Kickstarter UK launched

Wednesday 31st October 2012 | Jacob

The US based website that streamlined the crowd-funding process is now open to Britain’s best/worst ideas.

Kickstarter has undeniably changed the game when it comes to gathering funding for projects, big and small. The service links people looking for investment with those willing to donate money, usually in return for non-financial rewards, such as early access to a product or exclusive merchandise.

Around 40% of projects achieve their funding goal, some notable efforts far exceeding the amount of backing hoped for. Earlier this year the Palo Alto watch company asked for $100,000 to produce a wristwatch that could sync with smartphones. They ended up receiving pledges in excess of $10 million.

This level of success can be a double edged sword with ‘creative types’ often ill-equipped to deal with the cut-throat realities of the business world. The aforementioned watch company was swamped with orders for over 85,000 of their quirky timepieces despite having only been prepared to manufacture 1,000.

Other Kickstarters have become embroiled in legal matters; with copyright disputes and tax problems as the main offenders. Who knew free money from the internet would have strings attached? It’s the death of the American Dream 2.0.

Of course few projects reach this accomplished level of failure, burning out early thanks to poor marketing, planning difficulties or the inherent shittiness of what’s on offer. Christian rap albums? Check. ‘I Love You Mom’ t-shirts? Yup. Transgender escort services? Better bookmark that one.

There have been several UK versions of the successful - but until now - exclusively US based service such as PleaseFund.Us andWeDidThis, though none have the high profile and global appeal of Kickstarter. While people can contribute to projects from all over the world, plans can only be submitted from the US and UK.

Have a terrible idea for a product? Too lazy to pursue conventional funding? Now is your chance.

By Jacob Alexander Guberg