The History of #1 UPDATED

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On March 3, 2015, at around 12:20 PM, Pebble, in its new form as Pebble Time took the top spot from Coolest Cooler as the most funded project in Kickstarter history (complete with a promotional Vine about the whole thing). While Pebble Time is the latest project to hold the crown, it's not the first. Fourteen projects have held the title of Kickstarter's all-time most funded project. Here they are in chronological order.

New York Makes a Book

Raised: $3,329 

Goal: $3,000 

Most funded for: 22 days 

Reign: 4/28/2009 — 5/19/2009 

This project was the first #1 mostly because it was one of the first projects on Kickstarter, period. It launched the same day the site did with its creators including two Kickstarter co-founders. 

Allison Weiss Makes a Full Length Record

Raised: $7,711 

Goal: $2,000 

Most funded for: 31 days Reign: 5/19/2009 — 6/17/2009 

Just three weeks into Kickstarter's existence Allison Weiss blew past her goal in two days. Her project instantly became the model for everyone else. 

Help Polyvinyl Save 10,000 Records From Destruction

Raised: $15,625 

Goal: $1,000 Most funded for: 57 days 

Reign: 6/17/2009 — 8/14/2009 

A great record label sells a lot of records early on in Kickstarter history. 

Release the next Five Times August Album

Raised: $20,546 

Goal: $20,000 

Most funded for: 35 days 

Reign: 8/14/2009 — 9/19/2009 

A project of this size is typical now, but $20,000 felt like $1 million in 2009. Plus, it did it in just 31 days when a typical project duration was double that. 

The Vanderbilt Republic Foundation: "Masters"

Raised: $50,264 

Goal: $50,000 

Most funded for: 27 days 

Reign: 9/19/2009 — 10/15/2009 

This photography project was the first Kickstarter mentioned by the blog Daring Fireball, whose posts have generated pledges for many of the projects on this list. 

Designing Obama

Raised: $84,613 

Goal: $65,000 

Most funded for: 235 days 

Reign: 10/15/2009 — 5/13/2010 

Arguably the first Kickstarter blockbuster, Scott Thomas' art book about the 2008 Obama campaign was especially notable because he served as the campaign's Design Director. 

Decentralize the Web with Diaspora

Raised: $200,641 

Goal: $10,000 

Most funded for: 162 days 

Reign: 5/13/2010 — 10/21/2010 

Diaspora raised more money in one day than any other project had ever, and became an internet phenomenon in the process. 

Save Blue Like Jazz

Raised: $345,992 

Goal: $125,000 

Most funded for: 34 days 

Reign: 10/21/2010 — 11/25/2010 

Blue Like Jazz was launched by two fans after the film's financiers unexpectedly pulled out of the production. Four weeks later the project had tripled its goal, and the film opened nationwide in more than 100 theaters on Friday, April 13, 2012. 

TikTok + LunaTik

Raised: $942,578 

Goal: $15,000 

Most funded for: 441 days 

Reign: 11/25/2010 — 2/8/2012 

The TikTok came out of nowhere to change what everyone thought was possible on Kickstarter, including us. It raised just shy of $1 million on a $15,000 goal, and was the most-funded project on Kickstarter for well over a year. 

Elevation Dock

Raised: $1,464,706 

Goal: $75,000 

Most funded for: 6 hours 

Reign: 2/8/2012 — 2/8/2012 

The Elevation Dock was the first Kickstarter project to exceed $1 million in pledges and the first to topple the TikTok. However its reign was extremely short-lived. Only six hours later, the next project in our list topped it. 

Double Fine Adventure

Raised: $3,336,371 

Goal: $400,000 

Most funded for: 65 days 

Reign: 2/8/2012 — 4/17/2012 

Double Fine raised its first $1 million in less than a day and went on to raise more than three times that. Its big funding total felt destined for a TikTok-type reign. And then along came the Pebble... 


Goal: $100,000 

Raised: $10,266,245 

Most funded for: 862 days 

Reign: 4/17/2012 —8/26/2014 

Meet Pebble, the new #1. How long will it hold the top spot? Where will its funding end? With 30 days to go and funding already over $4 million, it's hard to say. Make your guess at the Pebble's final tally in the comments below. 

The Pebble ultimately ended up holding down the number one spot for longer than any other record-holder. Its creators chose to cap the number of watches they would give to backers, slowing its funding toward the end. That opened the door to an eventual challenge from...

Coolest Cooler: 21st Century Cooler that's Actually Cooler

Goal: $50,000 

Raised: $13,285,226

Most funded for: 186 days 

Reign: 8/26/2014—3/3/2015 

When creator Ryan Grepper brought an earlier version of his cooler to Kickstarter in December 2013, he didn’t reach quite reach his goal of $125,000. The second time around, he raised more than 200 times his $50,000 goal. Let’s raise a tasty blended beverage to perseverance!

Pebble Time: Awesome Smartwatch, No Compromises

Goal: $500,000

Raised: $20,338,986

Most Funded For: ?

Reign: 3/3/2015 - ?

The original Pebble watch held the most funded spot for what seemed like forever. Eventually, The Coolest Cooler would rise to the top on a wave of chilled out good times and blended drinks. Less than a year later though, Pebble took back their crown with Pebble Time. Can they keep the title for another two years? It certainly seems like they've set the bar impossibly high... but only time will tell.

    1. Loretta Fontaine Castagna on


      Thanks for the COOLEST update I've ever seen. Ryan Grepper, CONGRATULATIONS!!! With hard work, stellar perseverance and a inventive mind that constantly wraps itself around details and fun equally - you did it! :)

    2. Austin Nieh on

      What about Potato Salad???

    3. Missing avatar

      Rosane Oliveira on

      Love this recap! I almost "invested" in the COOLEST last November, but ended up forgetting to do so. It seemed a sure success back then, and I was surprised to see it on Kickstarter again. Exciting to see it reach #1now! Well played and well deserved! :D

    4. Brad on

      What about "Not Potato Salad" :)

    5. Patrick J Winkelman on

      Very nice - just what has been needed for a long time. What about an external shelf (retractable) so that you can set the drink or dips on it while still giving access to the cooler?

    6. Chef Jay Valencia on

      I still don't get Kickstarter rewards.
      Is $180 for the cooler or for your funding?
      If you don't hit your goal you don't get anything?
      How is that going to make your supporters feel? Confused...

      Can someone explain?


    7. Missing avatar

      Steven Hughes on

      $185 gets you a Cooler. All the people who pledge are only charged IF they reach their goals. So you don't lose money by pledging and goals not being met

    8. Osman EL-BABA

      Great Summary :) Proud to be a member of this uplifting community

    9. Tom Urbanek on

      Wow, very inspiring summary, Yancey, thank you so much! I'm heading back to the drawing board right now to design a project that will be even hotter than the coolest :)

    10. Dena on

      Once the funding is closed, in the case of Coolest about this time tomorrow, if the goal amount is pledged (for the Coolest the goal was $50,000) backers will be charged and the project funded. The backers then wait for their reward. For $25 backers, the reward is a cup, similar to a Solo cup with a Coolest logo, for the $200 backers, it's a Coolest cooler in a color of their choice.
      A pledge is a promise to donate, so it's a donation. Sometimes a reward arrives, sometimes it doesn't. In the case of the pebble watch now being sold in retail outlets and online (Amazon), many backers are still waiting for their watch, over 2 years later.

    11. Vonna Gissler on

      what about veronica mars?

    12. Missing avatar

      Chuck Peairs on

      I would not fund the cooler. This project will be 11 million dollars to put Chinese to work. I am a moldmaker from Portland. Most tooling shops here are closed now. I talked just a few months ago with a very good injection molder in the Portland area. The cheap Chinese prices are killing him. And yes, the quality out of China is inferior to that of the US. I know exactly what production problems you will encounter with offshore tooling. There are many unemployed people in rural Oregon that would be quite capable of producing this item, it is not a "Rocket Science" product. So when all you proud backers show off your coolers, make sure to show off the "Made in China" label too.

    13. Skippy on

      @Chuck: do you have Apple products?

    14. Skippy on

      I will not back this project, because The Coolest first gets made in China,
      then probably gets back to the US, then I have to pay $100 for shipping to my country
      AND on top of that 25% on import taxes and cost (so: including shipping),
      making it a total of $356,25
      I will wait for a distributor in my country. Shipping directly from China to my address would save me a lot of money, because these deliveries are most of the times not taxed.

    15. Skippy on

      Pebble reached 68,929 backers ...

    16. Zackery Kiernan on

      I thought Amanda Palmer once held the #1 spot.

    17. Jeremy Snowdon on

      Cool list! I've only seen half of these projects before. If I remember correctly, the only one here that I've actually backed is the Pebble.

      Also, I noticed the "Help Polyvinyl" project is missing the paragraph/bold html tags around the "Most funded for" line.

    18. Lindsey Laurain, founder of ezpz on

      Great list :) I am hoping to have similar luck with the ezpz Less Mess Happy Mat! Loving Kickstarter

    19. Missing avatar

      Marita Tobin on

      Is this service available in Ireland to fund a product that would surely go Global with the right investment and help.
      Does anyone know, or can give a website in Europe that does the same great work for inventors, artists etc.

    20. Gregory Briggler on

      This list has it all - humble beginnings, gadgets, ideas, films, music, politics, and of course watches! I love lists, they are always surprising. This one is no exception.

    21. David Gaipa

      Proud to have been a part of many of these as well as many of those crossed off ones in that Vine video. It has been exciting to watch the growth of projects in terms of $$ and # of backers.

    22. Manny Salt on

      That's so cool!

    23. Missing avatar

      Namaku Keren on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    24. Missing avatar

      teguhbejo on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    25. Missing avatar

      Doa Ibu Tersayang on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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