You Are Here: Projects of Earth

 

 “Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us.”

—Carl Sagan in Pale Blue Dot, referencing a photo of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of 6 billion kilometers.

When the first Voyager space probe launched into orbit on August 20, 1977, forty years ago yesterday, it carried on board an exceptional artifact: the Voyager Golden Record. This “galactic greeting card” was designed by a team led by Carl Sagan to share scenes, sounds, music, and greetings from Earth — a metaphoric snapshot of humanity — with any far-off life forms who might discover it.

Today, millions of people will witness a rare solar eclipse. This cosmic event reminds us of something profound that’s often overlooked: we’re all together on this pale blue dot. Projects of Earth is a creative initiative inspired by this collective vision of humankind. Between August 20 and September 5 — the original launch dates of the two Voyager space probes — Kickstarter creators will launch projects that explore life and culture on Earth in 2017. Together, these projects will create a multifaceted portrait of our world today.

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Let's MAKE Vinyl

Coffeeshop Selection by Gramatik
Coffeeshop Selection by Gramatik

 

As we announced in June, Kickstarter Music is very pleased to be developing a collaboration with Qrates intended to simplify vinyl pressing and production what we’re calling MAKE Vinyl. Our ongoing goal is to help and support the bands and musicians we work with gain access to the tools and resources they most often need. MAKE Vinyl provides this support by helping creators plan, manufacture, and fulfill their projects — so they can focus on making music.

The first batch of MAKE Vinyl projects are live now. We’re sharing some of them — and a few other Music projects we dig — below. Get into it.

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A new Kickstarter Gold Standard: Celebrating repeat creators

Last month, over sixty of the most inventive creators in Kickstarter history returned to the platform for a special initiative called Kickstarter Gold. These artists, designers, musicians, filmmakers, and makers were invited by Kickstarter's Outreach and Curation teams to launch new projects putting fresh spins on their most celebrated works.

From 3Doodler to Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, Music for Cats to Chineasy, Kickstarter Gold projects had a remarkable success rate of 92%, garnering nearly $4.4 million in support from backers.

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Bringing Messages to the Kickstarter Android App

Some great news for Android fans: Starting today, we’re bringing our messaging tools to our Android app. And we’re doing it in a new way. Since we built this just for mobile, we designed a layout that’s similar to the way you’re used to seeing conversations on your phone.

To read and respond to your messages, just head to the main menu, visit your profile, and tap the envelope icon.

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Our Next Great Leap

Today I’m announcing that we are beginning the search for Kickstarter’s next CEO.

I’ve spent the last 12 years working on Kickstarter in many different roles. As a co-founder, as our first community support rep when we launched in 2009, as an evangelist sharing Kickstarter with creators, as a team-builder who has hired and supported so many wonderful people, and most recently as CEO.

Kickstarter’s mission is to help bring creative projects to life. As a Public Benefit Corporation, we strive to be a leader in thoughtful corporate governance. We’ve empowered more than 100,000 people to bring their book, album, movie, artwork, game, play, or product into existence. Kickstarter distributed more than $170 million to independent creators over the last three months — the biggest three-month stretch in our history.

Since 2014 when I became CEO, we made several great leaps: tripling the total dollars pledged to projects, launching Kickstarter to creators in 16 countries, and building an exceptional team of leaders at every level. Now we’re looking for someone who can push us to make our next great leaps.

Let me be the first to tell you: the job is great. The team is seriously ridiculous. 2017 will be our eighth straight profitable year. Great stuff is cooking in the oven. Being the CEO of Kickstarter is an unreal opportunity for someone with a deep connection to creative projects, someone who doesn’t believe in putting profit above all, and someone who’s excited by the challenge of building on a successful business that’s oriented to the long term.

While I’ll step down sometime later this year, I’ll continue to be out in the world sharing our story as a cofounder and #1 fan. And I’ll be getting up to some new projects, too.

I want to thank my cofounders Perry and Charles, our board, and the team for fighting the good fight together. Hell yeah!

Celebrating 100,000 Kickstarter Creators

The Martha Graham Dance Company has run three Kickstarter projects. Photo by Brigid Pierce. Courtesy of Martha Graham Dance Company.
The Martha Graham Dance Company has run three Kickstarter projects. Photo by Brigid Pierce. Courtesy of Martha Graham Dance Company.

We were poking around in our stats and discovered that we recently passed a nice round milestone: More than 100,000 independent creators have funded their projects with Kickstarter.

Those creators come from every corner of the creative universe. They are documentary filmmakers, tabletop game developers, fashion designers, and open-source hardware tinkerers. They come from Provo and Malmo and Tulum. Some ran a single project that raised $100. Some have run dozens of projects. There are individuals like the designer Ji Lee with his Redundant Clock, and important cultural organizations like the Martha Graham Dance Company. Together they paint a picture of the independent creative landscape today.

Here are some numbers behind those funded creators (there are actually closer to 107,000 of them already!):

  • Number of projects successfully funded on Kickstarter: 128,586 
  • Number of creators who have run more than one successfully funded project: 12,107 
  • Average amount raised by successfully funded projects: $21,698 
  • Median amount raised by successfully funded projects: $5,050 
  • Total amount of money pledged to successfully funded projects: $2,790,010,435 
  • Number of backers who have pledged to a successfully funded project: 11,789,656 
  • Total number of pledges to successfully funded projects: 32,863,094 
  • Average number of backers for successfully funded projects: 255

Many Kickstarter projects are the first step on a much longer creative journey. Creators often return to Kickstarter again and again to share their latest ideas with the people who helped get them started. For these creators, Kickstarter is a way to sustain their creative practice and engage a community over the long term. In fact, more than a third of the $3 billion pledged on Kickstarter has gone to repeat creators. Recently we celebrated many of these creators by asking them to put new spins on rewards from past projects for Kickstarter Gold.

None of these successes would have happened without the generous support of the backers who fuel this entire creative ecosystem. People from nearly every country on Earth have backed a project. To date, 13.2 million people have gotten behind ideas in the earlier stages of development here. And 32% of those people have supported more than one project.

When you combine that loyal backer community with our creators and their remarkable ideas, almost anything can happen. Here’s to the next 100,000 funded creators!

For more data on Kickstarter projects, check out our live stats page.

40+ Ideas to Inspire Your Project of Earth

How would you explain the diversity of life and culture on Earth to someone — or something — from a far-away planet?

In 1977 Carl Sagan and his team created the Golden Record — a collection of scenes, sounds, music, and greetings representing life on Earth — and launched it into space on NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 probes. Intended as a message for other intelligent life forms who might encounter these spacecraft and wonder about their origins, the record was also an exercise in self-discovery and reflection.

Four decades later, we’re still inspired by the imagination, optimism, and curiosity that went into creating this terrestrial time capsule. So we’re asking you to contribute to making something that represents life on Earth in 2017 by putting your own imaginative idea out there for others to discover. We know, we know — representing a whole planet is a huge undertaking. That’s why we’re inviting our entire community to take part. Combined, these projects will form a portrait of the Earth today: our accomplishments, challenges, hopes, and dreams, conveyed through a diverse collection of creative projects.

What can you create to represent your little corner of the universe? 

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