Dreaming Big

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We’ve all had that idea. The one that’s too crazy, too costly, or just too big. If only we had the money, if only we had the time. Before you know it, the dream stays just that: a dream.

This year we saw those sorts of ambitious projects pop up on Kickstarter. Whether the ideas were genuinely world-changing or just genuinely awesome, backers often came together to make them a reality.

Some made us feel like anything was possible. Launch a pop-up restaurant that changes every month. Discover a major new photographer. Create real-life portals. Make a 75-minute dance movie. Set a giant guitar on fire. Turn a cottage into a musical instrument. (And a skate ramp while we’re at it.) Find an undeveloped island on Craigslist and turn it into a Walden Pond artist residency. They made us feel like kids again, believing anything could happen.

A thousand people got behind a tiny design firm’s idea to build a giant, public pool in New York’s famously icky East River. A budding aerospace engineer set out to make space flight accessible to people other than astronauts and Richard Branson. His pitch to send a satellite filled with tiny, personal spaceships into outer space opened: “Ever dreamed of owning your own spacecraft?”

Not all big ideas made their goals, but they were successful in other ways. A National Geographic photographer searched for a lost Da Vinci mural. An electrical engineer wanted to fill a football field with lightning. Proud Kentuckians launched a pitch for their state. These projects made a big impression regardless of funding.

But in an ambitious year the most ambitious of all was the Global Village Construction Set. This project promised nothing less than the easy DIY fabrication of the fifty basic machines needed to develop a small civilization. You read that right: a civilization. Now that’s dreaming big.                                                                                       

    1. Vengeur on

      Is there anything like a "Kickstarter Alumni" program to make it easy to find former Kickstarter projects and companies that are now available commercially? Or have you guys thought of starting one?

    2. Tim Forbes on

      I'm with Vengeur on that! I doubt I'd ever shop conventionally again if there were a way to identify/aggregate Kickstarter-born products and content and make it available for sale.

    3. Labelle Rouge on

      Ok. That sounds good but I have a wish for this year: open kickstarter to europe please !

    4. Tyler Hibbard on

      Fourthed! Vengeur's suggestion would be really nice to see implemented.

    5. TOM HAINES on

      I haven't put together my pitch yet, so I don't know if I'll be a Kickstart project or not, but I think Vengeur's idea is a given.

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      Bogdan on

      This would be very nice and also opening it to european ideas.
      They have a similar site in the UK but like everything else in Socialist European Union it's restricted

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      Joan Killingsworth on

      Keep the idealism, ambition, drive and beliefs going! We are behind you, Kickstarter, Prove us good right.

    8. Kim Caldwell on

      As a small business owner, I think being able ot find past projects is a great idea. Helping others makes me appreciate my own work even more.

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      Leonard McQualter on

      Would love Kickstarter to offer it's services in Australia. We have some great creative people and ideas that require support. ... We invented wine cask, Motor Mower and wind up clothes line ... give Australia a go! Leonard

    10. David Anderson on

      so glad Marcin got the final plug.

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      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

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      Emma Murphy on

      I'd love to see Kickstarter open up to Europe. I'm part of the Social Entrepreneurs network here in Ireland, which is great but it's nothing like Kickstarter - the platform you guys offer is amazing. Also, I've just noticed that you don't have a 'health' category? Any particular reason? Thanks!

    13. PokerDonkey.com on

      Everyone loves sucess stories. I would definately purchase through some of the home grown Kickstart operations. I agree with Vengeur in that a comprehensive list of Kickstarter services/products would be win/win.

    14. M Kathryn Massey on

      These comments are great especially the alumni by category. I am in the middle of preparing a pitch for a video I want to produce as a 1.5 hour art instructional DVD. I am not sure what premiums to offer donors, if any, and, if there is a suggested amount over a certain period of time. It would be great to confer with someone who has been through it and has hindsight. Thanks.

      M Kathryn Massey, OPA, AA

    15. Malcolm J. Kudra on

      Even projects that did NOT reach their funding goal could provide good ideas that deserve development and offer hints for improving a different project pitch or revisit that same project with a more effective presentation.

    16. xoxo on

      You can NEVER dream too big! And thanks to this site, a lot of people's dreams have come true.

    17. Julie L. Walker on

      My motto in life IS DREAM BIG! If you can't dream or hope what do you have...Kickstarter has provided the ledge for inventors and big ideas to jump from and of course... and hopefully a place to land...

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      Charles Milton on

      This is so strange because this is exactly what I have been looking for yesterday and today.. I am very interested in the presentations that didn't make it. I would love to consider how I could help them also. Of course they can resubmit with another idea or possibly go to bat with renewed vigor to see if a second go at it will fund. It seems to be that the whole data base, contact info, and content "gravity" is very valuable and the funding may not have been made because of other dynamics, such as weak presentation, personality, lack of personal contact.... on and on. Yeah for Kickstarter... This is becoming my favorite site.

    19. Juan Chaparro on

      Awesome! It's great to see that all of us have big ideas and KS is the place to make them happen. Tonight I'll be launching our project Slideagram, I'm very excited to see what happens.

    20. Dustin O'bryan on

      Mr. Wong! I love you. please! contact me. I've loved every action video you've presented to me (youtube). I'm a HUGE metal gear fan also. the vent video was grand, that was entertainment. Seriously though, I grew up watching your videos, but yours were definitely a learning experience. You've convinced me to further learn video editing . I LOVE your videos for that reason. I've followed "devinsupertramp" alongside "lindseystomp". I've been longtime fans of all three of you and I hope you give me a chance to see you sometime in person. You are a very talented person Freddie. Keep doin' the do.

      Hope to meet you soon.


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      Erica Harley on

      my name is erica harley. i have great technology ideas on inventalatur.com it is technology/electronic based.

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      deleted on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      Namaku Keren on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      Namaku Keren on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      Doa Ibu Tersayang on

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