Kickstarter is a website that offers a unique form of funding for creative projects. It's called "crowd-funding" and all the kids are doing it.

Just The Facts

  1. Kickstarter was launched in 2008
  2. Back then it was known as "Kickstartr"
  3. They have raised over $175,000,000 in pledges
  4. Someone raised $10 million to make a fancy watch (most funded project ever)

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a way for people to fund creative and inventive projects. The premise of the site is to fund these projects through something called "crowd-funding". Which means putting these projects up for display so people can donate or "pledge" to them. These projects can be pretty much anything. Music, art, food, films, webcomics, watches, dance, performance art, books, and various other pointless endevors.

KickStarter was launched in 2008, and quckly became popular. By 2010 they had 10,000 successful projects, and by 2011 that doubled to 20,000. People really love throwing their money at other people's ideas, crazy as they might be. Now people don't do this just out of the kindness of their hearts. If they donate enough money they are rewarded with fabulous prizes, like T-shirts and hats and junk. You might even get a bus if you have deep enough pockets.

So here's how it works. You create a project, just a thing or a yet to be created thing. You make a fancy video about your thing. People see it and either give you money, or consider your idea too crazy for them. Kickstarter can be a cruel and unforgiving mistress, only 46% of all projects are funded successfully.

The Rules

That's right, Kickstater has rules for this shit.

So you start putting together a project, there are certain kickstarter rules for said projects, such as:

Rule #1 - Funding for Projects Only

A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it. A project is not open-ended. Starting a business, for example, does not qualify as a project.

In other words, as long as your "thing" is a thing, and it will be a thing when you are done, it's cool.

"Rule #2 - Projects must fit Kickstarter's categories

They currently support projects in the categories of: "Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater"

Your thing needs a label, it needs to be a film thing, or a technology thing, or a video game thing. we need to label the thing so it can be easly sorted into Kickstarter.

"Rule #3 - Prohibited uses

"No charity or cause funding"

You can't cure cancer with Kickstarter (not a bad slogan).

"No 'fund my life' projects."

Kickstarter won't pay for you to go to college, and you're going to have to buy your own hooker.

"Prohibited content"

There are some things they just don't allow on Kickstarter:

  • Alcohol (prohibited as a reward) (lol)
  • Automotive products
  • Baby products
  • Bath and beauty products
  • Contests (entry fees, prize money, within your project to encourage support, etc)
  • Cosmetics
  • Coupons, discounts, and cash-value gift cards
  • Drugs, drug-like substances, drug paraphernalia, tobacco, etc
  • Electronic surveillance equipment
  • Energy drinks (this one totally should happen)
  • Exercise and fitness products
  • Financial incentives (ownership, share of profits, repayment/loans, etc)
  • Firearms, weapons, and knives (what if they are fantasy weapons?)
  • Health and personal care products
  • Heating and cooling products
  • Home improvement products
  • Infomercial or As-Seen-on-TV type products
  • Items not directly produced by the project or its creator (no offering things from the garage, repackaged existing products, weekends at the resort, etc)
  • Medical and safety-related products
  • Multilevel marketing and pyramid programs
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Offensive material (hate speech, inappropriate content, 4chan, etc)
  • Pet supplies
  • Pornographic material (also sad)
  • Projects endorsing or opposing a political candidate( kickstopper)
  • Projects promoting or glorifying acts of violence
  • Projects using Kickstarter simply to sell existing inventory
  • Raffles, lotteries, and sweepstakes
  • Real estate
  • Self-help books, DVDs, CDs, etc (Totally creative, by the way, these people are crazy)"


Ok so you are building a thing that you label as "Art" and it isn't an energy drink with a knife attached to it (Anymore). Now it's time to set the project goals. This is where you determine how much money it will take to build you weaponized sugar water... I mean "Art". There are a few ways to determine how much money you need. Building costs, parts, materials, equipment and other such things should all be researched before hand. So you got that price set, right? Now cut it in half!

"or you could have kickstater give you a small fortune for a watch"

That's right! In its Q/A section, Kickstarter says you should expect to fund a portion of your project with your own money if you really want to succeed. The reason being, is that kickstarter is "all or nothing" funding. So you either reach your goal or get nothing. Now you can always go over that goal, which is nice, but if you are even a dollar short you get nothing. (You are also not allowed to give yourself money, that'll get you booted real quick). So make sure your goal is attainable.

Now you need to set an amount of time to accomplish your goal of $100,000 for your "Energy drink-knife art". This is anywhere from 1-60 days. Watch out though, too short and you won't get the money in time, too long and people stop caring. Usually 30 days is good.

Finally, you need to pick "incentives" for dollar amounts pledged. A t-shirt or hat is a good start. No giving away gift cards or a share of the profits from product sales once the "Art" is complete though. All rewards must be user created. (Don't forget to add the cost of this shit to your budget). Slap together a video of you and your "totally Art thing" and write a few words to the masses and you are set to go.

"You know it would be awesome, mabe even add a tazer to it"

That was the easy part, now you get to market your project for the next 1-60 days straight. You will hate your own work by the end of it. Right around day 20 when you only have $500 of the $1 billion you asked for, you will think to yourself, "What the fuck was I thinking?" At the end you will hate your project and tell your backers that you're tired of looking at it and you're not going to do it.

That is when you remember the best part about this, if you don't make your horrible "Knife glued to a can", the 5 dudes who threw down for 1,000 dollars are completely within thier rights to find you and break your legs with a bat. That's right, if you don't keep your promise to kickstarter you are completely liable for the money they gave you (that you spent on hookers and blow).