Ideas Online: Kickstarter and Crowd-Funding

How many times have you heard one of your friend’s say something like, “Oh man, I’ve got a great idea for a videogame/app/website.” I can’t name a close friend who hasn’t said that statement and then followed it up with the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good ideas out there though, it just means it’s tougher for them to get to the right people and come to fruition. The rate at which society churns out new technology and the tech-savvy youth that master it is staggering, ensuring a steady supply of bad ideas, few good ideas, and a lot of unheard ideas. However, capitalizing on the endless amount of bad ideas, companies like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have provided an outlet for some of these inspired but financially limited ideas or projects to be reviewed and examined by the Internet masses and various venture capitalist groups for resources and support.

Kickstarter was founded in 2009 and was one of the first crowd-funding sites that was dedicated to funding creative projects across a variety of independent genres and mediums. You’ve probably heard of a few of the top projects funded through Kickstarter, such as Ouya, a revolutionary new videogame console or the Oculus Rift, a consumer-based virtual reality device. Browse through their forums and panels and you’ll discover a treasure trove of art and film concept projects, experimental technology, and a plethora of other new ideas waiting the proper funding and consumer support.

Before you head to the web with your idea, you should understand what campaigning a project or idea on Kickstarter entails. First, it’s not as simple as putting your concept notes up and holding your hand out; Kickstarter has a comprehensive checklist of material that must be provided, as well as criteria for the goals of the project. As project designer Colin Walsh put it in an article on All Things Digital, “Running a Kickstarter campaign eats your life.” Walsh alluded to the amount of feedback and user communication that properly funding a successful crowd-funded project, commenting that managing the financial contributions and feedback consumes a lot of time. A good idea will find a way to stick out if you’re persistent though, as there’s proof of many conceptual projects that have been well-received by the consumer market but failed to impress specific companies; that’s the type of inventor or designer that Kickstarter attracts.


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