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The rising success of KickStarter

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The rising success of KickStarter

Information - posted by DarkUnderlord on Fri 25 May 2012, 05:16:36

Tags: Kickstarter

Given the huge success - and number - of KickStarter projects of late, I thought we'd take a break from our regular programming and take a look to see how KickStarter is affecting other industries. Starting with a band:

Palmer, 36, one half of punk-cabaret act The Dresden Dolls, is funding her latest solo album using the crowd-funding website Kickstarter. One offering is a USD5,000 package that will bring Amanda Palmer to your town to play a house party. Some 35 of these gigs were available for purchase, and all have been snapped up. Palmer's new album is truly, completely, fan-funded. That raises unique challenges.

"We're going to South Africa, Israel, and possibly Puerto Rico," Palmer, says, admitting that so far, it sounds pretty romantic. "But … today I had an agonising conversation with my manager about how the fuck we're going to get to the middle of nowhere in Germany. "[It's] four hours from the closest airport [and the gig has to be during] this upcoming tour because the guys who bought the package are going overseas for a year and begged us — begged us — to try and make it before they moved. So we're sitting there looking at a map going, 'Is it possible?'"​

Makes you wonder whether some people are just promising too much, for too little. How many projects are going to struggle to deliver because they promised everything for $1.50?

Kickstarter, set up in 2009, is an online tool used to fundraise for creative projects. Since launching, the website has successfully funded 20,000 projects, with total donations topping USD200 million. Some 1.8 million people have become backers [some 44% of all projects on KickStarter have been successfully funded, with the average project hovering around the $5,000 mark].
On Twitter, Palmer has over 550,000 followers. She's constantly blogging and tweeting about the minutiae of her life. ("Here I am, decorating the Christmas tree in my bra," that sort of thing.) Something she believes helped enable the Kickstarter to succeed.​

Hmmmm... Chris Avellone + bra + Christmas tree = KickStarter success???

And some more about shunning the evils of publishers:

"[Recording] labels are becoming more and more unnecessary," she says. "You can go directly to your fans, whether you've got a couple of dozen of them or a hundred million, it doesn't matter, you can now reach them."
While Palmer has been drumming up support for her album, Kickstarter has been gaining attention for a different reason. A watch that connects to your smartphone has raised over USD10 million from almost 69,000 backers. That's a lot of cash (or a lot of watches).​

And from the watch story, talk of how KickStarter may open a whole new realm of venture capital:

“This year marks the year that we’ve seen Kickstarter enter the real world in a number of ways,” said Perry Chen, one of its founders. “At Tribeca Film Fest, there are a dozen different Kickstarter-backed films, there’s an installation at the Whitney Biennial that was a Kickstarter project and we just had our birthday party at a Kickstarter-funded restaurant.”

Much as the introduction of cheap Web services lowered the barrier to entry for people seeking to create a start-up, and as offshore manufacturing gave entrepreneurs a chance to make products without having to build a factory, Kickstarter offers budding entrepreneurs a way to float ideas and see if there’s a market for them before they trade ownership of their company for money from venture capitalists.
“The terms on Kickstarter are more attractive than any bank loan or venture capital amount,” Mr. Polyakov said. “If you can get funding through Kickstarter, there is no reason not to.”​

So is KickStarter just the current fad that, much like Kony 2012, will be forgotten in a month? Or are we really witnessing the death of the middle-man and the publishing industry? No doubt coming up sometime in the near future: Stories of how successful KickStarter projects turned into abject miserable failures that went broke and never delivered.

There are 31 comments on The rising success of KickStarter

Pierre Begue wants money for his sequel.

TARGET: $5,000 USD

RAISED: $1,074.05 USD (21%)

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