I totally get Kickstarter now thanks to the Poppy guys

poppy3d.comThe Poppy guys have done a great job running their Kickstarter campaign — they met their goals early, they’ve hit a bunch of stretch goals, it has been super positive, they have a bunch of great supporters. I think they were super thoughtful about the whole process, and I’m excited to see the product, I am of course a backer.

And it has become clear to me what Kickstarter is really for. It is not about raising money. These guys raised a modest amount, they could have funded this easily themselves or from friends. But they have built a great community of early adopters and backers, who feel like part of the team, who are going to help evangelize the product, who are influentials. And that is what Kickstarter really seems to be about (for tech products, I am clueless about movies or other domains) — it is in some sense a marketing expense, it is the way you reach out to the influentials and early adopters and get them on board and pulling for you, which is a HUGELY valuable asset for a young company. It is certainly not about the cash — the $147K these guys raised, less the Kickstarter and AMZN fees, is nothing compared to the funding needs of the business.

Made my first contribution to a Kickstarter project, the Zooka

Seems like a nice speaker — “the Zooka”:http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1733547063/zooka-bluetooth-speaker-for-your-ipad?ref=email — (though they probably have a trademark issue to resolve) and I’m glad to support a Northwest project. It is also exciting to see the diversity of projects up on Kickstarter, and nice to see that people are willing to pay for value and creativity. After 15 years of people demanding more and more free content and service on the Internet, any shift back towards sustainable business models seems good. Personally I feel way better about paying for something, rather than getting “free” content and having my attention sold to the highest bidder without my involvement and consent.