Some Cool Stats on the Coolest Cooler

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In the wee hours of the day after Christmas, Ryan Grepper's first Kickstarter project fell short of its $125,000 goal and quietly sputtered out. It wasn't the most promising debut. But eight months and $13.3 million later, Ryan's revamped Coolest Cooler project is sitting atop the list of the most-funded Kickstarter projects of all time. Here's a bit of context and some fun facts about the Coolest's amazing feat.

The Coolest's 52-day funding period wrapped up last Friday after a big surge at the end. We wanted to compare its progress with that of the #2 and #3 most-funded projects: the Pebble smartwatch and the Ouya game console. Those two had shorter funding periods, so we lined them all up on the same time scale, as if they had competed in an imaginary horse race.

One thing that jumps out here is the slowdown in Pebble's funding three-quarters of the way through. The Pebble's creators chose to cap the number of watches they were offering as rewards, saying they wanted to focus on making a great watch for the backers they already had. Without that cap, would the Pebble have raised enough to move beyond the Coolest's reach? We'll never know. But we do know that they made a great watch!

Ouya's climb is more typical, with a spike in pledges in the last days. But the Coolest's late gains were truly extraordinary. That's probably because of the burst of press attention it received when it topped Pebble's record. (Ryan even made vodkaritas for the folks on the Today Show.)

The Coolest's victory ended a remarkable reign by Pebble, which spent more than two years at #1. At the dawn of Kickstarter in 2009, there was a lot more turnover at the top of the list, but of course the funding amounts were relatively tiny. The Designing Obama book, which was #1 at the end of that year, raised 0.6% of the Coolest's total. In an earlier post we ran through all the #1s in Kickstarter's history. Here's a quick recap:

Project Amount Days on Top
New York Makes a Book $3,329 22
Allison Weiss Makes a Full Length Record $7,711 31
Help Polyvinyl Save 10,000 Records From Destruction $15,625 57
Release the next Five Times august album $20,546 35
The Vanderbilt Republic Foundation: "Masters" $50,264 27
Designing Obama $84,613 235
Decentralize the Web with Diaspora $200,641 162
Save Blue Like Jazz $345,992 34
TikTok + LunaTik $942,578 441
Elevation Dock $1,464,706 0.25
Double Fine adventure $3,336,371 65
Pebble $10,266,245 862
Coolest Cooler: 21st Century Cooler that's actually Cooler $13,285,226 ???

The shortest reign of all belongs to the Elevation Dock. It was the first project to top $1 million, and it ended TikTok's 441-day run, but after just six hours it was knocked off its perch by Double Fine Adventure. (That was a crazy day.)

Ryan timed his second Coolest campaign a little better than the first, rolling it out at a time of year when people in the US were most likely to have frozen margaritas on their minds. Here we've labeled the 10 states that pledged the most money to the project. California has always been a big Kickstarter state, but Texas really stands out here. One in every 4,629 Texans backed the Coolest Cooler.

The Coolest was not a big hit internationally, possibly due to shipping costs. Just 11% of backers chose the "International Coolest" reward. But the project still managed to pick up 524 backers from Australia, 89 from Brazil, and 66 from the United Arab Emirates -- all places where an icy beverage might come in handy. The Coolest's project video racked up 2.7 million views worldwide, vs. Pebble's 2.1 million.

We always like to check out which other Kickstarter projects appeal to the people who support a blockbuster like the Coolest. Here are the projects that Coolest backers went on to back the most in recent weeks.

Project Backers Who Backed Coolest
Bunch O Balloons: 100 Water Balloons in Less Than 1 Minute 860
The Stupendous Splendiferous ButterUp 608
Sense: Know More. Sleep Better. 584
Blink: Wire-Free HD Home Monitoring & Alert System 491
NudeAudio Super-M speaker 447
Noke: The World's First Bluetooth Padlock 384
Aquabot: Makes Your Water Bottle Spray 25 Feet 244
Earin - The World's Smallest Wireless Earbuds 203
The Ice Chest: Makes Crystal Clear Ice Cubes or Spheres 190
Tool Pen - Makes Everything Beautiful 181

There are lots of high-tech projects here, but also three that, like the Coolest, are about staying cool and having fun: Bunch O Balloons, which seriously escalates the water-balloon arms race; Aquabot, a turbocharged spray cap for water bottles; and the Ice Chest, a way to make clear ice spheres.

The list also includes a smash-hit butter knife. Which makes us wonder how many other everyday household items could use a Kickstarter-powered, Coolest-style reinvention. If you've got an innovative idea, we hope you'll share it with the world on Kickstarter!

    1. Loretta Fontaine Castagna on

      Awesome stats for the COOLEST project ever!

      "...Here we've labeled the 10 states that pledged the most money to the project. California has always been a big Kickstarter state, but Texas really stands out here. One in every 4,629 Texans backed the Coolest Cooler...."

      But if you adjusted for population, how did Montana fare? LOTS of Helena Coolest fans, I bet Montana stood out, too! :)

    2. Sam Beckett on

      Care to discuses all of the possible kickstarter TOS violations this product had? And the possible trademark issues? Also another reason for the spike was also due to the fact 90% of backers failed to add shipping, forcing kickstarter members to come back and $15 while he up sold an extra battery. Not a lot of users failed to add the correct amount and will be forced to use a 3rd party program and use CC to pay the 15$ which evades kickstarter fees. Also him not updating the photos with the design change. And he still was telling everyone on TV the last day the item will still be shipping to everyone in the same estimated time (seems unbelievable but time will tell)

    3. chadwick parker & joe huang on

      It's always great to see such detailed stats, thanks for sharing guys!
      -Chadwick & Joe

    4. Dave & Calvin Laituri on

      Fingers crossed for a project 1/1000th as successful in our future!

      - Dave & Calvin

    5. Bradley Potts on

      And to think I was pleased when I hit $1500. Certainly different types of projects attract greater funding. Anything with alcohol or girls seems to do well.

    6. Brandon Smith on

      Hi this is a really awesome analysis! Would you mind posting the raw data as well? Thanks!

    7. Kiran (Raj) RajBhandary on

      Great info here, we have a US manufactured home product on kickstarter, and think products that solve real issues are a great fit for the community and that the state backer info was particularly of note.

    8. Petyr Stretz on

      It would be great if Kickstarter could actually interview Ryan to see what he did differently the second time through. I agree timing can certainly help, but the delta in the two Kickstarter campaigns is huge. It would be interesting to know what else he actually did to achieve such an accomplishment.

    9. Jason Archer on

      Very interesting and I guess it makes sense that people would buy a cooler in the summer vs the winter, while I decided not to back because it's delivery is when snow will still be on the ground. I figured if I still wanted it next summer I'll hit up there site when I can get it from stock and potentially improved over the initial version. Great insights to consumer "backing" habits... They don't always make logic sense but emotionally dead on. Awesome!!

    10. Tony Gruber on

      I'm surprised by the # of people who seem to back a project just because it's successful.
      Congrats' Coolest Cooler! I agree with Petyr; I'd like to see an in-depth interview as well - though they are probably crazy-busy building coolers right now. :)

    11. Naomi Dagen Bloom on

      Am I the only Kickstarter enthusiast/supporter who wondered if the amount contributed for a cooler was definitely NOT a good sign of the times? Has no one approached Kickstarter with a world-saving idea--equipment for aid workers on the Ebola front line, a library installation for an impoverished town in a southern state. And maybe set the bar at $10,000?

    12. Lucas Alcalde on

      I think a Kickstarter infographic with the top projects and fun facts would be really, really sweet!!!

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      mary graham on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    14. Imphenzia on

      Cool to follow this project in the closing stages, every page refresh was $1000 up =) I'm still hoping we get to fund projects in Sweden before crowdfunding hype has passed. I know there are alternative to KS but they are not nearly as successful.

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      UrbanForageWinery&CiderHouse on

      So cool! We have been following kickstarter projects since 2011 and also have donated to bunch of them. What a great idea to make make things happen. My husband Jeff and i are staring Urban Winery: Urban Forage Winery and Cider House in Mpls. We are hoping to do kisckstarter crowd funding to buy commercial equipment some time in this fall.

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      javariaazmat on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    17. Missing avatar

      javariaazmat on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      javariaazmat on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    19. Missing avatar

      Dante Archangeli on

      Wow ! The Coolest Cooler. So exciting that a product like this is your all time money raiser! Just what the world really needs! Another hunk of unneccessary plastic that soon-to-be drunk morons in their SUV’s can haul to the beach or mountains stuffed with throw away bottles and cans. Next up the Koolest Keg. I can’t wait. Sign me up!

    20. Missing avatar

      Doris l. Miller on

      I can't wait to receive my coolest cooler.i am so excited!

    21. Phoebe Solomon on

      KS team, thanks for posting this. Very interesting and very useful. Trying to aspire.

    22. Craighton Berman on

      The most mainstream product ever launched on Kickstarter—interpret that whichever way suits your personal perspective.

    23. Brenda Whiteside on

      I'd like to know other than timing that helped. I'm guessing he used a promo group. That's about the only way I can think of you're going to get into mainstream tv and news. Did he? Let's hear.

    24. Missing avatar

      Donna Colon on

      Congratulations Ryan! We are from Oregon and soooo great that your Coolest is too, Oregon rocks! We look so forward enjoying many family outings with the Coolest, can't wait to receive it!

    25. Atlas Greyfox on

      I like it. Could I have the name of there promoter for my kickstart project.

    26. Missing avatar

      eduard rijborz on

      Bravo!, for unbelievable results.
      Enjoy the success!

    27. Thomas Folk on

      Hate to bother anybody

      But what is going on with the COOLEST COOLERS it was said they were going to start delivery in November

      I have not heard anymore about it but they took the money from my credit card

      Could you let me know what is up they need to get my address to


      Tom Folk one of your backers and happy to be one

    28. Missing avatar

      Judy Skeen on

      I am positive that I had paid the shipping and extra battery fees a few months ago. However, I received an email stating that I still needed to pay those fees. I did pay them again but I know I paid these twice! Not good. I was excited but I now have a bad taste in my mouth.

    29. Sally Swinford on

      I invested $185.00 in the Coolest Cooler and I found out later after the fund raiser was over about the $15 shipping. Amazon told me I had to contact Inventors Blueprint LLC about the shipping fee. I have called and left messages but no one returns my calls. I emailed them but no one responds. I will send a registed letter next and see if Ryan Grepper will respond or not. I am trying to do the right thing but so far this company is just blowing me off.

    30. Missing avatar

      Linn on

      Is there anything about the update on this ripoff of a project? I have eMailed four or five times and they don't even respond.

    31. David Gallagher

      Hi everyone: For the latest updates from the Coolest Cooler project, head over here: