The day after Kickstarter launched in 2009, Eric Berlin launched Kickstarter’s very first Games project, offering to make nine interconnected crossword puzzles. "I'd love to see this work, if only to prove that puzzlemakers can connect directly with an audience that loves great puzzles," he wrote. He found his proof — in the form of 163 backers.
Since then, Games creators and backers have connected over and over again. In fact, we just topped a nice round milestone: 10,000 Games projects have been successfully funded on Kickstarter.
How did this happen? Well, it's all about people: 2.46 million of them have backed a Games project, pledging a total of $613 million. And 1.45 million of those supporters have backed more than one. Those are the backers we talk about when we talk about our Games community: the ones who return to Kickstarter again and again to discover and support new ideas.
If you haven’t visited our Resources page, you should. It’s a list of creator tested and approved companies that specialize in everything from vinyl pressing and t-shirt printing to creating shipping labels and offering tax and legal guidance.
When the National Endowment for the Arts was formed in 1965, Congress called on society to support “cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future.” Today, as news breaks that the National Endowment for the Arts faces elimination, that better view of the future just dimmed.
Thomas Edison famously observed, "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration." Sometimes, perspiration is even the genesis of that inspiration.
In 2014 a sweaty Mark Jenner arrived late to meet his friend Tom Putnam after getting lost cycling through the circuitous streets of London, England. He was hot, frustrated, and determined to figure out a better approach to bike navigation. This led the two of them to go to work on BeeLine, a handlebar-mounted gadget that eschews traditional turn-by-turn directions in favor of a simple, compass-like arrow that points to a destination, giving riders the freedom to explore and set their own routes.
Now that BeeLine is out in the world and garnering rave reviews from the likes of Wired, the Guardian, and Engadget, we asked Tom and Mark to reflect on their journey and the many people who helped them along the way. There were engineers and designers who refined their initial prototypes into a functional, beautiful device; production partners who guided them through their first manufacturing experience; and more than 3,000 backers who supported their Kickstarter campaign, providing the financial resources and collective vote of confidence they needed to move forward.
"We made some good human connections with the backers," Mark notes. They even hired their current CTO, Chet, after first meeting him as a backer of the campaign. (Chet's job is just one of an estimated 29,600 new full-time creative careers Kickstarter projects have created, according to a report last year from the University of Pennsylvania.)
Check out the video above to learn more about how these two friends found their way to success with a clever idea, some hard work, and a lot of helping hands.
It doesn’t have to take ages to get your next great idea off the ground. This month, we’re showcasing Kickstarter projects that kick a creative idea into gear in one quick week — and you still have just shy of three weeks to get your own All in 1 project going. Head right over here to learn more.
One part of running a Kickstarter campaign is figuring out how to reach the people that will be interested in supporting your idea. This usually involves sharing a compelling story around what you’re making and figuring out how you’ll reach out to people about your project. But it’s important that your project page is inclusive of the community that you’re trying to reach and available in their language. Here are some tips for translating your project page and adding subtitles and captions to your project video. You can also read it in French, German, Spanish, or Japanese.
Update: We’re thrilled to congratulate director and screenwriter Peter Vack on winning the Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award at the SXSW Film Festival. The award honors a filmmaker "whose work strives to be wholly its own, without regard for norms or desire to conform.” Learn more about the film below.
Starting this weekend, eleven Kickstarter-funded films are set to play SXSW 2017. More than 23,000 backers pledged more than $1.6 million to help bring these film projects to life — not counting the one that’s currently live!