Craig Mod’s post-mortem “Kickstartup” of his project Art Space Tokyo hit us like a ton of bricks (or art books). Not only did the renowned designer exquisitely document the production of his fabulous book — a $65 reward pre-ordered by 155 backers — but he provided a thorough and honest analysis of his and others’ Kickstarter projects. Craig went into such depth that it inspired us to take his research even farther and produce a similar report looking at trends in reward pricing and duration across the entire site. Craig’s effort paid huge dividends to his and our community, so we’re awarding him with the best Kickstarter post-mortem of 2010. Interested in checking out more Kickstarter analysis? Take a peek at Coffee and Celluloid’s Behavior Patterns of Kickstarter Funders and How to figure the true cost of a Kickstarter project.
After watching Schuyler Towne’s “Open Locksport” video, we were, like many others, curious about the relatively obscure world of competitive lockpicking. But if anyone could make locksport a household name, it would be Schuyler, whose unabashed enthusiasm for the sport eventually attracted the support of over 1000 backers and inadvertently launched his new career as full-time locksport evangelist.
The excitement that arose around Open Locksport coincided with Schuyler’s masterfully crafted project updates, each one offering a personal look inside not just the world of lockpicking, but also the endearing passion that Schuyler possessed for the abstract sport. A graphic designer by day and a competitive lockpicker on nights and weekends, Schuyler would post updates at all hours, often filming a tutorial in the middle of the night and uploading it in the wee hours of the morning.
Part interactive workshop, part lecture series on the history of lockpicking, and part autobiographical creative non-fiction, Schuyler’s updates became the place where Open Locksport transformed from a project into a full-fledged community. He posted a hypothetical dialogue between himself and an imaginary backer as a way to address early questions about his project. He brought backers along for the ride when he competed at DefCon and LockCon, and patiently explained the technical intricacies of lockpicking one diagram at a time. And when a backer made the pledge that put Locksport over the 200% funded mark, Schuyler leapt out of his chair with so much force that he broke it on the landing, offering to send a piece of chair to the backer for posterity.
Open Locksport may have officially ended on September 24th, but the updates keep coming. To read them from beginning to end is to vicariously experience Schuyler’s joy in having the freedom to share something he loves with the world.
There’s nothing more satisfying than watching your reward being assembled right in front of your eyes, especially when it’s done by hand by the creators themselves — and time-lapsed! Dan Provost and Thomas Gerhardt launched their project Glif, a clever tripod mount and stand for the iPhone 4, hoping to raise $10,000 to bring their simple, elegant design to life. They ended up becoming the first design project to shoot into the six-figure range, raising over $135,000 from more than 5,000 backers, and they did everything right along the way. They posted a slew of fantastic status updates, chock full of images and videos about the design process, and Update #12’s video of the two designers assembling thousands of Glifs by hand amassed pages worth of enthusiastic comments from backers.