Kickstarter.com – Some of my favorites

If you’ve never heard of Kickstarter, please allow me to make an introduction. Kickstarter.com is a website where inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, etc. can post their project ideas and solicit funds while offering various incentives for those who participate. What is revolutionary about Kickstarter is how well it combines the web’s ubiquity and easy payment options into a “viral funding” opportunity. It has allowed people with ideas to market their ideas directly to the people who are most interested in them. Some of the more successful projects have raised tens of thousands of dollars in just a few days. The term “Kickstart” is quickly becoming a verb used to describe crowd-sourced fundraising.

My Favorites

Now that I’ve introduced you to the Kickstarter concept, please allow me to give you a rundown of some of my favorites:

olloclip: iPhone 4 quick change camera lens system
(View on Kickstarter)

The olloclip was the first Kickstarter project that really caught my attention. I liked the concept so much that I pledged $45 to become a backer. In return for my pledge, I received my own olloclip before it became available in stores for $60 retail.

The olloclip Kickstarter was highly successful with 1,300 backers who pledged $68,201 which far surpassed the project’s funding goal of $15,000. After its successful launch, the olloclip eventually found its way into several retail markets including the Apple Store.

Ice Cream Boat with a mission in TN
(View on Kickstarter)

Although not as “high-profile” as some Kickstarters, I personally know the people behind this project. Their idea was to take a pontoon boat and sell ice cream on East Tennessee lakes. Their project goal was $3,000, and they hit it with $80 to spare.

HAND Stylus
(View on Kickstarter)

I’ve been looking for the perfect stylus to use with my iPad for a while. With its smallest in class, retractable tip, the HAND Stylus looks to fit the bill. Mine should be arriving in the next couple of weeks. In addition, I also bought one for my mother as a birthday gift.

Noteworthy Kickstarter Projects

Aside from my favorites, these Kickstarter projects deserve a mention because of the unique milestones they’ve achiveved:

THE ICARUS DECEPTION: WHY MAKE ART? New from Seth Godin
(View on Kickstarter)

Seth Godin is a popular author and speaker who has written such books as Tribes and Permission Marketing. Via his Kickstarter project he raised his goal of $40,000 in three hours. More importantly, he used his project to “send a signal to risk-averse publishers and booksellers”: Kickstarter is a new way of generating enthusiasm and support for a book before its publication. Its an opportunity to lower risk for publishers and empower more authors to publish by giving them a means to raise funds on the frontend.

OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console
(View on Kickstarter)

At the time of this writing, the OUYA Kickstarter has raised over $3.5 million and broken all previous Kickstarter funding records. Furthermore, it surpassed its funding goal of $950,000 in its first eight hours this past Monday. Find out more about its record breaking performance in this Inc. article: OUYA Breaks Kickstarter Record.

What is OUYA? It’s a video game console for the TV powered by Android. The platform is built upon an open-source philosophy that encourages independent developers. Their goal is to produce a video gaming system which obliterates traditional barriers to video game development.

Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android
(View on Kickstarter)

The Pebble E-Paper watch is currently the highest funded Kickstarter ever at $10,266,845. It’s a customizable watch that works with your iPhone or Android mobile device. It uses Bluetooth to talk to your phone, and it allows you to download custom watchfaces, receive silent vibrations alerting you to incoming calls, emails and messages, and more.

Find Your Own Favorite Projects, Become a Backer

Based on my favorites, you might get the idea that Kickstarter is almost exclusively “tech” type projects. However, the content of this list simply reflects where my interests lie. If you’ve never visited the Kickstarter website, I encourage you to check it out and find something that interests you in one of their many categories: Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film & Video, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology and Theater.

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