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KickStarter: A new way to fund & follow creativity

January 12, 2011

Tags: KickStarter, patronage, market research, fundraising

For the 9th Annual Year in Ideas, the NY Times Magazine includes Kickstarter, describing it as a form of market research for artists (see entry for Subscription Artists) : "At Kickstarter, creative types post a description of a project they want to do, how much money they need for it and a deadline. If enough people pledge money that the artists reach (or surpass) their financial goals, then everyone is billed, paying in advance as you would for a magazine subscription. For goals that aren't reached, nobody is charged." (1-21-11) Writing about Kickstarter months earlier, in A Few Dollars at a Time, Patrons Support Artists on the Web, NYTimes, 8-24-09), Jenna Wortham described the process as "micropatronage," which allows artists and creative entrepreneurs to gauge in advance whether an idea has appeal, and allows microinvestors to feel included in a creative venture. (Thanks to Rhea Wessel for raising this topic for discussion on WriterL.)