Space the Final Frontier
The Way We Live Now
Yesterday, before venturing forth to the casting call for Bravo’s Start-ups: Silicon Valley spinoff, we made a rather wonkier stop, at this month’s meeting of the MIT Enterprise Forum. The topic of the panel? Space, the final frontier, and aerospace investing in particular.
As we arrived, a brief SpaceX video with a Top Gun-style soundtrack was wrapping up. Adam Harris, the company’s VP for Government Affairs, let slip a little, “Yay!” as it came to a close.
There’s already email addiction, Facebook addiction and wholesale Internet addiction. Next up on the psychological disorders docket? Kickstarter addiction: people who are “addicted” to the rush of finding and backing fledgling projects on Kickstarter.
The notion of “Kickstarter addiction,” as defined by VentureBeat, encapsulates the do-gooder rush and risk-averse anxiety rooted in crowdfunding. Throwing money at half-formed ideas and projects is kind of like gambling, argues VentureBeat, except you don’t have to be situated on a sketchy boardwalk and coated in cigarette smoke to get your fix. There’s just one snag in their theory. The only evidence of this “growing number of people” addicted to Kickstarter is a single thread on the Geek and Sundry message boards.
On the heels of a harshly worded blog post earlier this month, ruling that refunds from anyone other than the campaign creator are simply not in the cards, the Kickstarter cofounders are once more clarifying what users can and cannot realistically expect from the platform. This followup reminds everyone that backing a project Read More
A few weeks ago, Betabeat wrote about an Indiegogo campaign started by Whitney Port, star of The Hills and The City. Ms. Port began the campaign to raise $50,000 so that she could show her fashion line, Whitney Eve, at New York Fashion Week Spring 2013.
But today, when we went to check up on the campaign’s progress, the funding goal had mysteriously dropped by $40,000. Now, Ms. Port is only soliciting $10,000.
Betabeat has learned that Indiegogo agreed to change the fundraising goal for Ms. Port’s campaign. She is an Indiegogo partner, which is why both parties agreed to lower the goal.
The Final Frontier
“How Much Would You Pay To See A Photo Of Ryan Lochte’s Alleged Penis?” begs a headline on the irreverent sports blog, Deadspin. The post, which went up a little over an hour ago, is illustrated by a photo of Gawker Media employees clustered around a computer screen looking (and laughing) at an alleged photo of Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s penis.
The pic, which is “a neck-down bathroom-mirror self-portrait, in which the tip of the penis almost but not quite reaches into the sink basin,” was provided by a source, who is demanding a fee. Deadspin has decided to start a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo, probably because Kickstarter doesn’t consider dickpics “art” (subjective!).
Finally a Kickstarter project worthy of a slice of our meager earnings: Yahoo reports that a technology company called the Liftport Group is raising money on the crowdfunding platform to build an elevator that will take you higher than you’ve ever been: all the way to space, suckahs!
Though Indiegogo has largely been the go-to campaign site for non-artistic endeavors and bullied bus monitors, it turns out that there actually are some projects that the site will not allow. Forbes reports that a group of 20-somethings called Defense Distributed collaborated on a campaign called the Wiki Weapon Project to develop open source blueprints for a gun that can be made with a 3D printer.
The dream of the nineties is alive on Kickstarter! Or one specific dream is, anyway: virtual reality. Think the holodecks from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Oculus Rift is a new gaming headset currently raising money on the crowdfunding platform, and it’s already garnered quite a bit of attention. And how could it not, promising “truly immersive virtual reality”? The excitement is such that its campaign is already overfunded, having raised $1,688,407 to the requested $250,000, and there’s still a big chunk of August left to go.
Don’t pull out your credit card just yet, though. According to Wired, the folks behind the campaign don’t want your money. Not if you’re a consumer, anyway:
Is there anyone who isn’t on Kickstarter these days? The latest bandwagon-jumpers: The New York City Council, which has partnered with the artsy crowdfunding platform to create a landing page that highlights New York City-based projects.
The move is positioned as a way to help business owners in low-income neighborhoods get access to hard-to-find capital, a persistent problem.
Remember when microlending was going to solve everything? Now it’s crowdfunding. Wonder what it’ll be in five years?
A healthy chunk of criticism has been lobbed at crowdfunding platform Kickstarter for using a search algorithm which “hides” failed projects. If you want to learn from projects that didn’t quite meet their funding goal, you’d be hard-pressed to do so on Kickstarter itself–failed projects are only available directly through a creator’s profile.
“This isn’t to ‘hide failure’…it’s because it would be a poor user experience (there’s no action that anyone could take) and it would expose the creators of unsuccessfully funded projects to unnecessary criticism from the web,” Kickstarter’s cofounder Yancey Strickler told TechCrunch back in May.