Already the king of crowdfunding, Kickstarter has announced today that they will speed up the approval process in an effort to make it easier for people to get their campaigns launched and their ideas out in the world.
Announced in a blog post this morning from Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler, the new ‘Launch Now’ feature will make it easier for projects to shoot out of the gate faster than ever before with fewer restrictions, simpler rules, and an increase of feedback from the Kickstarter Community Managers—if so desired.
So what does this mean at the end of the day? More junk or more innovation?
Having raised more than $1 billion in pledges coming from millions of people around the world, Kickstarter has more than earned it’s right to be a household name. While we tend to focus more on product design concepts on SolidSmack, the platform has launched everything from Hollywood films to the enthusiastic return of LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow.
With their new ‘Launch Now’ feature, Kickstarter is both encouraging more campaigns to launch as well as stripping away the approval process that has both operated as a sort of ‘quality control’ filter as well as a legal safeguard both for the company itself as well as the campaign starters.
The New Basic Principals of a Kickstarter Launch:
- Projects must create something to share with others.
- Projects must be honest and clearly presented.
- Projects cannot fundraise for charity, offer financial incentives, or involve prohibited items.
Additionally, Kickstarter is also offering an option to get feedback from Community Managers before launching a project—something that could potentially turn a painful bellyflop into a picturesque dive:
“We want creators to have the support and freedom they need when building their projects. That’s why we’re introducing a feature called Launch Now. It gives creators a simple choice: go ahead and launch your project whenever you’re ready, or get feedback from one of our Community Managers first.
Over the past five years, our Community Managers have offered their expertise to more than 100,000 creators — sharing advice, encouragement, and support to give creators the best chance of success. We love doing it, and we’re always here to help. But we’re pleased to offer creators a simpler process for sharing their projects with the world, and the flexibility to choose how much help they need.”
-Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler
Product Designers Patrick Triato and Drew Downie of BND Products talk about their Kickstarter experiences on Maker Galaxy Episode 19.
While the increased presence of support from the Kickstarter Community Managers is a nice touch, does the looser grip on rules mean that we’ll be seeing a flood of junk products and unfulfilled product orders?
Even with the existing manufacturing and fulfillment timeline transparency suggestion, it is still difficult for seasoned professional designers to get their products into the hands of their backers in a timely manner…so what’s going to happen when the amateurs step up to the plate? Transparency is king and all…but so is professional experience in fulfillment and persevering effectively through unforecasted constraints…which there always are.
On the contrary, the looser grip on rules could bring an influx of innovative products that are just so wacky and outlandish that they could change entire industries. When compared to the open-upload policies of YouTube (assuming that content is not illegal), some of the best videos that have gone viral were ‘Launched Now’ from an iPhone with no second thought towards branding or other details that designers can get so hung up on that they fail to even lift off.
Only time will tell, but Kickstarter has managed to keep their feet firmly planted at the top of Crowdfunding Mountain through staying innovative and loose in an ever-changing landscape of ‘Zero to Maker’ storylines.
…so when are you going to launch that project?