I’ve noticed a trend on Kickstarter. What started as a fundraising platform for creative folks who dream of creating things has morphed into more of a marketing platform for near fully-formed products.
You could argue a large chunk of projects on Kickstarter are now pretty far along (if not done) or even more bizarrely for well established companies and the Kickstarter campaign is merely a way to spread the word about their project. More Product Hunt than crowd fundraising. I’ve got no problem with this, I just find it interesting and am curious what if any effect it will have on the platform.
I wonder if this has to do with Kickstarter cracking down on speculative work (especially around electronics and such) and requiring a working prototype. Or if it’s just the maturity of the platform and nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. Spreading the word and getting pre-orders is far more beneficial to a creator than a $10,000 goal. It’s also because marketers ruin everything and they’ve seen projects blow up and become full fledged companies on Kickstarter (Oculus Rift anyone?).
Again, I’ve got no problem with any of this. It’s hard to make something and I love supporting folks who do. Though it’s probably even harder getting the word out in today’s noisy world. More power to the folks who break through. Still I can’t help but feel on some level it degrades Kickstarter. Just a smidgen. Like a bit of the magic has been worn off or I can see the foot of the tiny man behind the curtain poking out and that makes me just a wee bit sad.