The more I look at Kickstarter, the more opportunities I see for my friends and family.
If you don’t know about Kickstarter – it’s a startup that allows anyone to create a project, and set the amount of funding they require and the amount of time to raise it. They then advertise it to their social network (or anyone really) and users pledge a sum of money to the project. The crux of the idea is that the “pledge” is just that – if the project doesn’t reach it’s goal in pledges, the project is cancelled and no money changes hands. It allows you to both crowdsource funding, build interest in the project and get a hint if it is viable in the real market.
It seems the best projects that suit Kickstarter are tangible items. The pledgers like to get something back for their commitment (as you’d expect). A great example is the iPod watch that has almost sourced $1M from users.
A counter example is Diaspora – the new open social network, where users own their own data (as opposed to FB). They offer tangible rewards, although it seems the pledgers are more into the project idealistically.
Regardless, I can think of plenty of examples where Kickstarter could help – particularly for my not-so-technie relatives. My sister who is putting together some Medidation CDs? A friend who wants to do more with her sewing? A close friend who’s been dying to shoot a short film idea she has?
Techies – tell your friends and family. This may be the edge they need to release their creative beast.