Funding Creativity: A look at Kickstarter

The news media is all abuzz because of an idea that Steve Jobs mentioned at the last Apple splash. Steve-san told the world about the new iPod Nano and then mentioned that someone might make a watch strap for it someday.

That passing comment caught the ear of Steve Wilson, a designer and owner of a company based in Chicago named MINIMAL. Guess what? Steve Wilson designs two Nano watch straps and puts them on on Kickstarter to see if he can raise $15,000 to get the straps manufactured. His designs are called TikTok + LunaTik.

His idea took off and at the time of writing this post, Steve Wilson has raised over $718,000. That's almost 4000% more than what he was looking for. Amazing. But it never could have happened without Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is a website that funds creativity. If you have an idea (any idea) you could put it up on Kickstarter and ask people to fund it. What so great about Kickstarter is that people simply pledge the money to your idea using their credit card but they don't get charged until the project is 100% funded. Brilliant.If your project doesn't get fully funded... nobody owes you anything but an, "Aw, shucks!"

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Some win and some lose. What's so effective about Kickstarter is the reality of mutual benefits. The projects that become successful usually have a benefit for both the creator and the the supporters. That's lesson one in any successful idea. The only way you can win is when you provide a solution to a problem.

The bad news is that you need a U.S. bank account to put your idea on Kickstarter. If you're Canadian like me... that creates an interesting opportunity. For that matter, if you live anywhere but the U.S. there's a great opportunity to get your own countries Kickstarter going.

If only there was a way to raise funds for it...?

Tim Tamashiro