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Recently I ran across http://www.kickstarter.com/ , a website dedicated to helping people find funding for whatever they want to do via crowdsourcing. In their own words they believe that ”A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide” and “A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.”

from their FAQ: Kickstarter is for funding creativity and ambition — so, it's a big umbrella. We love artists, writers, designers (of all kinds!), filmmakers, musicians, journalists, athletes, adventurers, inventors, bloggers, illustrators, explorers, curators, promoters, performers, and others.

Intrigued, I read a bit more and did some research.

The concept is simple. Come up with a pitch for what you want to accomplish, figure out what level of funding you need, think of some incentives to give to those who fund you as a reward for doing so, determine a time limit, and post it. No money exchanges hands until the funding level is achieved, however you can receive funding beyond what you asked for as the funding window is open for the duration you set.

As to what you want to accomplish, this ranges from an unsigned band getting their fans to finance the recording of their next CD in exchange for a "free" CD once it is recorded, to an indie film about Mister Rogers by a former neighbor and indie film producer, to an artist sending a custom postcard a day for a full year.

The actual payment is facilitated through Amazon.com's payment system, and after September 15th 2009, the website will take a 5% fee for new projects posted as a means to pay for the web hosting and bandwidth as well as the time needed to run the site.

Right now new projects can be posted only with an invite. The Kickstarter team explains why, but it is mainly to avoid overloading the team of 5 people that run the site.

All in all, this seems like a unique way to get creative projects off the ground, with a minimum of risk for the donors. Now to figure out a way to utilize this for architectural design...

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tnrkitect - Musings of an Unconventional Mind

June 2011

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