This Week in Kickstarter
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Hello and welcome to another installment of This Week in Kickstarter, our most self-explanatorily-titled recurring feature. This week March went out like a lamb, and it took some real big projects with it. Meanwhile we kicked off Comics month, and things got weird here at Kickstarter HQ.
Foolin': It may be April, but we took a break from pranks this year. Don't get us wrong, we love a good joke as much as the next brand, but we still feel guilty for fooling folks with last year's gag. Instead, we kicked back and rocked this soundtrack.
The truth is, we're stoked because De La Soul is on Kickstarter with a project to create their first new studio album in 11 years. They launched their project on Monday and hit their goal in just 9 hours. They got some nice coverage, and they're still going strong. They even shared this fun behind-the-scenes update on their visit to Kickstarter HQ. You'll see a number of our smiling mugs in that video. And regular mugs too – Maseo really enjoyed our tea.
Timing is everything. In any normal week, De La Soul would be the craziest news coming out of Kickstarter HQ. Instead, the Pebble Time project ended on Friday, with 78,471 backers and $20,338,986! They nearly doubled their original project's funding total (which was the record for nearly 2.5 years!) and set a new all-time record.
As cool as all that is, part of the reason we dig Pebble so much is how well they play with others. They're doing lots of cool things to get other people involved in development, like their recently announced smartstraps. They even worked directly with the Spark team to hack together a cellular-powered smartstrap. Dang.
On Air: Meanwhile, Spark's Electron dev kit project officially ended this week. (If you missed out, its Spotlight page has a button that will let you get in on the action.) The campaign may be over, but our cool Spark-enabled internet button is still up and running. Click this link for a livestreaming peek into Kickstarter HQ, and then tweet using the hashtag #kicksparklr + a number + a color to change the LEDs!
It did take folks a minute to get used to the idea of a webcam in the kitchen. Some prankster dropped this bobblehead into an early test.
Speaking of bobbleheads, the Isiah Whitlock, Jr. Talking Bobblehead continues to skyrocket in popularity. It's now safe to say that this is the most successful bobblehead in Kickstarter history. In fact, the man himself wrote us, asking us to confirm what he only suspected.
Meanwhile, David Simon, the creator of The Wire, brought the prototype to the White House to demo for Obama. All we can say is good luck future bobblehead creators.
The write stuff: We were on the edge of our seats, but we're happy to report that our friends at Emily Books topped their funding goal just in the nick of time. They're doing something really important: publishing and celebrating the best works from transgressive writers. They shared a really sweet update, that started like this: "Oh my god. Words, which are supposed to be our 'thing,' fail us. We were very hopeful starting out but I don't think either of us truly believed we would make it to our goal until, last night, thanks to all 711 of you, we did. We really, truly cannot thank you enough."
And then they shared this Broad City gif with their backers. Maybe the best celebration gif yet.
Take it from a writer, writers getting paid for their work is important! That's part of the reason we hosted this panel, featuring some of our favorite publishing creators, on how to do just that.
A different small press you may be familiar with, The New York Times, today shared another Kickstarter-funded documentary. It's called The Last Ice Merchant, and it tells the story of Baltazar Ushca, the last harvester of glacial ice in Ecuador. You can watch it here.
While we were cruising the Times, we came across this article about Karen. Karen is an app. Karen is a life coach. Karen psychologically profiles you while you use it. Her? In any case, Karen began as a Kickstarter project, and we recently invited Matt Adams, one of the project's creators and a member of Blast Theory, into our theater to discuss gameplay in art.
Reward of the week: You ever receive a reward for a project you forgot you backed? That was kind of the case with us and the Canine Anatomy Sculpture. But hey, now we have this skinless dog sculpture, so that's cool.
Have you read (or made) some news that intersects with the world of Kickstarter? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, or @kickstarter on Twitter. See you next week.