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On the Enduring Scrappiness of Kickstarter and the Incubation of Creativity

Kickstarter knows what it wants to be. There is no exit plan.

There's just something magical about Kickstarter, isn't there?

While Myspace is regarded as something of a punchline right now, it really has been a boon to bands over the past decade or so. Soundcloud came along and provided a more focused approach to what Myspace did best for creative types, but it took Kickstarter to really turn the web into an incredibly powerful tool for bands, filmmakers, and anybody else who needed visibility and money to get started.

Clearly, it worked. Everybody seems to have a Kickstarter these days. And you'd think that Kickstarter would be poised to take it to the next level any minute by adding on something else or appealing more to those now well known $1 million projects (since they do take a percentage) or, you know, bigger fish than bands and documentarians.

But, at least according to what they say, they're not. (And, for what it's worth, the site really isn't built to properly handle those kinds of giant sums and the risks that accompany them.)

Kickstarter's consistent message is that the smaller creative projects are the ones closest to its heart. They're not troubled by (or particularly interested in) the legal changes coming to crowdfunding or how long it'll take for those changes to take effect because they just want to stay small and keep helping people make cool stuff:

[Co-founder Perry] Chen believes Kickstarter needs to remain a platform for creative people. And introducing an equity or investment component, he believes, would jeopardize Kickstarter's future as a company.

"People are supporting projects because they want to see them happen," Chen says. "It's so different than supporting a project because you hope it profits. The bar is so much lower—it's 'Hey, I like this project.' It's so much different than 'Will this thing make money?' Ninety percent of the ideas in the world aren't built to make money, so we're thrilled to be able to help that full spectrum—and not just focus on such a small piece of it."


It's not news, it's just refreshing.

Photo via Flickr (cc) user Tim Green.

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