» What if Kickstarter started a movement that is so successful it doesn’t need Kickstarter anymore?

What if Kickstarter started a movement that is so successful it doesn’t need Kickstarter anymore?

We have all been very impressed by the success of Kickstarter and the alternative way of funding it gives to artists, movie producers or startups, I contributed myself to a few projects, from Whit Scott’s film Rolled that was very successful and allowed Whit to make his dream come true to Pebble Watch (still waiting for my watches). Pebble wanted to raise $100k and instead got a whopping $10million. Even books get financed on Kickstarter, Seth Godin had a goal of $40,000 for his new book and sold for $287,342 from 4,242 backers…

Singer Amanda Palmer had a $100k goal and raised $1,192,793 instead for her new album. If you haven’t you should really watch her TED talk and the video on her project page it’s very interesting to see how she did it. We discussed it at TED with Philippe Starck that I was seating next to when we watched Amanda live and we disagreed. I thought it was awesome and Philippe said 1) “nothing new” many bands raised like this and 2) it’s like begging and that sucks. I don’t know why being financed by your fans or people who like your product idea sucks, sadly we did not have the time to continue the conversation but I will meet Philippe again and ask him. He definitely knows a thing or two about creation, but might not know how Kickstarter is becoming a huge movement and differs from… a homeless begging in the street (which is respectable in many ways too). 

 

I’m amazed as an entrepreneur that you can raise millions without any dilution or having to leave with investors and a board for the rest of the company life. 

Kickstarter’s CEO Perry Chen has an open invite to speak at LeWeb London June 5-6, in case his team or Perry reads this, I really hope you can make it or send a representative of the company.

I also funded a failed project from a friend, POP launched by Jamie Siminoff. It’s something todo with the new iPhone5 connector that prevented Jamie from launching it (I hear Apple did not like it) and that’s the dark side of Kickstarter, the page doesn’t say it failed and I never received any notification I would never get the product. I am not sure if my credit card was debited or not, I forgot, and I am not sure either there was any kind of refund. Jamie is a great entrepreneur so no doubt it’s going to be all right but Kickstarter doesn’t do a great job at communicating with the backers I think. I might have missed an email but it clearly makes me wonder about how reliable are the projects. 

There are apparently many failed projects and it’s difficult to find them but then if you think about entrepreneurship in general there is also a lot of failure.

Kickstarting without Kickstarter

Everlane kickstaring

What strikes me these days is that many projects finance themselves “a la kickstarter”, it even looks like kickstarter, but they do it without kickstarter. A great example Axelle pointed to me is Everlane launching their Canada site using crowd funding. First, think about it, we’re not talking about an individual without means here but a company already apparently successful in other markets, which is interesting. Then look how they do it: the widget on the side looks and behaves like kickstarter, looking for backers and promising them advantages deepening on how much they contribute.  

In other words, Everlane think (and likely has) enough of a community, customers and online juice to make them prepay their Canada launch and doesn’t need the promotion that Kickstarter brings to crowdsource projects. 

The thing is, they did not need Kickstarter, they are Kickstarting “a la Kickstarter” without Kickstarter.

Is that the beginning of a movement? There are many big enough brands online that could do this. Look at Seth Godin and his book I mentioned earlier, did he need Kickstarter? Probably not.

What do you guys think? Will Kickstarter be there only for the projects and brands that don’t have a community yet to support them and we will see thousands of crowdsourced project that do have a community use the same principle but without Kickstarter? 



  • http://specialbrands.net/ Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

    I’ve seen some instant KickStarter themed Crowdfunding kits on GitHub.

  • http://www.loiclemeur.com/ Loic Le Meur

    thanks Daniel


    Loic

  • Aze

    Great blog post, but you should have talked about lockitron

  • http://www.loiclemeur.com/ Loic Le Meur

    yeah Lockitron is a great example too, we had them on stage at LeWeb Paris.

    Loic

  • http://twitter.com/PeterLang Peter Lang

    Great to see you blogging again Loic! Un bon article.

    I believe KickStarter plays an important role as a platform to those lacking a community.

    Example: Under Water Realm   http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/realmpictures/explore-the-underwater-realm 

    If you have the community you don’t necessary need KickStater’s.

  • http://www.loiclemeur.com/ Loic Le Meur

    Peter, thanks and no doubt about that.


    Loic

  • michel nizon

    The magic is that every one using Kickstarter for founding a new project bring with him his own community without really realizing it. After that, may be Kickstarter has a snow ball effect on that community.

  • Thomas Cocirta

    Just had the same thoughts yesterday. We don’t need “centralized” tools like kickstarter! We need distributed toolsand a better search technology. Let the search technology do the “centralizing” job. Or some “push” (instead of “pull” ) web agent keeping people updated with information they might be interested in. Of course the projects needing this “distributed kickstarting”, should make a better job in “pushing” their information toward potential backers. P2p should be the norm.

  • http://wmougayar.com/ William Mougayar

    Well…The platform (whether KickStarter or another one) adds some legitimacy and a sense of quality assurance because they are vetting those projects. 

    I think if you’re a known person, you may not need the platform to fund your project perhaps, (although you’d have to worry about administering your raise), but if you’re not widely known but have a great idea, then the platform is a good choice. 

  • http://twitter.com/Galaad Stef Galaad

    Is the future of KickStarter to become a distributed solution instead of a destination site? Could they offer the tools for anyone to integrate a KickStarter module on their site/Facebook page/blog, so that crowdfunding exists within the limits of existing communities? This might be something they’re working on.

  • http://twitter.com/Galaad Stef Galaad

    Is the future of KickStarter to become a distributed solution instead of a destination site? Could they offer the tools for anyone to integrate a KickStarter module on their site/Facebook page/blog, so that crowdfunding exists within the limits of existing communities? This might be something they’re working on.

  • http://twitter.com/sdelbecque Stephane Delbecque

    Is the future of KickStarter to become a distributed solution instead of a destination site? Could they offer the tools for anyone to integrate a KickStarter module on their site/Facebook page/blog, so that crowdfunding lives within the limits of existing communities? This might be something they’re working on.

  • http://www.loiclemeur.com/ Loic Le Meur

    Hey Stef, yeah that would be very smart for them to do! 

  • Jf dhinaux

    The only point is to find audience for the project, if a brand already have an audience potentially interested in the project, it doesn’t really need Kickstarter