Kickstarter, the possibility engine

Kickstarter precipitates novelty and weirdness from the web.

Kickstarter is a site that helps people who need a little capital to reach out to the world and ask for it. It’s a clever idea, but they’ve executed on it so well that it has become a remarkably successful platform for launching small companies. By asking people to support ideas that haven’t been funded yet (like windowfarms or hamburger wrapping paper), Kickstarter builds “pre-communities” for their products. This helps in multiple ways: builders get money, early customers, and word-of-mouth marketers. Consider the alternative. You beg a bank for some money, then make a product, and only then try to market and sell it. It’s all the wrong way around. The bank wants its money back before you even start to attract enough customers.

Kickstarter thus has an alchemical effect, reducing the energy required to start selling niche products, which means products get nichier and weirder. They did a nice review of 2011 featuring some of their favorite videos. If you’re wondering why I keep using the word weird, take a look at the Freaker. They’re not all weird, but this one is. In a good way.

Play this game: you are a banker. Zach walks into your office and asks you for $48,500 to support his great new idea, the Freaker. Do you give it to him? In a bland and demanding world, Kickstarter is your friend. Gold is everywhere if we can be bothered to see it.

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