Even when you live in a world of innovation, it might be very hard to
get the first round of funding your start-up might need to develop its
product/service. Few months ago some projects such as the Peeble watch,Coffee Joulies or even Diaspora would have had a hard time finding such
early-stage money. The latter recently outreached its 100,000$ funding
goal with a 10,266,845$ total pledge - instantly becoming the
crowdfunding proof story.
So what do these projects have in common? How did they "kickstart"
their first weeks? The answer is in the name: Kickstarter. This
platform, which has been an amazing success these last years, is
revolutionizing the start-up scene and the design process.
Are project backers the new VCs in town? Well, on a given project,
you'll have more backers than VCs. They are fundamentally more interested in
its backstage stories. They are often helping hands when needed. They
are your first fans, and will be your first beta-testers. They are here
to stay and they won't ask for shares. They just have less money per
capita to invest in your big new idea. But when you see how an
accumulation of small donations
can reach $750 millions and get a man
elected as President of the United States, you can hope for the best.
Rewards are the new shares. As Kickstarter does not authorize
ownership, or share of profit on its platform, project creators must
design alternative but compelling rewards to attract backers. It goes
from symbolic value (credits) to traditional goodies (badges, posters,
tee-shirts) and if possible an exclusive and often discounted version of
the final product or even an entertaining experience in some cases.
Rewards are what makes a project bankable: their design and their
creativity reflects how much project creators feel about their
community, their backers, and the degree of involvement they are looking
for on their side.
Kickstarter, even with its amazing metrics, still offers some place
for local competitors such as KissKissBankBank
in Europe. In the same
spirit that led Kickstarter to its current success, KissKissBankBank
makes it a priority to individually help, advise and review each
project. They also developed very interesting partnerships with local
for movie or documentary projects screenings, and a feature
, where special backers are allowed to help a
project financially or make it more visible.