Thursday, August 5, 2010

What is Kickstarter and why did I do it?

Many people have asked me this question since launching my project “The Re-Launch of The Cookie Chew” ( on Kickstarter, so I thought I’d take some time to answer it.

In my opinion, we all want to be part of something great, whether it’s donating to your favorite charity or helping an elderly woman cross the street, we all have inner heroes just waiting to be unleashed. For me, I’ve always wanted to leave my mark in this world and hope along the way impact and be a part of as many lives as I can. Which is why when I came across the Kickstarter site and learned about what they do, I immediately fell in love and decided to join the community.

Brief History & Concept

Frustrated at how hard it was to raise money to pay for two Austrian DJs to come to the U.S., Perry Chen, a day trader at the time, who had opened an art gallery and dabbled in the music industry came up with the notion of soliciting funds online. "There are all sorts of good ideas out there that never have a chance to succeed,” says Chen.

Basically, people with a cool idea or cool project, but not enough money, meet people -- local or global -- who can fund it, in small pieces, with the twist that the money they pledge will be collected from them only if the project reaches 100 percent of its funding goal.

In essence, Kickstarter allows people with creative projects to build pages on the site to describe the work they hope to do and the costs they face, and, crucially, to offer various rewards and benefits to potential backers in exchange for pledges of support. They share samples of their previous works, describe their new projects with audio or video clips, and provide links to more robust websites related to the project at hand. The hope is that their fundraising effort will go viral, providing them with capital and their backers with some nifty goodies and a sense of a communal job well done.

Kickstarter's chief technology officer has a name for it: "crowd-funding." "It leverages social media across the creative community. Kickstarter isn't precisely microfinancing, which"implies investment. We don't allow people to offer equity to their backers or promise a return." Kinda cool, don’t you think?

In it’s first year, kickstarter funded $600K and to date this year $1.5M in miscellaneous various projects. Its most famous campaign has been for New York-based Diaspora, an open-source alternative to Facebook; the four programmers behind the project needed $10,000 to buy time to work on it; people contributed nearly $190,000 -- a startling 1,892 percent -- days before its deadline. That’s insane!

From the words of Kickstarter:

We believe that...

• A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.
• A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.

Here's the Kickstarter DNA:


So basically, in hopes of funding my dream and my passion through the support and help of a community of creatives, my project was launched 24 days ago. I have 19 days left and still not quite halfway there. But I’m hopeful and staying positive that others will want to be a part of my something great! (

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