With two Kickstarter projects breaking the $800,000 barrier in the same day, the mothership of crowdfunding sites is having its moment. We had a hunch this was coming when investors on recent panel about women in venture capital called out, unprompted, to Perry Chen, hoping he might be in the market for funding. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
So like any dutiful Kickstarter devotee, Hype Machine founder Anthony Volodkin did what he does best, build “apps that allow us to discover and enjoy new things.” Enter Kickstumbler: a site and tool bar that lets you stumble upon projects you might have otherwise missed. “This was made over a few weekends, sometimes, truly instead of sleeping,” Mr. Volodkin told Betabeat by email. It was a labor of love for what his team calls Hype Machine Labs. “It’s a name we use when making something not explicitly related to the core site.”
Kickstumbler fixes Kickstarter’s weak spot (navigation), with a StumbleUpon-like toolbar. It also extracts those moving mission statements where creators explain their project into one continuous video channel. Fred Wilson is already a fan; Kickstarter founder Yancey Strickler tweeted out his approval as well.
So, is this plan to sell this to Kickstarter, we asked Mr. Volodkin. “The goal is to get more people finding projects they haven’t seen. I figure that can be as valuable as it is fun,” he said, sidestepping the question.
Besides, he and his team, who work out of The Yard in Williamsburg/Greenpoint, are busy prepping for a big party at SXSW Music. “Think Hype Machine in real life – music blogs curate lineups at a nice venue right in the center of Austin. We call it the Hype Hotel,” Mr. Volodkin explained. Participating taste-makers include Aquarium Drunkard, Gorilla vs. Bear, I Guess I am Floating, My Old Kentucky Blog, Song by Toad, No Modest Bear, Creamteam, Nialler9, Yours Truly. “Really excited about every single one,” he added. Expect a full court press on the event in a few days, but in the meantime, you can sign up for notifications here.
Think this sounds like more fun than your day job? Hype Machine is hiring.