An idea is something fresh and powerful. We all know that. But what if an idea is so intense that it breaks the very foundations of what we believed to be even fictionally impossible. Crowd sourcing is the subject here. Now why should I donate money to some guy who thinks he can create a time machine (Just exaggerating my point!)? What’s in it for me? Where is the guarantee that he will arrive with a prototype? Will it actually work?
Either I must be naive or somebody must have made crowd funding believable! And that somebody was none other than Perry Chen, the founder of Kickstarter, one of the Greatest Industry-Disrupting Startups of 2012.
Kickstarter is an American-based fundraising company launched on April 28, 2009 that provides online tools to raise funds for creative projects via crowd funding through its website.
So, What Is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money and resources, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by NGOs or humanitarian organizations. Of late, Crowdfunding is being used to support new activities like motion picture promotion, free open source software development, scientific research, fantasy books and comics, fashion and accessories, etc. So, Long story short, Crowdfunding = Small Donations in Large Numbers, With Online Help.
How Kickstarter works
Kickstarter is the new way to fund creative projects. Let’s say your mind is fresh with a crazy little idea you had from a dream last night. Do some research. Spend personal money to take it to a better refined level by creating a prototype of your idea.
The next step is to showcase your project to the world and that’s were a platform like Kickstarter comes into play. Kickstarter is composed of creators and backers. The creator is essentially a filmmaker, musician, artist or designer, the one who profiles the project page where you sell your idea by presenting your original photos, videos, diagrams and launch the project campaign. Creators set a minimum funding goal and deadline. Backers aka donors are potential supporters/ future customers who pledge money depending on their liking for the innovative project. The money pledged by backers is collected using Amazon Payments. If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected. Kickstarter takes 5% of the funds raised. The best thing about Kickstarter is that it claims no ownership over the projects.
What do the Backers gain?
Well, to put it in a nutshell, Kickstarter is futile without the Backers population. They take a huge risk pledging to projects. Remember, it is the backer who provides support and not the website. For all their heroic deeds, each creator has a unique way of rewarding their backers with items like a personal note of thanks, custom T-shirts, dinner with an author, a copy of the film. Of course, the rewards depend on the amount of pledge- a bigger pledge might even get you into a film premiere. Here are some of the most popular rewards of 2012-
- Celebrity memorabilia like Robert De Niro’s money clip from ‘Taxi Driver’.
- A Hug from Marina Abramovic, a New York-based Serbian performance artist.
- Golf with Tom Sizemore, Supporting actor in films like ‘Saving Private Ryan’.
- Melissa Joan Hart follows you on Twitter! (Actress popular from ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’)P.S:Backing a project is more than just giving money, it’s to support and make someone’s dream come true.Moving on, Crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter provide a number of benefits like
1. Creator Profile
3. Audience Engagement
A coin has two sides. With that said, Crowdfunding also comes with a number of potential risks.
- Reputation – failure to meet campaign goals.
- IP protection – Revealing details of a project may lead to digital media plagiarism.
- Donor exhaustion.
- Public fear of abuse – Probability of a scam.
But Kickstarter has had a steady and winning run. With over 44% of projects being successfully funded and ranking no.1 among Crowdfunding Platform Web Traffic Rankings, let’s look at the achievement points of 2012.
- In 2012, 2,241,475 people pledged a total of$319,786,629 and successfully funded 18,109 projects.
- Backers pledged$606.76 per minute in 2012.
- People in 177 countries backed a project in 2012. That’s 90% of the countries in the world.
- ‘Sun Come Up’ and ‘Incident in New Baghdad’, Kickstarter-funded films nominated for an Oscar.
- Google Maps integrates images from DIY mapping project funded by Kickstarter.
- Sixth grade students send a camera to space thanks to Kickstarter!
- The world’s first Pizza Museum.
- The first marriage proposal via Kickstarter project.
The most successful Kickstarter project to date is Pebble Watch, a one –of-a-kind smart watch for Android and iPhone, recording $10,266,844 with 68,929 backers!