Kickstarter's Impact on the Creative Economy
We literally wouldn't exist without (something like) Kickstarter. Did they help us make our notebooks? Not exactly—but they helped connect us to you, and that was just as important.
Kickstarter invented a platform for inventions — somewhere that creators and consumers both want to be. They deserve a ton of credit for that—because it's not just Code&Quill they've helped. It's thousands of other businesses.
It's pretty astounding stuff.
The 5 findings that surprise and impress us most:
1. Kickstarter creates jobs without employing people. In other words: Kickstarter is the reason lots of people can make their own jobs. And because people are on Kickstarter to make something original, the platform opens up profitable work that would not have existed otherwise.
2. Kickstarter activity is all over America. As you'd expect, there are concentrations of Kickstarter campaigns in major cities—but they're out in the boonies, too. If you can connect to the Internet, you can make it happen. And people do!
3. About one in five people who ran a successful Kickstarter campaign was still employed full-time by their project when surveyed later.
4. Code&Quill is one of the companies included in that 18.7% figure — and it fully employs not only its 1 original member, but its additional team members as well.
5. A lot of really cool things were Kickstarter things. In the beginning, there was just Kickstarter. But then Pebble was a Kickstarter thing. Oculus was a Kickstarter thing. Exploding Kittens was a Kickstarter thing. In short: there are many cool Kickstarter things, and more still coming.
Our comments on Kickstarter:
From Ronak, founder and El Capitán of Code&Quill:
"Kickstarter is such a fantastic idea for people who want to start turning their products into business. Code&Quill was once an untested idea, nothing more—but because of places like Kickstarter, I could find out if people were interested in buying my notebooks before sinking tons of time and money into creating them. Even better, I could gather my start-up resources directly from those backers. I sank $500 of my own cash—not $50,000—because Kickstarter created this lean and low-risk option for raising money.
"I love that crowdfunding spaces like Kickstarter have blown up. It means so many fresh talents get a chance to open up shop and really innovate wherever they are. And what's awesome, too, is that your first crowdfunding supporters can become your best evangelists and repeat customers. They're passionate people, and there's nothing better than having a passionate and excited fan base. Our fans and customers are what make any of this effort worthwhile."
From Kevin, main thing-doer at Code&Quill:
"We could not have started with better 'first customers' than our Kickstarter backers. I think they appreciate detail like we do, they enjoy exercising creative muscles, and they are willing to invest. That's so helpful for making Code&Quill the friendly, inclusive, intelligent brand that we want it to be. And everywhere I turn, there's someone in the Code&Quill family who's enthusiastic about what they do, which is motivating.
"I want to thank anyone who's bought their first Code&Quill notebook because I know paying $15-25 for a notebook requires you to invest a little trust. To pay that back, we ship damn good products and back 'em with VIP-level customer service, always. But Kickstarter folks? They invested trust and faith. We can't pay their faith back—but we can say it's made one corner of the world a little happier, and that should say a lot about Kickstarter."
Next week, we'll be talking about time and money — the two essential resources for creatives in business — and the "algorithm" you need to start thinking at your most productive.
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