A Kickstarter on your dreams

A Kickstarter on your dreams

Graphic by Mike Laskowski

Crowdfunding.
It’s a relatively new idea, with many having no clue what it really means. It involves
pitching a creative idea or product that someone has created to the masses online. Then,
the masses decide if they want to help the creator out by donating funds for the purpose of
creating or releasing the product.
Crowdfunding allows the inventor to worry about producing the product rather than
finding the funds to create it.

Kickstarter is one of the many crowdfunding websites that have emerged over the past
few years. Since the website was launched in 2009, over 5.7 million people have funded over
135,000 creative projects. Those projects have received over a billion dollars in funding from
backers.
The projects cover a wide variety of creative products. From films and music to video
games and smartwatches, there is a wide variety of items to invest in.
The website has become popular with both project leaders and backers over the last
couple of years. Kickstarter has been the source of funding for products like the Pebble
smartwatch, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and Cards Against Humanity, to name a
few of its most popular products that have been produced.
The process for starting a project is relatively simple. A product is posted to the website
along with a description of what it is and the funding goal that needs to be reached. If the
goal is not reached within the certain amount of time, the money is never collected from
the backers.
When a project meets its goal, the money is deposited via Amazon payments. Both
Kickstarter and Amazon retain a small portion of the payments, taking eight to ten percent
of the payment.
Backers can receive rewards from the project they back. The higher the amount, the better
the reward. The project creators can decide the reward for the amount of money donated.
Just about anyone can post their creative ideas on Kickstarter, allowing for a wide range
of people and products on the website. People can sort through categories and even choose
a city when browsing through projects.
Kickstarter has also been a big source of funding for small, independent films. Film
makers like Zach Braff, Rob Thomas, and Spike Lee have created films that originated on
Kickstarter. Local made films, such as Detropia, Easier Said Than Done, and T-Rex were
made possible from Kickstarter funding.
However, there has been some negative feedback about the website. Some backers have
taken advantage of the system and scammed some project creators out of money.
Kickstarter can’t guarantee that the money donated will be used for the purpose that was
intended, and warns backers of the potential of scams. Still, this hasn’t stopped the site from
booming and becoming useful tools for backers and project creators.