Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kickstarter Rocks!

I'm finally doing it: I launched my first Kickstarter project earlier this month, raising money for an open source software project. It's got 12 days and a bit to go. We're 10% of the way there. Will we make the goal? I don't know... We'll soon see.

In fact, you can see, too. It's all public, right here: -- it ends at 11:11 am on June 11th.

I would like to thank the people who have already pledged real money to this campaign: about half are people who really want the end result, and the other half are dedicated friends and family, whose moral support I have always known to be rock solid, but whose financial support of this project kind of took me by surprise. I am humbled, touched even, and honored to have you all in my life. You know who you are.

Kickstarter is awesome. I have been a backer of 5 projects since last summer. And I'm sure there are more in my future. It's a fabulous way to raise money toward completing artistic, technological, culinary endeavors and more. Stuff that you wouldn't normally be able to do because it costs more than you have, and there's no obvious way to get from A to B without having a rich uncle. Or worse, having a miserly rich uncle. Or so I'd imagine.

Karen Sabo, the creator of the first Kickstarter project I backed last summer said to me "I love crowdfunding, don't you? It's so Stone Soup." And it really is, isn't it?

It's "crowdfunding." Everybody who cares about your project kicks in just a little bit, and they help you spread the word, and before you know it, you have enough money to do the awesome thing you've envisioned.

I'm a numbers guy: I'm constantly figuring, counting things, and running what-if scenarios through my brain. The average Kickstarter pledge is about $70. For my $11,000 project, it would only require 158 people pledging at the average level to fund it. Or 1,000 people coming in for honorable mention at the $11 level. Or 10 people who really, really care about it coming in at the $1100 level. It is sooo possible.

But consider this: even better than the money perhaps, executing a Kickstarter campaign shows you something tangible about your endeavor. It proves that some number of people really do care about the art you're building. Even the campaigns that don't hit their goal end up with some pledgers. That, to me, with this specific project, is the real reason I'm running this Kickstarter campaign. If it succeeds, then I will have tangible proof that doing the work is worthwhile, and there are people who care enough to make it happen.

And if not, ... well, I've already made contact with a small number of people who really do care, and that just may inspire future actions: Kickstarter campaigns or other endeavors.

How about you? Need some money to finish a project you've always wanted to do, but have never tackled simply for lack of a large enough bank balance? Kickstarter might be for you. First, pledge to support a project that resonates with you. Perhaps even mine. :-)

Then check out their guidelines, and see if you can't come up with your own project to bring to life.

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