project? Project funders, or “backers”, receive rewards that let them get a taste of what they are supporting. Free copies of the art, opening-night tickets, and lottery submissions for prizes are just some of the rewards offered. The best funded projects are those that not only have captivating ideas but also those that have the most creative rewards for backers.
  • The good: Some projects have been so successful that they have received more than three times the initial amount of funding requested. And there is no limit to the amount of funding a project can receive.
  • The bad: Currently, the ability to post an idea is by invitation only, and interested applicants are told to sign up.
  • The potentially ugly: If a project isn’t fully funded by its funding deadline, it will receive no money at all. Kickstarter’s creators explain that this prevents artists who have received some funding from feeling pressured to complete a project that was originally envisioned to produce much grander results. It also allows artists to test ideas and see what kind of audience exists for their creation before they start putting money into it, which is a real benefit. It only gets ugly if you wanted $2,000 but got $1,999. There are no deadline extensions.

I like Kickstarter's founding principle of “art for art’s sake.” The general reality has always been that if you are going to be in the arts or any other creative field, you have to strike it big or let it go. Kickstarter allows small ideas to flourish because it helps connect small artists to the small audiences that will appreciate their work. These microartists—as I like to call them—have a realistic ability to create to their heart’s content. It will be interesting to see what kind of ideas emerge in this creative marketplace.

UPDATE: Our friend Cory is now on Kickstarter to fund his project to save sea turtles. It's a good project to check out and experience the site.


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Reader Comments (5)

I'd like to see this microloan model applied to startups. There's other interesting applications too.

Great post!

June 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTim

I agree. I love the idea of being able to invest in young talent. We've seen it tried a little bit in baseball and student loans, and I love to see it applied to the artistic world.

June 9, 2009 | Registered CommenterMelody

Kiva will allow microloans to US entrepreneurs in need. That's at least a start.


June 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Kickstarter is gaining momentum and I think it has a lot to do with the simplicity of the experience from both sides; people looking to pledge even a small amount of money as well as the creatives promoting their projects.

I just posted my first digital arts project called "Organic Industry" and I am excited to watch it spark to life over the next couple of months.

Check it out: http://bit.ly/XOTSp

July 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Gonyea

There aren't that many marketplaces for artists, so this is something that will likely do well with a some smart marketing and advertising. It's a unique way to stir up some exposure for young artists.

July 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermlgreen8753
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