If you want to crowdsource the funding for a project—whether it is a product, album, or a film—one of the best places to find both patrons and early customers is Kickstarter. In this week’s episode of Founder Stories, host Chris Dixon dives deep into the crowdsourced-funding phenomenon with Kickstarter founder Perry Chen.
The majority of projects on Kickstarter are creative ones involving film, art, or music. But product design and startups can be just as creative. Chen describes the funding model on Kickstarter as “somewhere between commerce and patronage.” And some of the most notable projects are technology products, including open social network Diaspora and the TikTok iPod Nano watch that raised almost $1 million.
In the videos below, Dixon and Chen discuss what made those two projects take off. Chen also offers advice for how to kickstart your own project on his site.
Rule No.1: Think what you can give your audience that is of value, whether that is early access to your project or a discount. “This is not about extracting value,” he advises. It’s a two-way street.
Rule No. 2: Promote the hell out of your project. “You have to be willing to market it to your audience,” says Chen. “You have to get the ball going. The Internet is not just going to find you.”
Founder Stories is a new series on TCTV where founder and angel investor Chris Dixon talks about startups with other founders and investors. Please let us know in comments who else you’d like to see Chris talk to in future episodes.
Founder Stories (Kickstarter): How To Get Successful Projects Going
Founder Stories (Kickstarter): “You Really Gotta Want It.”
Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, games, fashion, food, publishing, and other creative fields. Since its launch on April 28th, 2009, more than two million people have pledged more than $300 million to projects by creators who always maintain full ownership and complete creative control of their work.
Chris Dixon is a Partner at and co-founder of Founder Collective. He is also a contributing writer for TechCrunch. He previously was the CEO and Co-founder of SiteAdvisor, which was acquired by McAfee, and Hunch, which was acquired by eBay. In addition to his work with Founder’s Collective, Chris is a personal investor in early-stage technology companies, including Skype, TrialPay, DocVerse, Invite Media, Gerson Lehrman Group, ScanScout, OMGPOP, BillShrink, Oddcast, Panjiva, Knewton, and a handful of other startups that...