Days of Change

The Kickstarter Generation | March 15, 2014

Kickstarter is a website that combined three aspects of the internet age. Cyber begging anonymously to up to millions of people, micro payments of small amounts of money and the desire of people to be part of something so big, they have no other connection to it than money. People with various projects, artistic or otherwise, could ask for a kick start of funds to make their dream a reality.

When I was younger, my dad and I used to watch one thing on PBS, Doctor Who. During the pledge drives, the station would offer some pretty neat Doctor Who swag for a minimum donation. Even though much of the merchandise was not nearly the value of the actual pledge levels, (which could go as high as $240 in the 80s) it was a bonus that took the pledge out of the realm of mere charity. Kickstarter allows creators to do the same thing. This is where problems start.

Some projects show actual business sense. One of the most famous is the Veronica Mars project, where cast and producers of the 2004 TV show collected $6 million to make a movie which premiered (in limited release) this weekend. They got over one million dollars in $50 pledges which includes a copy of the movie and documentaries on a DVD. If someone offers a tangible item in a short time table, they can be subject to review by Kickstarter or just public rebuke.

This week, John Campbell responded to public rebuke. His project to produce a sequel to his compendium of sad children drawings apparently hit a snag when promised deliveries from nearly two years ago led to refunds that led to him not having the money to ship all the books he offered for pledge money. Somehow, the shipping and printing cost of two books (the most popular reward) exceeded the $50 pledge. Better yet, he made his displeasure known in an update featuring the burning a number of books equal to the number of requests for the books he promised.

Campbell has come to the realization that having to provide something in return for money is not his goal. Instead, he has flatly refused to send further books citing poverty. Instead, he would like his basic living expenses funded by backers out of sheer respect for his art. This is the Obamanation of Kickstarter campaigns. This is the Nancy Pelosi artist who can produce art that he won’t deliver because he expects his life to be taken care of by someone else.

I think I’ll just keep my wallet closed.

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3 Comments

  1. Pelouy’s pin-up moocher.

    Comment by Mary — March 15, 2014 @ 11:20 pm

  2. Kickstarter really is an interesting idea. I like the concept of public sourced funding. Many ideas and innovations are blocked by the gatekeepers of traditional funding. It’s also reassuring to know there are some kids actually thinking about innovating and creating. Sometimes I start to wonder if they’re even going to be able to take care of themselves after their parents pass away.

    Comment by insanitybytes22 — March 19, 2014 @ 4:37 pm

  3. […] millions of dollars and become investors. Rob Thomas, the creator of the series, decided to use Kickstarter, a site that casts a wide net to microinvest funds. They got an average of $60 per investor to make […]

    Pingback by The Good Hipster | Days of Change — March 20, 2014 @ 9:00 pm


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