Saturday Morning Open Thread: Bootstrapping Revitalization, Kickstarter Edition

"Money makes the world go round." It's a tired, tiresome and sometimes too-true truism. Some things require money - investment - in order to get anywhere. Without financial backing to help secure the resources required, many projects and businesses fail.

"You have to spend money to make money." Another too-true truism in some cases. Sure - it's not an absolute. But in some cases, it's a pretty reliable and necessary rule of thumb. If you don't have, and cannot secure, investments to help build or expand your business or project, then you'll often find yourself lacking the resources that it requires to continue. It stalls, and sometimes dies on the vine.

There are no magic money trees - but there are many different ways to secure investment funding. One of the most promising projects for "the little guy" can be found at Kickstarter. It's a "crowdsourced" type of funding for creative projects that has resulted in some serious fundraising power.

Kickstarter has been building a reputation of enabling people to raise funding for projects in a straightforward, easy manner since its founding in April 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, and Charles Adler. The basics, according to the Kickstarter FAQ:

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects.

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.

Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.

Craig Mod tells the story of one successful Kickstarter project - his own: KICKSTARTUP Successful fundraising with & (re)making Art Space Toky. Here's a quote from his piece:

I never intended to just sell a few books. The last thing I wanted was for this Kickstarter project to be nothing more than the start and end of Art Space Tokyo’s new print run. Instead, I wanted it to be the jumping point for exploring more projects in a similar spirit to Art Space Tokyo; a means to explore digital books and to fund the startup of a publishing venture that could make this happen.

Which is to say, I saw this as micro-seed capital. To not look at fundraising on Kickstarter from this perspective is to miss out on the site's full potential.

With Kickstarter, people are preordering your idea. Sure, they’re buying something tangible — a CD, a movie, a book, etc — but more than that, they’re pledging money because they believe in you, the creator. If you take the time to extrapolate beyond the obvious low-hanging goals, you can use this money to push the idea — the project — somewhere farther reaching than initially envisaged. And all without giving up any ownership of the idea.

This — micro-seed capital without relinquishment of ownership — is where the latent potential of Kickstarter funding lies.

A good project not only appeals to potential investors, but is supported by the project creator who is inherently obligated to think beyond "the low-hanging fruit" and plan for the project's success beyond whatever the current financial roadblock to initiation is.

We'll be revisiting this thought here, on ePluribus Media, soon. Stay tuned... ;)

In the meantime - welcome to Saturday, the apocalypse. Get your shopping done early, and leave a note for us in the comments telling us how you plan to go out when the end comes (or not).

This is an Open Thread.




Our illustrious and capable web maven had pointed it out a short while ago. She's good like that.