Crowdfunding has been receiving some extra coverage this past week, and rightly so. Zach Braff announced a new movie he wanted help funding with a goal of $2 million from backers. This sparked a whole controversy about who should put up campaigns. Should celebrities use resources that are “meant” for folks that couldn’t afford to make a movie?
Nathan Hurst also had an insightful piece on platforms now challenging Kickstarter. They try to take advantage of what Kickstarter lacks, or provide attention to a more niche-specific market. For example, CrowdIt is a new platform that will launch June 4, and plans to roll out equity crowdfunding once it becomes legal with the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act.
What the real question that these new sites offer and what Kickstarter already has implemented is who decides who can raise money through crowdfunding? Should Kickstarter or any other platform discriminate on who can launch projects? The answer is no.
Kickstarter only vets projects that might not meet its Terms of Service Agreement. The fact that there is not a preventative celebrity clause means Zach Braff is in the right on this one. If you’re against celebrities using a platform to help them further themselves, there are other platforms you can use with more restrictions.
The other side of this is people backed him. He wasn’t just given the money. The general public made a conscience decision to back Braff, and in the process brought the most traffic Kickstarter has ever garnered in a single day. This no doubt lead to more people seeing more projects.
What would happen if anything changed with Kickstarter is it would effect people who made successful campaigns in the past. Would the makers of the Pebble Watch ever be able to put up another campaign since they received $10 million in funding. An alarming 10,266% over funded project? Couldn’t they just afford to make something themselves?
What needs to happen is good projects need to continue getting backed. Whether it’s a previously successful crowdfunded company, a celebrity, or someone trying to breakout in the scene.