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The Internet Media The Almighty Buck

$53 Million Pledged To Kickstarter Over Two Years 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the money-for-nothing dept.
fangmcgee writes "Kickstarter, a website which collects donations for creative projects, said Thursday that it has received pledges of more than $53 million since its launch two years ago. 'Of the $53 million that has been pledged, $40 million has been collected by successfully funded projects and $6 million is still live (meaning pledged to projects that are still funding). The remaining $7 million is the amount of money not collected — pledged to projects that did not meet their funding goals. Of the $47 million pledged to projects whose funding has ended ($40M collected + $7M uncollected), approximately 85% of the funds ($40M) were collected. This 85% collection rate has stayed quite steady over the past two years.'"
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$53 Million Pledged To Kickstarter Over Two Years

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 29, 2011 @10:35AM (#35975328)

    A place for self-absorbed starving artists to beg for money.

    I was so disappointed to learn that the majority of Kickstarter projects are stupid and have no actual value. I was expecting a community of charity workers with great ideas to help developing nations, or something along those lines, of people with really awesome ideas that just need some money to get "kickstarted".

    What I found was a bunch of art majors talking about how awesome their stupid art project is, and if they only had a couple more thousand dollars, they could totally express their creative impulses for the world to trip over themselves to experience. Ugh.

    Not all the projects are terrible, but the vast majority are. A huge disappointment.

    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday April 29, 2011 @10:57AM (#35975602)

      When you grow up your will realize no matter the topic, form, kind or type of thing anything is 90% of everything is crap.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Congratulations. You have re-discovered Sturgeon's Law.
    • by Shivetya (243324) on Friday April 29, 2011 @11:13AM (#35975772) Homepage Journal

      these same artist convincing your local municipality into funding their lack of taste and having it rubbed into your face each time you drive past a public building or go to the airport. Far too many "artists" are self important snits who goad society into funding them by making it to be "if you don't fund the arts your just cavemen/bigots/etc" so that we end up paying stupid sums of money to people who can't sell their product to anyone with a sense of sight or taste.

      Like I posted elsewhere in this thread, I didn't go there to save the world or community. I contributed to something that sparked my fancy and at the same time let me have some fun. (speaking of the trebuchets). However this type of site will also go along way in teaching these artists just what society values, not just what they think society should value. It does this by giving them immediate exposure to their peer's successes and failures.

      If your looking for something to change the world or benefit other nations there are hundreds of charities that can use your money, some can use your time if your willing. give.org lists thousands of them so can check to see if the one you chose is worthwhile.

    • by tacokill (531275)
      Very interesting comment. It's interesting to me because there are many "alternative" finance markets out in the world from micro-loans to setups like this.

      The simple fact is this: if things like this had any merit, they would have already gotten funding from traditional channels. That they don't is an indication of the lack of value. It's not some grand conspiracy to "keep artists down". It is simply reflective of the value artists are perceived to bring to the table. If these projects were v
      • by s73v3r (963317)

        I think you are very, very, very wrong. Just because someone decides to use Kickstarter, or something similar, is NO INDICATION OF IT'S LACK OF VALUE.

        • by tacokill (531275)
          You can think whatever you want. However, my description matches what actually happened.

          Isn't it obvious that if these projects were "valuable", they would be pursued by many parties who want to develop them? Why do you think the project is valuable when, presumably, it has not gathered enough support to acquire funding?

          Do you think reasonable people look at opportunities and just turn away when they are good opportunities? Maybe in the fairy-tale land that many /.'ers live in that is the case.
          • by s73v3r (963317)

            You can think whatever you want. However, my description matches what actually happened.

            No, it doesn't. Your description is a wild leap to conclusions. Because someone chose funding route X, obviously they are less qualified than someone who chose funding route Y, right?

            Do you think reasonable people look at opportunities and just turn away when they are good opportunities?

            Do you think it's reasonable that said investors know of every single opportunity in the world with which to support art?

            However, in real life....people take advantage of good opportunities if they recognize them for what they are.

            Because supporting art is a huge investment opportunity. You realize this is a way to get funding for creative endeavors, which gives no real return, except maybe a copy of the item, if it is funded, right?

            And to the other posters point: agreed that it is not the final arbiter. But it is the primary arbiter.

            Ag

      • You assume that every valuable project will be invested in, which is not strictly true. Many ideas are passed over not because the idea is worthless, but because the large company cannot make a large enough percentage from the investment. Many scripts are passed over thanks to this, yet the script may win many rewards at Sundance Festivals; big investors think in terms of quick recoup on investment, and not everything qualifies.

        The publishing industry abounds with tales of authors submitting their book to t

    • by mapuche (41699)

      I was so disappointed to learn that the majority of Kickstarter projects are stupid and have no actual value. I was expecting a community of charity workers with great ideas to help developing nations, or something along those lines, of people with really awesome ideas that just need some money to get "kickstarted".

      They don't have value to you. Kickstarter is clearly stated as a site to rise money for creative projects, not for charity or help poor countries. We all can create a better world in so many ways

    • by s73v3r (963317)

      So don't fund the ones you think are stupid, and fund the ones that are worthwhile. And realize that the site was started as a way for artists to get funding for their work.

      Or, go start your own Kickstarter project, and show us what an worthwhile project looks like.

    • I myself am one of said artists, to an extent, but I am a firm believer in Kickstarter being a great tool for artists. I myself have been funding the production of my new album (blues) for a couple years now out of pocket. I've been trying to figure out how to handle preorders, and after seeing the Asylum Street Spanker's campaign, I realized a great way to do it - a Kickstarter campaign. The money goes towards equipment for live shows/touring, and also gives fans of my music a chance to snag copies of the new album (a month early, in fact), get commissioned tunes, or even get one of my old beater guitars should they feel generous enough (or think I'm famous enough to warrant it's purchase). Essentially, I'm turning the fans into the record label. They front the project, and get what they want in return. I love the idea of being able to directly support my favorite bands without dealing with a record label taking an obnoxious cut, and Kickstarter is the perfect way to do it.

      Also, once the album is out and I've got my gear, I'll be using Kickstarter to not only sell my album (outside of Amazon/iTunes/physical locations), but to help with another project I've been dreaming of.. A way to get guitars to kids in low-income families. I'm guessing that's probably more in-line with what you'd like to see Kickstarter being used for. There are a lot of kids who love music, and want to get into it, but don't have the financial means to do so. Guitars are relatively cheap, and are quite prolific in the music industry.

      Not all of us self-absorbed starving artists are complete bastards :)

    • by vadim_t (324782)

      So is most of the Internet, and everything else really.

      But I don't see anybody arguing that an internet connection has little value to it.

      I think Kickstarter could be much improved by allowing people to set up filters to search for, and exclude stuff. For instance, I'd subscribe to the following:

      project under an open source license, project is a physical product, project is related to 3D printing or arduino.

      I'd probably spend even more money that way and I already overdid it a bit.

  • It's not just businesses and it has many Slashdot community projects.

    This Kickstarter project -- http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/492851406/big-beautiful-public-art-by-parsons-class-in-union [kickstarter.com] -- is by a techy art project by a guy first profiled in Slashdot for a related business -- http://slashdot.org/story/02/08/16/1833215/Animated-Ads-in-a-Subway-Near-You [slashdot.org] -- about ten years ago.

    There's also Diaspora, inspired by Eben Moglen, which was hugely successful, generating press in the NY Times and more -- http: [kickstarter.com]

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday April 29, 2011 @11:55AM (#35976306)
    A huge problem with Kickstarter is that it requires an Amazon account before it will take your money. If they used PayPal or some other service, they could just take credit cards, with no membership required.

    Some people will simply not contribute if they have to sign up for an account first. I know that I usually won't. So by adding unnecessary requirements before they will even accept your money, they reduce contributions.

    And to those who say it is a place to "buy things beforehand": no, it is not. You are contributing to a cause. In exchange, you might be offered something of value. But it is not a matter of "buying things". It is a matter of supporting good causes.
    • by McKing (1017)

      I wonder if Kickstarter went with Amazon because Paypal may not have the concept of a delayed payment. Essentially what you do with Kickstarter is escrow a contribution until the "critical mass" of contributions is reached within the time frame of the campaign, and only then is everyone's credit card actually charged. Kickstarter could do that themselves (charge at donation time, refund if critical mass is never reached), but then they get into a gray area of accounting for that escrowed money themselves,

      • That may be true, but regardless of their reasons, I think it still costs them a lot of contributions.
      • by hitmark (640295)

        Quite likely as i recall Openpandora got into trouble with Paypal because they could not report shipment sent after x days of payment.

      • by fean (212516)

        Amazon also offers the lowest processing %.

      • PayPal does support authorizing merchants to withdraw funds from your account though, I don't think there is any way to limit how much they can take though.
  • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Friday April 29, 2011 @11:57AM (#35976344) Journal

    So it's a place where people can pay... money for... bespoke services. That's novel.

    Except that they take 5%, plus another 3-5% for Amazon payments, and there's a big list of rules.

    No thanks.

  • by IHC Navistar (967161) on Friday April 29, 2011 @11:59AM (#35976370)

    How, exactly, is this money going to be used? As long at it gets spent on projects that are innovative, I have no problem.

    However, if they wind up financing some art junkie's skidmarks, or a large percentage of each dollar gets spent on "administrative costs" (like the Red Cross), and not something that will actually contribute anything of practical value, they will lose credibility rapidly. Knowing the kinds of incredibly stupid mistakes that wealthy organizations can make is why I am undecided on how this will turn out.

    • by s73v3r (963317)

      If you don't think a project has any value, then don't donate to it. Simple.

    • by McKing (1017)

      They don't finance the campaigns, the fans of that project do. It's that simple. They provide the framework, the artist themselves try to drum up support for their own project, and if the campaign isn't fully funded by the end date of the campaign, no one gets charged any money at all.

      A friend financed his latest album via Kickstarter, set a target for $2500 and ended up with over $4000!! He was able to record the album, get proper artwork, distribution, etc... and in return everyone who donated received

    • by godrik (1287354)

      On kickstarter, you give money to a particular project. It is that person moral responsability to do something clever with the money. kickstarter takes a constant fee of 5% (if I recall correctly)

  • I had an idea for the perfect Kickstarter project, one that would be sure to reach its funding. Sadly, I cannot do it myself.

    Think -- what, above all else, does the internet desire? The answer is porn. And what has been the unreachable goal, as far as porn is concerned? Zero-gee porn. People want to have sex in zero-gee, they want to know what it's like to have sex in space, and they will pay to watch the first ever porn made in outer space.

    The new commercial spaceflight company Virgin Galactic is sell

    • You'd probably get more cheaper from hiring a plane to fly a parabolic path.
      • Vomit Comet

      • by Zenaku (821866)

        That's already been done. I would google up a link for you, but I'm at work and don't think I want to be logged typing the necessary search terms into my search box.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        A vomit comet can get you about 30 seconds of zero-gee. If you can climax in that amount of time, feel free to make your own film.

  • This site has been used to make a lot art at burning man possible as of late.

    some of the stuff sucks but there is some fancy high tech art out there that is quite involved... lotsa technical/engineering smarts to make some of the things happen... and survive for the whole event.

  • I'd never heard of it until a couple of days ago, but today (before seeing this article on /.) I pledged some money to an Amiga documentary ( http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vivaamiga/viva-amiga-the-documentary-film [kickstarter.com] ). With today being 17 years since Commodore went bust it seemed a good day to pre-order it.

  • Kickstarter should boldly state that it only supports US citizens---although it receives donations from around the world. This would save a lot of us spending our time, effort and hope...only do be told we are illegible.
    • by RockDoctor (15477)

      Kickstarter should boldly state that it only supports US citizens

      Uh oh. Didn't know that.

      Well, I looked in the FAQs and found this [kickstarter.com]

      "I'm not in the US. Can I fund my project on Kickstarter?

      Currently a US bank account is required to start a project. This is a restriction by Amazon Payments, our payments processor. If you don't have a US bank account and are interested in starting a project, we appreciate your patience (we're working on it!)."

      So they seem to be pretty up-front about it (now ; I can well imag

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