Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tech Colulmn: Have Fun With Kickstarter

Baked By Yael Kickstarter Campaign

by Bill Adler

Let's say you have $50 to spend. What should you spend it on?

You could buy fifty 99-cent smartphone apps. That would keep you entertained for a while. You could by a couple of hardcover books, and as an author, I'm always in favor of that. You could fill up your car with gas, if you want to be practical. You could buy your dog some new toys.

Or you could have fun on Kickstarter, www.kickstarter.com. Kickstarer is a way for entrepreneurs to fund projects and businesses. Getting seed money to be able to write and publish a graphic novel, produce an inflatable bed that doesn't need power or a pump to inflate, or design and put into production a folding lunch box that folds out into a placemat --all actual Kickstarter projects-- is hard. Just about the only way to get seed money is to beg family members, and then beg them again.

But through Kickstarter, you can reach out to the world. If people think your idea has merit, or might be fun, then they can support the development and production of the next great thing: a self-cleaning fish tank or an affordable 3D printer, also actual Kickstarter projects.

The entrepreneur gets funding, but what does the funder get?  A funder does not a piece of the pie, but you often get a big discount on whatever it is that you're investing in, and you get it before stores do. You also get a lot of satisfaction in knowing that you've helped bring a product of service into being. It's a blast to see something you've helped create actually happen.

I've funded several Kickstarter projects including the famed Pebble watch (the first really smart smartwatch), the Hex Flashlight (a programmable flashlight), several music CDs, and a book.

I'm excited that Cleveland Park's own Yael Krigman, a.k.a. Baked by Yael, has a Kickstarter project, http://kck.st/10joD8L . How often do you get a chance to help create a cakepoppery? And right in Washington, DC, too. If you've ever said to yourself, "I wish there was an XYX store in Washington," now's your chance to put those thoughts into action. Funders get get a variety of benefits, depending on your funding level, including a basket of cakepops, a cakepop party, and assorted cakepops. When you walk into Yael Krigman's cakepoppery for the very first time, I guarantee that you'll wear two smiles: One smile because of all the smiles and sights of the colorful cakepops, and one smile because you had a hand in making this store possible. Hop over to http://kck.st/10joD8L and invest any amount from $15 to $1,000 to spread cakepop sweetness over Washington, DC.


Bill Adler is the co-publisher of the Cleveland Park Listserv, www.cleveland-park.com. He is the author of "Boys and Their Toys: Understanding Men by Understanding Their Relationship with Gadgets," http://amzn.to/rspOft. He tweets at @billadler.

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