The internet has led people to spread their ideas like never before. One of the ways people have started spreading ideas is through Kickstarter. Kickstarter was founded in 2009 by Perry Chen. Their mission is to “bring creative projects to life” through opening an ability for people to donate money to projects they think deserve funding. Kickstarter and other similar crowdfunding websites have been in the news quite a bit in the past few years, because of the mass amounts of money donated to projects. For example, one woman opened a GoFundMe page to raise money for herself because she spent all of her life savings on the Powerball lottery. She ended up raising over $800 in the first 12 hours, and over $2000 overall!
Kickstarter has stricter rules, unlike many crowdfunding websites, which leads to many interesting and very creative new ideas being funded and coming to life. Be prepared to see some of the most inspirational and creative Kickstarter projects below.
10. Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000
Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST3K for short, was a TV show first conceived in 1988. The TV show was produced after many bumps in the road, and after the production of 137 episodes, the show was cancelled in 1999. The fan base for this TV show was very large, and people were sad when they saw the show was cancelled, but with the power of Kickstarter, the fans of the show were able to raise $5.7 million and pay to get more episodes of the show produced and aired online!
9. Pono Music Player
The Pono Music Player started off as an idea for the perfect music player for a new age of music. The player was announced on Kickstarter in 2014 with a funding goal of $800,000. The idea of having enough storage to play lossless audio, the highest quality form of audio, was a huge attraction of many of the audiophiles who backed the project. People really enjoyed the idea of the simple 3 button layout and touchscreen, in addition to the special online PonoMusic store where people could purchase high-quality music. However, many people compared the device to other music players for a similar $399 starting price. The PonoPlayer highly resembles a mix between an iPod Nano and an iPod Classic, both of which were already available for years. Many critics eventually deemed the expensive music player useless because of the hundreds of cheaper devices that could do the same thing. However, the backers of the project still received all of the devices and still use the PonoPlayer and PonoMusic store today.
8. Shenmue 3
Shenmue 3 is the most funded video game on Kickstarter. It is a continuation of a video game series that was first introduced in the late 1990s. This Japanese open-world game was very popular when it was released because of the ground breaking technology that it incorporated such as high-polygon graphics, self-actuated mini-games and other features that made the game something people had never seen before. In addition to the impressive new technology the game developers implemented, they also featured a compelling story where the player and other protagonist characters saved Shenmue to win the game. The project was published to Kickstarter with a goal to raise $2 million, but with the overwhelming support of fans who wanted the game series to continue, they funded the game for a total of $6.3 million!
7. OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console
The Ouya console was developed to use the powerful processors and operating systems used in smartphones, and to take advantage of powerful graphics that could be cheaply produced and hooked up to any TV. The idea was great. People donated over $8.5 million to the project, even though only $950,000 was needed to get the Ouya into people’s hands. Unfortunately, when the first Ouya consoles started shipping, people were experiencing many issues with the software, and there just weren’t many fun AAA games on the Google Play store that people were used to playing on the Xbox or Playstation. The console got mediocre reviews from websites like IGN, and the Ouya was not a great success. People who backed the project did receive the console, however, many were not happy with their purchase.
6. Exploding Kittens
Exploding kittens is a card game that raised over $8.7 million on Kickstarter. The game combined simple mechanics with funny cards and unique gameplay that attracted enough people to raise way more than $10,000. Additionally, if people donated over $35, they would receive a NSFW pack of cards, which included even more ridiculous cards that were also mildly inappropriate. The creator of the project, Elan Lee, never expected the card game to become this popular and was surprised one morning when he woke up and saw thousands of people donating to his project. Kickstarter brought Elan’s project to life and allowed him to share his love for the card game around the world.
5. The World’s Best TRAVEL JACKET with 15 Features
The World’s Best Travel Jacket is the most funded clothing project on any crowdfunding website, and there is a great reason for that. The jacket has more than just pockets. The creators at BAUBAX, LLC., designed the jacket from scratch specifically for traveling, with dedicated compartments for anything a 21st century traveller is carrying. Enough people found the need for this clothing item, and raised over $9 million; way more than the company’s initial $20,000 goal. Anyone who donated over $99 received the jacket as a reward. People were very happy with the design and noted the usefulness of having a neck pillow and gloves with them wherever they went. The jacket was a truly revolutionary design that led to many similar all-in-one clothes being designed by top clothing companies.
4. The Original Pebble E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android
The first Pebble was one of the sparks for the smartwatch industry. It led up to the Apple Watch and other smartwatches being produced, and kicked off the technology category with many cheap and widely accessible devices. People who donated $99, could receive one of these watches, which would later be worth $150 at retail. So many people were interested in the smartwatch market, and this watch in particular, that the project received over $10.2 million, which led to Pebble having enough money to design more watches to be released in the future. The watch was revolutionary at the time, cheap, and had support for custom apps and watch faces, which gave early adopters of the new smartwatch industry a lot to play with and learn.
3. Pebble 2, Time 2 + All-New Pebble Core
This Kickstarter campaign was a continuation of the overall goal of Pebble Technology. After the release of the Pebble Time, the second smartwatch from Pebble, this project conquered the next step in affordable smartwatches. The Pebble 2 and Time 2 have touch screen displays, something the previous watches were lacking. The Pebble Core was a new idea from the company. It was a small device with no screen that people could use to track fitness or attach to almost anything, from keychains to pets. If they lost their pet or keychain, they could track the Pebble Core from their smartphone and find it. If people donated $69, they would receive a Pebble Core, and for a donation of $99, they would receive a Pebble 2. So far, the campaign has raised over $10.6 million, and still is open for 20 more days (at the time of writing this article).
2. COOLEST COOLER: 21st Century Cooler that’s Actually Cooler
The Coolest Cooler is a really over-the-top, but awesome idea, designed by Ryan Grepper. The cooler has so many features, that blow any other cooler out of the water. It includes a battery-powered rechargeable blender, waterproof bluetooth speakers, USB chargers, LED lights, a bottle opener, beach wheels, and more. The cooler was also very reasonable for all of the features it had; only $185. This low price intrigued so many people to buy the item, that the campaign received over $13.2 million! After the product was sent out, unlike many Kickstarter projects, people really loved the thing. It worked just as advertised and many people found it even had better battery life than expected. It is durable, easy-to-use, and stylish; something that Ryan and his team of engineers worked countless hours on to achieve.
1. Pebble Time – Awesome Smartwatch, No Compromises
In the number one most funded spot on Kickstarter, raising over $20 million, the Pebble Time is truly a remarkable project and great product that attracted such a wide range of consumers to Pebble Technology a ton of money. The product attracted buyers of the original Pebble, and new buyers looking for a cheaper Apple Watch alternative to become such a great success. The watch wasn’t just nice looking, it featured a color display, 7 days of battery life, and various other features that put it on par with other, more expensive smartwatches. Additionally, the $159 price for early donators was a steal and let the project gain thousands of dollars in only a few hours. We can clearly see that Kickstarter has led Pebble Technology to become a top tech company because of the simple process of crowdfunding and consumer donations.