The Quickstarter Manifesto
Share this post
Quickstarter: it's OK to think small
Today we're announcing Quickstarter. It's an invitation to create small projects—the kind you do mostly for fun. London-based designer Oscar Lhermitte came up with the idea for Quickstarter. He’s no stranger to big projects (like the time he literally promised people the Moon). But he also loves doing small ones “that are inherently beautiful because they are simple and manageable.” He launched the first Quickstarter project earlier this year as an experiment to see what he could create with a small budget and a limited timeframe. When he offered to come up with a way to help other people create small projects, we were quick to say, "Yes!"
Read Oscar's Quickstarter Manifesto below and start thinking about what you’d like to create.
As a product designer, creative consultant, and backer, I’ve been involved with many Kickstarter campaigns—some for my own projects and some for other peoples’. This includes large projects that got support from thousands of backers and required a lot of pre-production work, a full support team, and a large budget to come to life. But it also includes small projects—done mostly for fun—that are inherently beautiful because they are simple and manageable.
As exciting as big projects can be, I’ve learned just as much from doing the little ones. Kickstarter is a great tool to test out experimental ideas—things that don’t follow traditional models—and working on a small scale can give you the freedom to experiment and explore new things without putting too much on the line.
This is true for young designers and artists looking to launch their first public project, who might not have the budget to hire a videographer, spend months doing PR, or figure out a complex manufacturing process. But it’s also true for seasoned professionals who are looking to shake things up and try something new. So, I’m collaborating with the folks at Kickstarter to launch Quickstarter: a creative prompt aimed at inspiring small campaigns, just for the fun of challenging yourself creatively. Here’s what I have in mind:
Quickstarter is fun.
Quickstarter is DIY.
Quickstarter won’t take over your life.
Quickstarter is not a job.
Quickstarter is no big deal.
Quickstarter is about thinking small.
Here are some rules that I’ve come up with to help you get started. Feel free to adapt them to your own needs.
Rules for launching a Quickstarter campaign:
1. The development process—from sketching an idea to launching it on Kickstarter—should take no more than three months.
2. Keep the campaign under 20 days.
3. The funding goal should be below $1,000 (or thereabouts in your local currency).
4. The main reward should be under $50.
5. The video should be shot over one day with whatever camera you have (smartphone highly recommended).
6. Don’t do any PR and media outreach (unless you get contacted).
7. Don’t run any paid ads on social media.
8. No stretch goals.
9. Include “Quickstarter” in your campaign name.
Hopefully this has you thinking about some fun, small projects you’d like to create. But don’t think about it too long—go ahead and Quickstart it!
- Guidance on Crafting an Honest and Clearly Presented Project
- Kickstarter Teams Up with the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie to Highlight 5 Projects from Emerging Photographers
- Break Tradition. Break Habit. Break Expectations. Break Kickstarter.
- Kickstarter Is Now Available in Chinese and Italian
- Ideas Into Plans: Our London Workshop for Women and Nonbinary Creators of Color