The Kickstarter Blog

Blockbusters

Today’s homepage features four projects that have already raised more than $120,000 combined. Three of these have clear geek appeal, the fourth is a music project, and all of them have struck a deep chord with their audiences and the larger Kickstarter community. Why? Let’s take a look.

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TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay — Away From Keyboard by Simon Klose | $23,816 raised/$25,000 goal | 28 days to go

Launched late Friday night, Simon Klose’s documentary on The Pirate Bay — a widely used filesharing site that’s in a long battle with authorities — has jumped off to an impressive start, easily surpassing its goal in just 72 hours. Sure, a documentary on The Pirate Bay is an internet readymade, but don’t overlook the strength of Klose’s actual project: an engrossing video and a well-conceived slate of rewards. There’s no telling how high this one may climb.

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Punk Mathematics by Tom Henderson | $25,748 raised/$2,400 goal | 1 day to go

If someone told you that a former Portland State University professor could raise more than $25,000 — ten times his goal! — to write a book combining math and punk rock, how would you react? Us too, but that’s exactly what Tom Henderson has done. This project is all about two things: a fun, memorable video and a heartfelt embrace of geekdom. The rewards are spectacular and the energy and fire are right there. From the moment we read Tom’s initial project proposal, this one has held us rapt.

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Lockpicks by Open Locksport by Schuyler Towne | $29,456 raised/$6,000 goal | 25 days to go

Lockpicks? Yes, lockpicks. Schuyler is a competitive lockpicker (there is such a thing) who decided to open his trade up to a broader audience. The response has been amazing — he’s nearly $25,000 over his goal, and last week in an update he said he may now be able to devote his life to his craft. Why so much interest? The project has a clear goal, the rewards are unique, and it doesn’t hurt that Schuyler himself is awesome, as his videohis updates, and our recent Q&A with him made abundantly clear.

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The best BLEU CD release (of all time?) by Bleu | $35,538 pledged/$8,000 goal | 6 days to go

Bleu is a singer/songwriter from LA who has released eight records and written songs for a host of pop stars (the Jonas Brothers, for one). His Kickstarter project is a direct-to-fan release of a new album, with exclusives and early access granted to backers. The project took off like a shot (almost $20k on day one), and it’s never slowed down. The video is excellent, and he’s kept the momentum by setting new goals and milestones with project updates. An exceptional project.

CONCLUSIONS

Is there anything to learn here about how to build a wildly successful project? There are clear commonalities: personal videos (every one of these featured the creator speaking directly to the camera), strong communities, and reward slates that understand what people will want and what they’re willing to pay. Congratulations to all of these creators — future creators, take note!

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