Kickstarter: Help bring creative projects to life

Supporting art, passion, talent, and incredible story of inspirations to life – one project at a time


Kickstarter helps artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality. Kickstarter now has an enormous global community built around creativity and creative projects. As of date, Kickstarter has attracted more 10 million people to fund more than 97,000 projects, and turned 37% of these projects into actual, tangible projects. [1]


Creating Value 

Kickstarter creates tools and resources for people with creative projects to propose and pitch their ideas, set monetary goals for fundraising, and receive financing for these projects from private investors. Kickstarter popularized the idea of “crowdfunding”, where creators go directly to their potential customers and ask them for money in return for the finished product – as well as more rewards for those who choose to pay more.

Figure 1 shows an example of a Kickstarter campaign page. Typically the projects will offer little rewards or thank-you gifts to donors, depending on how much is pledged ($1, $10, $50, and so on). Page is actively updated with announcement and milestones, enticing users to check back often.

Kickstarter Campaign

Figure 1: Campaign Page of The Micro: The First Truly Consumer 3d Printer [2]


Impressive Growth: The growth of pledge from $28 million in 2010 to $529 million in 2014 implies a CAGR of roughly 108% over the five-year period. Kickstarter takes 5% of every successfully funded project, so with current $1.83 billion successful dollars funded, Kickstarter has collected as much as $91 million in fee revenue. In 2014 alone, $529 million was pledged and assuming stable level of success on funding efforts of 86%, Kickstarter earned $23M in revenue. [3]

There are many other crowdfunding alternatives but Kickstarter differentiates itself through its intentional operational decisions, outperforming competitors both in absolute amount of money raised, diversity of ambitions of the projects presented, as well as success rates.

  1. Creatives Only

With its mission to help bring creative projects to life, Kickstarter only funds creative projects, where only one specific thing will be made, such as films, music, stage shows, comics, journalism, video games, technology and food-related projects. It’s not a platform for people to crowdfund raise for tuition, charity, or start-ups. This creates a likeminded, dedicated community – the most important intangible asset for the company. Kickstarter supports the community by its commitment to creative work, supporting its own employees to work on their own creative projects, as well as devoting 5% of its after-tax profit towards arts and music education.

  1. Buzz and Engagement

Projects link quickly to social media through “share” button, making it effortless to bring network of friends and supporters to create traffic and interest to the campaign, which is key to the “crowd” effect. Kickstarter understands how to leverage the power of Facebook as it’s the only platform that shows a detailed preview of the campaign when other platforms only show small pictures.

Kickstarter is available across almost all major platforms – web, iOS, android – providing ease of use and access for projects anywhere. Every project has a discussion section allowing users to comment, ask questions, and interact directly with the entrepreneur/creator. Once a backer pledges into the project, Kickstarter allows continuous interaction and engagement with backers to create a fan base, community, and trust among company, creators, and users.

  1. Seamless Product

Kickstarter has transparent, easy-to-use product that works seamlessly whether user is browsing, asking questions, or interacting to payment. The platform has best graphic design that creates simple, beautiful interface for creators to proudly showcase their projects. Also, Kickstarter hosts and supports crowdfunding campaign videos on their site (while others use “YouTube” linking given technical difficulties of video hosting), because Kickstarter understands that the entrepreneur’s time, money, and talent in creating the video is an intangible asset for the company (instead of giving it up to YouTube). [4]

  1. Psychology behind “All or Nothing” funding

If funding goals are not reached on a Kickstarter campaign, the project founder gets nothing and the backer does not get charged anything. This means any donation/investment could be the one that “makes or breaks” a project’s funding goal, raising sense of responsibility and creating a great motivation for everyone involved. In addition, this model guarantees a social proof of people’s tendency to trust something more because many others are agreeing with you. [5]


Continuing the Power of Ordinary People

In 2015, Kickstarter reincorporated a Benefit Corporation, which is a for-profit company that is obligated to consider the impacts of its decisions on society, not only shareholders. Radically, positive impact on society is Kickstarter’s legally bounded goals. Success of Kickstarter is one of wonders of internet, showing the power of ordinary people to make things happen collectively. Kickstarter allows people to support all kinds of art and culture and human creatively that otherwise would not exist – making the world a better place to live.

[1] Kickstarter Charter,

[2] Kickstarter project page: The Micro: The First Truly Consumer 3D Printer,

[3] Kickstarter Stats Page,

[4] Crowdfunding Insights: “Why is Kickstarter better than other crowdfunding platforms?”

[5] Crowdfunding Dojo: “Kickstarter vs. IndieGoGO: Choosing your crowdsourcing platform”


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Student comments on Kickstarter: Help bring creative projects to life

  1. Kickstarter has interesting features mentioned in the post, and these features seem to make this service stand out from other crowdfunding competitors. At least, they obviously contributed to the fast growth so far.
    My question is that these “cool” features (especially “Creative only” and “Buzz and Engagement”) which create community values can continue to be sources of value to this company in the future. Once Kickstarter is regarded as a dominant player in this space, it seems to be able to sustain its strong position within the current scope, but for the further growth, I would propose to develop its product line to the other area in order to capture other financing needs.
    The mission and philosophy behind this service are amazing, so I hope the service continue to bring power to ordinary people by delivering a service with unique and competitive business and operating models.

  2. The article explains Kickstarter’s very interesting model, as it generates value for both, the creatives seeking funding sources and the funders looking for interesting projects to invest in.

    However, I believe there is a big risk to its operating model that is seldom discussed. As the Company has no control over the way the projects funded through it are carried out, if these projects fail to meet the expectations set for them through Kickstarter, funders might turn to the Company feeling deceived. This has happened in the past on isolated products which have been delayed or even cancelled, as the creators’ companies went broke, not fulfilling its customer promise. If this was to become more widespread, I wonder what actions Kickstarter would take to control a downward spiral.

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