Geek Girl Report: Appealing To The Cyber-Masses – A Closer Look At Kickstarter
There's a lot of great ideas out there. From an exciting new video game to a cool new device no one has seen before, I've always been a big supporter of creative endeavors. But, while coming up with a new idea is one thing, getting the funds to make it a reality is another matter entirely. And not every creative endeavor can have a big-name company like Apple or Paramount or Activision behind it. That's where Kickstarter comes in, an online platform for projects where the people decide whether it succeeds or fails.
So here's how it works. First, somebody comes up with an idea for a creative project, like a new video game, or an independent film, or simply some cool new device. They take their idea to Kickstarter, which gets their projects out in the open. Then, they start spreading the word and appealing to the masses for funding.
Although projects like these tend to make good use of social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, they really rely on word-of-mouth from their backers. This is one of the things I really like about Kickstarter. There's no middle man getting a cut of the profits, or some big-name studio trying to make some "creative" changes to the project. It's just the creators and their fans, and they hold all the control over the success of the project.
Another thing that makes Kickstarter so appealing is that there's surprisingly little risk involved for the backers of a project. Kickstarter's funding is "all or nothing," and they only charge when the time for donations is up. This means if the project falls short of its goal, no one is charged for it. It's more of a risk for the creators than it is the backers, but it's a risk that works. To date, about 35,000 projects have been successfully funded through Kickstarter.
I've contributed to a couple of Kickstarter campaigns myself, mostly for independent video games. And although a few of them have regrettably failed, many of the campaigns I've contributed to have been successful. One campaign in particular reached their goal eight times over.
It just goes to show you that you don't need the big-name companies to create a hit product. All you need is a good idea, loyal fans, and the passion to make it happen.