2011: The Moments

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We reviewed everything that happened in the Kickstarter universe last year and we narrowed it down to 83 stand-out events. Take a deep breath, and let's dig in!


Five Kickstarter-funded films premiere at Sundance. Pop-up restaurant What Happens When opens to raves. A Vivian Maier exhibit breaks attendance records. Daniel Johnston makes a comic and Putty Hill premieres to enthusiastic reviewsProtei takes on the oil spill. Sundance, Pitchfork, and RISD launch Curated Pages. A designer turns the New York Times paywall into a project. Frank Chimero launches the notecard video memeTrade School hosts classes at the Whitney Museum. The Glif Guys explain DIY manufacturing and launch a game theory experiment. Jon Heder starts a project and a Minecraft doc gets huge. Sub-categories go live. The last space shuttle gets documented.


Kickstarter turns two and announces $50 million in pledges; Russia sends an unforgettable birthday card. Matthew Modine launches a project from our office, Ai Weiwei director Alison Klayman appears on Colbert, the TikTok hits the Apple Store, and Kickstarter makes CNN. A photographer commemorates Chernobyl’s 25-year anniversary while technologists try to save Japan. Coffee Joulies save a factory. Freakers USA unveils a project vid for the ages. The Duplass brothers fund Kevin and Black RockGirl Walk gets escorted out of Yankee Stadium. The max project length is shortened to 60 days. Cards Against Humanity is the #1 selling game on Amazon. Robert Gupta plays a 300-year-old Stradivarius violinTom Hanks tweets about son Colin's project. Kickstarters learn to lucid dream and the +Pool becomes the talk of New York. The Eephus resurrects the baseball scorebook for Opening Day.


The New York Times names Kickstarter "the people’s NEA." Funny or Die shares Obama’s Kickstarter to Solve the Debt. The second Kickstarter Film Festival screens on a rooftop. Citizen becomes the 10,000th successful projectEyeWriter and Hip-Hop Word Count are shown in the Museum of Modern Art. James Franco talks about his non-visible art project on Jimmy KimmelIra Glass arm-wrestles at the Eugene Mirman Comedy FestivalTime names Kickstarter one of the 50 Best Websites of 2011. The PadPivot lands in Best Buy. The project pie chart debuts. The Tiny New Yorker melts our hearts. Hundreds strip for Spencer Tunick's Naked SeaUrbanized premieres at TorontoNational Geographic hunts for a lost Da Vinci. Molly Crabapple survives a week in hell. Kickstarter invades Comic Con NYC and a comic anthology raises $100,000. We catch a first glimpse of Rabbit Island. The most meta project ever successfully ends unsuccessfully.


Kickstarter announces one million backers and $100 million in pledges. Fourteen Kickstarter-funded films are accepted to SundancePariah opens in theaters. Cthulhu sells 100,000 copies. The Occupy Wall Street Journal hits the streets. The Coffee Joulies guys chill at the White House. Cleveland gets a Harvey Pekar statue. Swoon’s musical house gets a New York Times raveOur Nixon directs a New York Times op-ed, and PBS profiles SafecastHal Hartley launches a feature, Spock launches a short, Denis Leary launches a doc, and Winger launches a ballet. Kickstarter alums Allison Weiss and Scott Wilson do it again. The DOT hits the Apple Store, Kickstarter rewards hit Times Square, and Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman go on tourThe Jay Demerit Story premieres in theaters and The Classical publishesits first piece. Printrbot becomes the second-most funded project ever. The creator dashboard and project preview launch. A thousand people dance to Girl Walk // All DayPitchfork names Marissa Nadler one of the best albums of the year and Spin names Indie Cred Test one of the best books. Kickstarter makes its primetime debut.

What were your favorite moments of 2011? Please share in the comments!

    1. John Yaworsky on

      Jeff Lowe's Metanoia film about the un-repeated most difficult route up the north face of the Eiger.

    2. bvhj on

      Five Iron Frenzy raising $40,000 in under an hour.

    3. Evan Burkey on

      Five Iron Frenzy meeting it's $30,000 goal in less than an hour, and rising to 150,000 in about a week if I remember.

    4. Yancey Strickler

      Five Iron Frenzy is a great one. They actually got a mention for fastest start in our Stats post: http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/2011-the-stats

    5. Gameosaurus on

      Yancey -- glad it got mentioned somewhere. It should also be listed on "The Moments" because it was quite a moment.

    6. Espionage Cosmetics on

      JourneyQuest raised over $113k for season 2 of the Webseries!

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      C Molony on

      DID YOU KNOW that STEVEN MOLONY, who starred in Pinching Penny (over $20,000 for final post-production costs funded on Kickstarter spring, 2011) won the INDIE AWARD for lead actor in a feature film! Check out his website: www.stevenmolony.com and watch for many more things to come!

    8. Daniel Kramer on

      Not to mention Five Iron Frenzy schooling!

    9. Michael Canham on

      Five Iron Frenzy raising so much money so fast and God providing them a way to return.

    10. David Washington on

      Five Iron Frenzy definetly made some headlines. Can't wait for the kickstarter show!!

    11. Porcupine on

      Yup, JourneyQuest reaching the target for a full new season has got to be up there...

    12. Ethan on

      Definitely FIF hitting their goal before my eyes! With every ⌘-R of the page, I saw a leap of a few thousand dollars, doubling their goal by the end of the night. Amazing.

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      deleted on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      Robert John Pace on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      Jack Hemingway on

      All the events were really entertaining and even I attended few of them. I really enjoyed a lot and had a great fun. Now I am waiting for the next year events. http://annette.bcz.com/

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      Karol Dahlquist on

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      sumerwin on

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    18. Josi Sonali on

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    19. Josi Sonali on

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    20. Josi Sonali on

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      Upeksha Pawar on

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