I love when ideas beget new ideas and someone is continually coming up with an idea I wish I’d had. Kickstarter is the new kid on the block with a great idea.
This website a great way for artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers, writers, illustrators, explorers, curators, performers, and others to bring their projects, events, and dreams to life.
The word “project” is just as important as “creative” in defining what works on Kickstarter. A project is something finite with a clear beginning and end. Someone can be held accountable to the framework of a project — a project was either completed or it wasn’t — and there are definable expectations that everyone can agree to. This is imperative for every Kickstarter project.
The way it works is: you post your project on the site and come up with different “rewards” at different levels to encourage funding. Some “rewards” can be a simple as “At $10 you receive good karma for helping foster creativity” to “At $50 you get a copy of the finished CD autographed by the artist” to “At $1,000 you get VIP seating at the first screening of our independent movie and Associate Producer credit.” You choose the most interesting “rewards” you can think of, pitch your idea on the site and go.
And here’s the one caveat: If funding fails, all pledges are canceled and that’s that. There are good reasons for this.
1. It’s less risk for everyone. If you need $5,000, it’s tough having $2,000 and a bunch of people expecting you to complete a $5,000 project.
2. It allows people to test concepts (or conditionally sell stuff) without risk. If you don’t receive the support you want, you’re not compelled to follow through.
3. It motivates. If people want to see a project come to life, they’re going to spread the word.
There are lots of great success stories already.
A friend of mine from Broadway, Deidre Goodwin, is currently raising funding to develop a DVD called “The Broadway Warm-up” with her partner Kim Stern. Both are Broadway veterans and understand the need to warm-up thoroughly before a show. In addition to avoiding injuries, it gives you a time to center yourself before a performance. I think the idea is excellent – it’s a 30 minute combined vocal and physical warm-up. Efficient and focused. The girls tell the story much better than I do. I really encourage anyone – whether you’re a college performing arts student, a community theater participant or a theater professional – to check it out.
And if you feel it, donate something. I did. And it doesn’t have to be a lot. Even a little gets the “producers” of these projects to their goal. And you get to be a part of someone’s creative journey. AND at the very least you receive good karma in doing so.
Even if you only pitch in $15, that’s the cost of a cocktail or two. I say, sometime this week when you sit down to have a drink or dinner, order a club soda and lime, send the money you saved in that one sitting to The Broadway Warm-up and toast the creative spirit of Deidre and Kim. And feel good you did something to help.
Most of the people who read this blog have some creative or entrepreneurial spirit. Kickstart someone else’s dream today, then start your own. Get out there and make something happen instead of waiting for something to happen.
To see more about The Broadway Warm-up, click here. From there you can explore other projects and what Kickstarter is all about.