Crowdfunded ideas reach $1 million milestone on Kickstarter this week.
Kickstarter is an online fundraising site that launched in 2009 and, to date, has helped many hopeful entrepreneurs launch their dreams.
This week, not only one hopeful reached a record-breaking $1 million crowdfunded project, but two.
First this week was Casey Hopkins, an engineer based in Portland, Ore., reports NPR. Hopkins' was sick of the iPhone docks he'd purchased at the stores and decided to design his own.
Casey Hopkins was able to raise over $1 million on Kickstarter for his iPhone dock project
NPR reported, "They're these little plastic pucks and they don't work if you have a case on your phone," he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "And they're so lightweight that when you go to grab it, the whole thing comes with it."
Once his design, dubbed the Elevation Dock, was complete, he took video of his prototypes and placed his project on Kickstarter asking for $75,000 of assistance to launch this product.
Within eight hours the goal was met, and now has $1,464,706 in venture capital. At this point he has over $165K pre-orders coming in from across the globe. Hopkins' priority is getting out the product to those who helped fund the project, but will sell the product online later this year for about $90.
Right after Hopkins' amazing success on Kickstarter came Double Fine Productions looking to fund its new point-and-click adventure game. Double Fine is not a startup company, having been founded in 2000 by Tim Schafer to create video games. With this new product, however, the company decided to skip the traditional route and try to fund their new video game from Kickstarter.
Double Fine Productions turned to Kickstarter to fund their latest video game having high success
And they succeeded. Originally seeking out $400,000 to fund the new adventure video game, within 24-hours it hit the $1 million mark with a little over a month to go left on the fundraising.
While loans, investors and other backers have primarily been the means for entrepreneurs and established businesses to get their products built, Kickstarter offers a unique possibility for creators to get a project off the ground without having to worry about not taking risks or experimenting with their ideas and designs. Through crowdfunded monies, companies have the "luxury" of taking their project from beginning to end without external input or interference.
Double Fine points out, "To finance the production, promotion, and distribution of these massive undertakings, companies like Double Fine have to rely on external sources like publishers, investment firms, or loans. And while they fulfill an important role in the process, their involvement also comes with significant strings attached that can pull the game in the wrong directions or even cancel its production altogether. Thankfully, viable alternatives have emerged and gained momentum in recent years."
The video game producers also say through crowdfunding they can be more transparent in how they share the inside of their company. Stating, "Not the sanitized commercials-posing-as-interviews that marketing teams only value for their ability to boost sales, but an honest, in-depth insight into a modern art form that will both entertain and educate gamers and non-gamers alike."
Funders who contributed to Double Fine's campaign will also receive, in addition to a copy of the game, access to an exclusive documentary series showing each step of Double Fine's production process.
Kickstarter has posted a run-down of the events that transpired from Wed. to Fri. last week with the incredible public response to these projects. With the record-breaking successes found this week, Kickstarter is likely also well on its way to seeing a higher degree of success.
Kickstarter is the legitimate funding platform for creative projects
It was in 2010 the crowdfund website perhaps first saw one of its earliest experiences of widespread media coverage when startup Diaspora* placed their project on Kickstarter. In response to its fundraiser, the new startup received a tremendous amount of support for the privacy centric social network that was promoted to allow users control of their own personal data. For this project, Diaspora* asked for $10,000, and the goal was rapidly met and exceeded. In the end, the project raised $200,641.
Later in 2010, a product called TikTok and LunaTik took off raising an impressive $942,578; originally creator Scott Wilson and the MINIMAL team were asking for $15,000.
Is crowdfunding paving the road to the future of entrepreneurship and/or other business projects? In modern times as the financial industry and big business are often criticized, this concept could theoretically change how businesses get funding. If the concept of raising capital on the through online backers, without strings attached, continues to gain steam as the social web evolves, this may be just one more step closer to cutting out another middle man. Not unlike has occurred in other industries over the past several years as technology progresses.