Kickstarter is a Marketing Tool
The amount of buzz around Kickstarter is growing every day. I was introduced to it about a year ago when the first major hit product came across its pages. That was the Tik Tok+ Luna-Tik watch band for the iPod Nano. In a matter of a few weeks, this product went from a well marketed idea and design to a total amount of capital raised of $942,758. He is the amazing part. For that capital, the owner gave up no equity. Recently a new 3D printer called Printrbot raised over $830,000.Their goal was to raise $25,000 and again, they did not give up any equity.
Why Use Kickstarter?
How did they do this? Well Kickstarter is a platform that allows individuals like you and I to "pledge" a dollar or more to a project. Think of it as voting on what you like. If you pledge enough, you get something in return. With the 3D printer, if you pledge $499, you received the product. The Kickstarter system makes this much safer for those pledging by accepting the pledge commitments via Amazon Payments but not actually charging anyone's credit card until the project meets its goal. You can find out a lot more about how Kickstarter works by checking out their Kickstarter Basics page.
Here is what I find so incredibly interesting and valuable about Kickstarter. It is an incredible way to test a market. By putting together a project on Kickstarter, assuming you have a good video and description, you can find out pretty fast if people like what you are trying to create. Even better, you can usually raise enough money to take the product into production if you meet your goal. That is a huge step for any business. Further, the market exposure is amazing as Kickstarter has a very high traffic count. If you have not been there before, I recommend you check out Kickstarter and visit the Most Funded page to see what has succeeded in the past.