Make sure your project has an ending

“Projects. Projects. Projects. Kickstarter is for the funding of projects – albums, films, specific works – that have clearly defined goals and expectations.” – guide lines.

Why is Kickstarter so obsessed with projects? Because they are tangible and help focus creators and their audience. Projects have specific goals, deadlines, and outcomes. This makes it easy for potential backers to understand where their money is going. Ideas without specific objectives are harder to support because the outcome is unknown. Projects also work well with Kickstarter’s all or nothing model, because patrons have an easy way to tell which projects are definitely going to happen.

A Creative Edge

Kickstarter describes itself as “a new way to fund & follow creativity.” It is geared toward, and is an important site for the creative arts.

Perry Chen explains:

“The landscape for creative ideas has been really constrained, because ideas need to be revenue generating… so most ideas are thrown away. What we are hoping is that other 99% of ideas can now come to a place like Kickstarter and get community funded.”

“By not forcing things to have to generate revenue, you give them a chance to really come to life… [In the past] those [projects] have been supported by grants, rich uncles, and foundations.”

Kickstarter provides a space for these creative ideas to be funded.

In order to post a project on the site it must be within the parameters Kickstarter establishes.

“Kickstarter can be used to fund projects from the creative fields of Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater. We currently only support projects from these categories.” – guidelines.

What if your project is not in the “creative arts?” Don’t get discouraged, for Kickstarter uses the term liberally. Many projects that you may not think would be classified as “creative arts” get accepted by Kickstarter. However, all projects must have some creative element in them. If you are considering using Kickstarter to raise funds, make sure you read through the guidelines in its entirety.

All Shapes and Sizes

With over 20,000 successful campaigns, there are a wide variety of Kickstarter projects. However, most are trying to do one of the following.

Kickstart a Larger Project

Kickstarter is a great way to fund parts of larger projects or businesses. I used the site to start Identifying Nelson. Others have used it as a way to launch a product which turned into a business.

Finish a Project

Zach and Jonathan used Kickstarter to save Blue Like Jazz (the movie) and raise money to complete the film. They are not the only movie that used Kickstarter to help put the finishing touches on their project.


One of the most famous Kickstarter projects, TikTok+LunaTik Multi-Touch Watch Kits, used Kickstarter as a way to pre-sell their kits. It’s a great way to test the market for a product before actually committing to making it. If the product doesn’t sell, you haven’t put any of your own money on the table.

Support a Community

The team behind Diaspora used Kickstarter to create an open-source Facebook alternative. Since the final product was free to download once they were done, you did not necessarily have to support the campaign on Kickstarter. However, by supporting the project, the whole open-source community benefited.

Spread an Idea

Because of the viral potential of Kickstarter, it is great for spreading ideas. If your project really resonates with an audience, it might spread far and wide. The Manual, a project about improving design principles, used the site to publish a book and spread the idea of better design to a larger community.

Do Something Fun

Ever wanted to build a giant Robocop statue in downtown Detroit? That’s exactly what the Imagination Station Detroit team did. They used Kickstarter as a way to get a life-sized Robocop statue built the heart of Detroit. They even got the actor who played Robocop on board. How cool is that?

A Kickstart’s Guide to Kickstarter TOC:

pssst…you can read all of this offline by downloading the e-book.

A Kickstarter’s Guide to Kickstarter: Introduction
How Kickstarter “Kickstartered” it’s own website
Understanding Kickstarter
The Basics of Kickstarter
Kickstarter is an updated version of the Parton Model
Kickstarter is like girl scout cookies…without the calories!
Make sure your project has an ending
Some additional benefits to running a Kickstarter project
Perry Chan’s Six Principles on why Kickstarter projects are successful
Yancey’s thoughts on getting funded
Brainstorming Your Project
What is this damn thing about?
Simplify your project for success
Is your project a Purple Cow?
Making Lemonade And Telling A Good Story
Reward The Patrons
Naming Your Kickstarter Project
Doing Your Homework
Before you launch, do your homework
No one cares about you
Some People Care About You
Who is Your Audience?
Where is Your Audience?
Resonating With Your Audience
Crossing Chasms
What Will it Cost?
Understanding Profit Margin and Costs
Setting Your Goals
Make or Break Decisions
Running the Numbers
Focus on what you need
Reasonable funding goals
Why be Reasonable?
How long your campaign runs depends on one thing, momentum
30 days or less
Managing Deadlines
Going for the BIG bucks
The Allure of a Large Backer
Pricing theory, thoughts about pricing your Kickstarter rewards
The Paradox of Choice
Crafting Your Pitch
Creating a compelling pitch for your Kickstarter project
Four questions people want answered when visiting your Kickstarter page.
Show some credibility to get more backers
Clarity is your friend
How to ask for Support
Kickstarter is a video-driven site
Examples of great pitch videos
Launching Your Project
Launching your project
How to track the progress of your Kickstarter campaign
The 30% Kickstarter project “Tipping Point”
How to engage an audience with a Kickstarter project: Idea & Story

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Separated from my family during El Salvador's civil war, by death and adoption, I was reunited with them at the age of 16. I do entrepreneurial art projects that are meaningful, relevant, and push me creatively.

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