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||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (April 2012)|
|Type of site||Crowd funding|
|Launched||April 28, 2009 (first as KickStartr)|
Kickstarter has funded a diverse array of endeavors, such as films, music, stage shows, comics, journalism, video games, and food-related projects. People cannot invest in Kickstarter projects to make money. They can only back projects in exchange for a tangible reward or one-of-a-kind experience, like a personal note of thanks, custom T-shirts, dinner with an author, or initial production run of a new product.
Kickstarter launched on April 28, 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, and Charles Adler. The New York Times called Kickstarter "the people's NEA". Time named it one of the "Best Inventions of 2010" and "Best Websites of 2011". Kickstarter reportedly raised $10 million funding from backers including NYC-based venture firm Union Square Ventures and angel investors such as Jack Dorsey, Zach Klein and Caterina Fake. The company is based in Manhattan's Lower East Side.
Andy Baio served as the site's CTO until November 2010, when he joined Expert Labs. Lance Ivy has been Lead Developer since the website launched. On February 14, 2013, Kickstarter released an iOS app called Kickstarter for iPhone. The app is aimed at users who create and back projects and is the first time Kickstarter has had an official mobile presence.
Kickstarter is one of a number of crowd funding platforms for gathering money from the public, which circumvents traditional avenues of investment. Project creators choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal. If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected, a provision point mechanism. Money pledged by donors is collected using Amazon Payments. The platform is open to backers from anywhere in the world and to creators from the US or the UK.
Kickstarter takes 5% of the funds raised. Amazon charges an additional 3–5%. Unlike many forums for fundraising or investment, Kickstarter claims no ownership over the projects and the work they produce. The web pages of projects launched on the site are permanently archived and accessible to the public. After funding is completed, projects and uploaded media cannot be edited or removed from the site.
There is no guarantee that people that post projects on Kickstarter will deliver on their projects, use the money to implement their projects, or that the completed projects will meet backers' expectations. Contributors have no way of receiving confirmation unless they directly ask the original owners and Kickstarter itself has been accused of providing little quality control. Kickstarter advises sponsors to use their own judgment on supporting a project. They also warn project leaders that they could be liable for legal damages from sponsors for failure to deliver on promises. Projects can also fail even after a successful fund raise when creators underestimate the total costs required or technical difficulties to be overcome.
On June 21, 2012, Kickstarter began publishing statistics on its projects. As of October 10, 2012, there were 73,620 launched projects (3,426 in progress), with a success rate of 43.85%. The total number of dollars pledged was $381 million.
The business has grown quickly in its early years. In the year 2010, Kickstarter had 3,910 successful projects, $27,638,318 pledged, and a project success rate of 43%. In 2011, the corresponding figures were 11,836, $99,344,381 and 46%.
February 9, 2012 saw a number of milestones set by Kickstarter. A dock made for the iPhone designed by Casey Hopkins became the first Kickstarter project to break a million dollars pledged. A few hours later, a project by computer game developers Double Fine Productions to fund a new adventure game reached the same figure, having been launched less than 24 hours earlier, and finished with over $3 million pledged. This was also the first time Kickstarter raised over a million dollars in pledges in a single day. On May 18, 2012, The Pebble E-Paper Watch raised $10,266,845 to become the most funded project in Kickstarter history.
In July 2012, Wharton professor Ethan Mollick and Jeanne Pi conducted research into what contributes to a project’s success or failure on Kickstarter. Some key findings from the analysis were that increasing goal size is negatively associated with success, projects that are featured[clarification needed] have a 89% chance of being successful, compared to 30% without, and that for an average $10,000 project, a 30-day project has a 35% chance of success, while a 60-day project has a 29% chance of success, all other things being constant.
The ten largest Kickstarter projects by funds raised are listed below. Among successful projects, most raise between $1,000 and $9,999. These dollar amounts drop to less than half in the Design, Games, and Technology categories. However, the median amount raised for the latter two categories remains in the four-figure range. There is substantial variation in the success rate of projects falling under different categories. Over two thirds of completed dance projects have been successful. In contrast, fewer than 30% of completed fashion projects have reached their goal. Most failing projects fail to achieve 20% of their goals and this trend applies across all categories. Indeed over 80% of projects that pass the 20% mark reach their goal.
Creators categorize their projects into one of 13 categories and 36 subcategories. They are: Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film and Video, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology and Theater. Of these categories, Film & Video and Music are the largest categories and have raised the most amount of money. These two categories alone account for more than half of Kickstarter projects. These categories, along with Games, account for over half the money raised.
To maintain its focus as a funding platform for creative projects, Kickstarter has outlined three guidelines for all project creators to follow: creators can fund projects only; projects must fit within one of the site's 13 creative categories; and creators must abide by the site's prohibited uses, including charity and awareness campaigns. Kickstarter has additional requirements for hardware and product design projects. These include
- Banning the use of photorealistic renderings and simulations demonstrating a product
- Limiting awards to single items or a "sensible set" of items relevant to the project (e.g., multiple light bulbs for a house)
- Requiring a physical prototype
- Requiring a manufacturing plan
The guidelines are designed to reinforce Kickstarter’s position that people are backing projects, not placing orders for a product. To underscore the notion that Kickstarter is a place in which creators and audiences make things together, creators across all categories are asked to describe the risks and challenges a project faces in producing it. This educates the public about the project goals and encourages contributions to the community.
Notable projects and creators 
Several creative works have gone on to receive critical acclaim and accolades after being funded on Kickstarter. The documentary short "Sun Come Up" and documentary short "Incident in New Baghdad" were each nominated for an Academy Award; contemporary art projects "EyeWriter" and "Hip-Hop Word Count" were both chosen to exhibit in the Museum of Modern Art in 2011; filmmaker Matt Porterfield was selected to screen his film Putty Hill at the Whitney Biennial In 2012; author Rob Walker's Hypothetical Futures project exhibited at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale; musician Amanda Palmer's album "Theatre is Evil" debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200; designer Scott Wilson won a National Design Award from Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum following the success of his TikTok + LunaTik project; and approximately 10% of the films accepted into the Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca Film Festivals are projects funded on Kickstarter.
Numerous well-known creators have used Kickstarter to produce their work, including: musicians Amanda Palmer, Daniel Johnston, Stuart Murdoch and Tom Rush; filmmakers and actors Bret Easton Ellis, Colin Hanks, Ed Begley, Jr., Gary Hustwit, Hal Hartley, Jennie Livingston, Mark Duplass, Matthew Modine, Paul Schrader, Ricki Lake, Whoopi Goldberg and Zana Briski; authors and writers Dan Harmon, Kevin Kelly, Neal Stephenson, and Seth Godin; photographers Spencer Tunick and Gerd Ludwig; game developers Tim Schafer and Brian Fargo; designer Stefan Sagmeister; animator John Kricfalusi; Star Trek actor John de Lancie and comedian Eugene Mirman.
Top projects by funds raised 
|This section about Kickstarter projects relies on references to primary sources. (April 2013)|
|Rank||Total USD||Project name||Creator||Category||% funded||Backers||Closing date|
|1||10,266,845||Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android||Pebble Technology||Design||10,266||68,928||2012-05-18|
|2||8,596,474||Ouya: A New Kind of Video Game Console||Ouya Inc.||Video Games||905||63,416||2012-08-09|
|3||5,702,153||The Veronica Mars Movie Project||Rob Thomas||Film & Video||285||91,585||2013-04-12|
|4||4,188,927||Torment: Tides of Numenera||InXile Entertainment||Video Games||465||74,405||2013-04-05|
|5||3,986,929||Project Eternity||Obsidian Entertainment||Video Games||362||73,986||2012-10-16|
|6||3,429,235||Reaper Miniatures Bones: An Evolution Of Gaming Miniatures||Reaper Miniatures||Games||11,430||17,744||2012-08-25|
|7||3,336,371||Double Fine Adventure||Double Fine and 2 Player Productions||Video Games||834||87,142||2012-03-13|
|8||2,945,885||FORM 1: An affordable, professional 3D printer||Formlabs||Technology||2,945||2,068||2012-10-26|
|9||2,933,252||Wasteland 2||InXile Entertainment||Video Games||325||61,290||2012-04-17|
|10||2,485,506||Homestuck Adventure Game||MS Paint Adventures||Video Games||355||24,346||2012-10-04|
Project cancellations 
Both Kickstarter and project creators have cancelled projects that appeared to have been fraudulent. Questions were raised about the projects in internet communities related to the fields of the projects. The concerns raised were: apparent copying of graphics from other sources; unrealistic performance or price claims; and failure of project sponsors to deliver on prior Kickstarter projects.
A small list of cancelled projects include:
- Eye3 camera drone helicopter for unrealistic performance promises, photos copied from other commercial products, and failure of creators to deliver on an earlier Kickstarter project.
- Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men adventure game for copying graphics from other games and unrealistic performance promises; the creator had raised $4,739 on an $80,000 goal before canceling the project.
- Tech-Sync Power System for failing to provide photos of the prototype and sudden departure of project creator.
- Tentacle Bento, a card game intended to satirize Japanese school girl tentacle rape comics, after being criticized in the online media for having inappropriate content.
In addition, over 15 projects have been completely removed in lieu of public cancellation. Kickstarter appears to reserve project removal for egregious claims of copyright or other severe breaches of policy.
Scams and other controversies 
In 2012, Amanda Palmer raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter. She wrote about how she used the money, however several other musicians reviewed these expenses and said they were extravagant and possibly fraudulent. She was further criticized for attempting to have musicians play with her for free on tour, after raising such a large sum.
In April 2013, film maker Zach Braff used a Kickstarter campaign to fund the follow up to his 2004 film Garden State and raised $2,000,000 in three days. Some have criticized Braff for using the site, saying celebrity use of the site will draw attention away from film makers and other creatives who don't have celebrity name recognition.
Patent disputes 
- On September 30, 2011, Kickstarter filed a request for declaratory judgment against ArtistShare’s U.S. crowd-funding patent US 7885887 , "Methods and apparatuses for financing and marketing a creative work". Kickstarter asked that the patent be invalidated, or, at the very least, that the court find that Kickstarter is not liable of infringement. In February 2012, ArtistShare and Fan Funded responded to Kickstarter's complaint by filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. They asserted that patent infringement litigation was never threatened, that "ArtistShare merely approached Kickstarter about licensing their platform, including patent rights", and that "rather than responding to ArtistShare's request for a counter-proposal, Kickstarter filed this lawsuit." The judge has ruled, however, that the case can go forward. ArtistShare has since responded by filing a counterclaim alleging that Kickstarter is indeed infringing its patent.
- On November 21, 2012, 3D Systems filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Formlabs and Kickstarter for infringing its 3D printer patent US 5,597,520 , ”Simultaneous multiple layer curing in stereolithography.” Formlabs had raised $2.9 million in a Kickstarter campaign to fund its own competitive printer. The company said that Kickstarter caused "irreparable injury and damage" to its business by promoting the Form 1 printer, and taking a 5% cut of donations.
See also 
- Villano, Matt (14 March 2010). "Small Donations in Large Numbers, With Online Help". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- Levy, Shawn (May 29, 2010). "Kickstarter raises money online for artistic endeavors, tapping into Portland ethos". The Oregonian.
- Wortham, Jenna (August 24, 2009). "A Few Dollars at a Time, Patrons Support Artists on the Web". The New York Times.
- Walker, Rob (August 5, 2011). "The Trivialities and Transcendence of Kickstarter". The New York Times Magazine.
- Wauters, Robin (April 29, 2009). "Kickstarter Launches Another Social Fundraising Platform".
- Walker, Rob (August 5, 2011). "The Trivialities and Transcendence of Kickstarter". The New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- Snyder, Steven James (November 11, 2010). "The 50 Best Inventions of 2010". TIME. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- McCracken, Harry (August 16, 2011). "The 50 Best Websites of 2011". TIME. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- Kafka, Peter. "Kickstarter Fesses Up: The Crowdsourced Funding Start-Up Has Funding, Too". All Things D. Dow Jones & Company Inc. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- Kickstarter - Team http://www.kickstarter.com/team
- Andy Baio. "Joining Expert Labs". waxy.org. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
- crunchbase.com (November 30, 2010). "Kickstarter CrunchBase Profile".
- "Kickstarter for iPhone for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad on the iTunes App Store:". Retrieved February 15, 2013.
- Dredge, Stuart (January 14, 2013). "Kickstarter? There's now an official iPhone app for that". The Guardian. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
- Villano, Matt (March 14, 2010). "Small Donations in Large Numbers, With Online Help". The New York Times.
- Gould, Emily. "Start me up". Technology Review (MIT). Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- Musgrove, Mike (March 7, 2010). "At Play: Kickstarter is a Web site for the starving artist". The Washington Post.
- Stross, Randall (April 2, 2010). "You, Too, Can Bankroll a Rock Band". The New York Times.
- "Kickstarter starts welcoming UK creators with projects launching Oct. 31". GigaOM. October 10, 2012.
- "Creators – Freuquently Asked Questions (FAQ)". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
- "Creators – Freuquently Asked Questions (FAQ)". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
- Official website (Retrieved 2010). "Kickstarter.com FAQ".
- Adrianne Jeffries, "Jellyfish Tanks, Funded 54 Times Over on Kickstarter, Turn Out to Be Jellyfish Death Traps UPDATED", BetaBeat, March 15, 2012
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- Ryan Tate, "End Online Panhandling Forever!", Gawker, November 10, 2011
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- Kevin Stout, "Kickstarter, Pros and Cons", 148Apps.biz, April 23, 2012
- Strickler, Yancey. "Kickstarter Stats".
- "Kickstarter Stats". Kickstarter. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
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- Carl Franzen "Crowd-Funding Website Kickstarter Has Double Million Dollar Day", TPM, February 10, 2012, Retrieved February 11, 2012
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- Mollick, Ethan (July 15, 2012). "The Dynamics of Crowdfunding: Determinants of Success and Failure". Social Science Research Network.
- "Discover – Kickstarter". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- Eric Blattberg, "Kickstarter Bans Project Renderings, Adds ‘Risks and Challenges’ Section, Crowdsourcing.org 21 September 2012
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- Staff, NPR (February 26, 2011). "The Love Sory Behind Oscar Nominee Sun Come Up". NPR.
- Montgomery, David (February 21, 2012). "Incident in New Baghdad: What Happened in Iraq?". The Washington Post.
- "Talk to Me – MoMA". MoMA.org. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- "Matt Porterfield". whitney.org. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- Titunik, Vera (May 15, 2012). "Real Designs For Fake Buildings Are Going to Venice". The New York Times.
- Caulfield, Keith (September 19, 2012). "Dave Matthews Band Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200". Billboard.
- "National Design Awards". CooperHewitt.org. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- Carr, David (January 30, 2012). "At Sundance, Kickstarter Resembled a Movie Studio, but Without the Egos". The New York Times.
- Watercutter, Angela (March 9, 2012). "When SXSW Money Crunch Hits, Kickstarter Comes to the Rescue". Wired.
- Sisario, Ben (June 5, 2012). "Giving Love, Lots of It, To Her Fans". The New York Times.
- McCarter, Reid (January 27, 2011). "The Weekly Kickstarter: Daniel Johnston and the Comic Book". The Social Times.
- Eanet, Lindsay (January 13, 2012). "You Can Help Stuart Murdoch From Belle & Sebastian Make a Movie". BlackBook.
- Young, Robin (May 15, 2012). "Folk Singer Tom Rush Kickstarts 50th Anniversary Concert". NPR.
- Carlson, Erin (May 4, 2012). "Bret Easton Ellis Is Using Kickstarter to Finance 'The Canyons' Indie". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Aswad, Jem (June 2, 2011). "Colin Hanks Uses Kickstarter to Help Fund His Tower Records Doc". The Hollywood Reporter.
- d'Estries, Michael (February 17, 2012). "To Build America's Greenest Home, Actor Ed Begley Jr. Needs Your Help". Forbes.
- Jr, Core (February 2012). "Gary Hustwit's Urbanized on Kickstarter + Trailer Preview". Core77.
- Anderson, John (January 4, 2012). "Sundance Offers a Web Afterlife for Its Alumni". The New York Times.
- Renninger, Bryce (January 6, 2011). "In the Works: New Doc from "Paris is Burning" Director, Sundance's "Pariah," Chicago Mob Boss & More". IndieWire.
- Prigge, Matt (March 15, 2012). "Mark Duplass Talks About His Newest Film, "Jeff Who Lives at Home"". Philadelphia Weekly.
- Herbert, Chris (April 21, 2011). "Kickstarter Project: "Full Metal Jacket Diary" – The iPad App". MacStories.
- Tiku, Nitasha (May 3, 2012). "Bret Easton Ellis and Paul Schrader are Raising Money for Their Upcoming Thriller The Canyons on Kickstarter". The New York Observer.
- "Ricki Lake Teaches Us Even More About Birth". Parenting.com. July 8, 2011.
- Smith, Nigel (June 27, 2012). "Why Whoopi Goldberg is Using Kickstarter to Fund Her Directorial Debut". IndieWire.
- Strecker, Erin (July 12, 20112). "Charlie Kaufman, Dan Harmon use Kickstarter to fund next movie". Entertainment Weekly.
- Frauenfelder, Mark (June 20, 2012). "The Silver Cord by Kevin Kelly". Boing Boing.
- Kain, Erik (June 13, 2012). "Neal Stephenson's Clang Is a Kickstarter Devoted to Sword Fighting". Forbes.
- Trachtenberg, Jeffrey (June 24, 2012). "Giving Book Readers a Say". The Wall Street Journal.
- Laster, Paul (February 16, 2012). "Spencer Tunick: On Stealing Cameras, Controversy, and Kickstarter". The 99 Percent.
- Ismael Ruiz, Matthew (March 19, 2012). "Kickstarter: How the Web Is Helping Photographers Fund Their Work". Popular Photography.
- Netburn, Deborah (March 13, 2012). "Double Fine Raises $3.25 Million on Kickstarter for New Game". Los Angeles Times.
- Orland, Kyle (March 15, 2012). "Interplay's Brian Fargo Finds Fan Funding for Wasteland Sequel". Ars Technica.
- Drumm, Perrin (September 12, 2011). "Best of Kickstarter, 9/12: The Happy Film". Sundance Channel.
- McGlynn, Katia (July 12, 2011). "Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival Using Kickstarter to Fund Awkward Party BUs, Sex Pit & More". The Huffington Post.
- The Veronica Mars Movie Project
- Fans pledge $3 million for 'Veronica Mars' movie in 2 days – Series creator Rob Thomas on the latest with the Kickstarter campaign
- Reaper Miniatures Bones: An Evolution Of Gaming Miniatures
- FORM 1: An affordable, professional 3D printer
- Evan Ackerman “Update:Eye3 Drone Officially Too Good to be True”, IEEE Spectrum January 31, 2012.
- Adrianne Jeffries. "This Is What a Kickstarter Scam Looks Like". Betabeat.
- Adrian Jeffries, “When Kickstarter Goes Wrong: Were 419 Backers Almost Taken for a $27,637 Ride?”, BetaBeat, September 15, 2011.
- Kirk Hamilton “Creator of ‘Satirical’ Tentacle-Rape Game Apologizes”, Kotaku, May 17, 2012
- "Kicktraq reports deleted projects". Kicktraq. May 1, 2012.
- Despite claiming otherwise, Kickstarter quietly removes projects, Dan Misener, September 20, 2012
- Kicked to the Curb: Kickstarter’s Hidden Wasteheap of Killed Projects, Wired, September 23, 2012
- Tanzer, Myles (May 9, 2011). "NYU Tisch Student Makes Plagiarized Film To Win Festival Prize After Raising $1,700 On Kickstarter · NYU Local". NYU Local. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
- Sam Biddle. "NYU Film Student Plagiarizes His Way to Kickstarter Fame". Gizmodo.
- Amos Barshad. "Thanks to Kickstarter, Zach Braff Finally Has Millions of Dollars".
- Jan Wolfe, “ArtistShare Can't Show Kickstarter Infringes Crowd-Funding Patent” The AM Law Litigation Daily, 19 February 2013.
- Sarah Jacobsson Purewal (October 5, 2011). "Kickstarter Faces Patent Suit Over Funding Idea". PCWorld. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
- Eriq Gardner (February 16, 2012). "Hollywood Docket: Comedy Club Documentary Lawsuit; Michael Jordan vs. 1st Amendment". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Jeffries, Adrianne (May 14, 2012). "Kickstarter Wins Small Victory in Patent Lawsuit With 2000-Era Crowdfunding Site". BetaBeat. The New York Observer. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
- Joseph Flaherty, “3D Systems Sues Formlabs and Kickstarter for Patent Infringement” Wired, 21 November 2012
- “Kickstarter Sued: Formlabs 3D Printer Accused Of Patent Breach” Huffington Post, 21 November 2012