So, as you might expect, August was a quiet month for my Supporting Free project. My attention was pretty consumed, and I’ve been re-organizing my finances in preparation for going from steady pay to self-employment again.
BUT! I did do some Free-supporting. I contributed to Christine Haynes’ Kickstarter campaign to produce her own line of sewing patterns. I love the pattern book she wrote a couple years back, and I know she’ll do great commercial pattern designs.
…And while I’m on the subject of Kickstarter, I’ve stumbled upon a really interesting vein of resistance to it, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this idea.
I can’t say I agree with that opinion, but I started asking around, and found that, surprisingly, a number of my friends have fairly negative feelings about Kickstarter. These were the most common themes I heard:
- “Kickstarter too often takes the place of having a solid business and funding plan. It puts money in the hands of people who may not be qualified to use it in a business context.”
- “I have Kickstarter Fatigue! Seemingly everyone I know is always begging over and over for me to support their campaigns.”
- “I donated to so and so’s campaign and never got my prize (or it took too long to get my prize.”
Wow, who knew?! I actually love Kickstarter. I think it’s wonderful that people with dreams now have an alternative means of funding them. I also love that people can use it to fund specific projects rather than fully-fledged businesses. If I had my druthers, I’d eliminate all the donation incentives – I think that packing and shipping hundreds of gifties may siphon off too much time and energy from the main project.
And, I can totally understand the “Kickstarter Fatigue” thing. But that’s a factor with “Mass Amateurization.” (Clay Shirky’s phrase, not mine.) Anytime everyone has access to something, we’ll experience more of it than we might like. Heck, we can see the same effect in the vast landscape of Etsy sellers and the way so many of them market to other crafters. It’s awesome that so many crafters can go after their dreams of making a living from it, but the downside is lots more marketing within our community.
But, all that said, I still think Kickstarter is on the whole a positive force in a new economic/business landscape. What are your thoughts on it? Do you love or hate it? Are you having the fatigue? Have you used it yourself?
Here’s one more link from Tina – Kesha Bruce’s interesting perspectives on running her $10,000.00 Kickstarter campaign.