The action sports job website Malakye.com just posted an interview with some creative individuals including Cyrus Sutton about their thoughts on using Kickstarter as a means to get funding for creative ideas.
If you’re a creative type and you haven’t heard of Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, do yourself a favor and check out the site which was designed and developed to help people (like you!) kickstart creative and executable ideas.
Kickstarter was launched in the Spring of 2009, and in the three+ years of operation there have been over 27,000 successfully funded projects sourceing over $266 million in startup monies (as of August 10, 2012, according to Kickstarter stats).
The New York Times states Kickstarter is “an unexpected influence on indie culture, a new model for a D.I.Y. generation.” This is confirmed by the successful funding of nearly half of the projects launched on the site. According to the site, “every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.”
The average project on Kickstarter raises just under $10,000, but many projects have raised significantly more. Just this week ,Ouya – a company based in Los Angeles featuring a new game console for the TV – ended their campaign, successfully receiving 904% of their project’s funding goal. Ouya managed to crowd-source $8,596,475, a successful campaign indeed.
Do you have an idea and want to start a project of your own? Or, are you curious on how Kickstarter works? Well, we spoke with three creative minds who successfully used the site to launch or re-launch a project of their own creation. Meet Cyrus Sutton, the Director & Photographer for Korduroy.TV, Casey Lorenzen, VP of Marketing & Brand Manager for MHM Gear, and Jesse Genet, the CEO of Lumi Co. Read on for some of their thoughts on Kickstarter.
What’s happened since you reached your funding goal?
Cyrus: KorduroyTV is known for our high quality video content centered around healthy, DIY outdoor culture. Since our Kickstart,we’ve been able to improve on the story and production quality as well as add new series like DIY-Not?
Casey: Since starting the company and launching our product just over a year ago, we have experienced crazy growth. With the success of initiatives like Kickstarter, we only see spikes in that growth. Since our project’s success, MHM has gained a lot of recognition in and outside of the industry, including the cover of Backpacker Magazine’s Editors Choice Award issue. And, we recently launched our new line of backpacking packs at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City.
Jesse: Since we’ve reached our goal we’ve been working around the clock to fulfill our pledges as well as doing a lot of strategizing for what our next steps are. We are interested in seeing the Lumi printing process grow into a technology that is accessible to creative people all over the world and so Kickstarter represents a very early phase of sharing it with the world.
Obviously the benefits of successfully funding a project through Kickstarter is having those monies available to pursue your passion – can you think of any negative aspects of Kickstarter, if there are any?
Cyrus: There are definitely pluses and minuses. Many businesses get lured into the idea of crowd-sourcing thinking that it’s a meal ticket. But the cost of our prizes combined with shipping and Amazon fees ended up netting us about 10 dollars an hour. Looking back, we are very appreciative to have that $10/hr job and Kickstarter facilitated that opportunity but it was far from a free lunch. I think tech gadgets will have a longer run, but crowd-sourcing for media production and other endeavors are rapidly approaching critical mass. I equate Kickstarter to running a farm stand. If you’re the only food for many miles then you’ll sell a lot of fruit, but if you’re sandwiched between 4 other stands and a convenience store you better have some amazing deals and top quality stuff. This ultimately cuts your profits and makes you work harder for each dollar.
Casey: It really was nothing but positives from start to finish. The site has an immensely broad reach; it has a clean, user-friendly platform and was easy to maintain. The only real downside to our project was that with the incentive rewards, we had to cut pretty deep into our margins on the packs, which again, we just chalked up as a marketing expense. One thing we didn’t foresee was that, with the amount of packs sold, came the logistics of delivering that many packs in a short period of time to funders who were “eager” to get their rewards.
Jesse: Since we have a physical product and a very international audience there are some technical difficulties with the Kickstarter platform because it isn’t arranged to make shipping charges and international shipping easy – but all in all this is a small issue. Our entire experience with Kickstarter has been overwhelmingly positive.