Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform for creative projects, recently issued a statement to dispel some misunderstandings surrounding Kickstarter. The company is concerned that many backers/investors have started to view the crowdfunding platform as another online shopping site, and hence might invest in something without fully understanding the risks involved. “Kickstarter is not a store”, wrote the site founders on their blog, “it’s a new way for creators and audiences to work together to make things”.
The site introduced a number of changes that required project creators to list any challenges the campaign may face and how they plan to overcome them and what qualification they posses that’ll help them to overcome these hurdles. The idea is to make investors realize that they are not buying a product, rather investing on an idea that might not even see the light of day.
That explains why it is so difficult to search for projects that have completed funding on the Kickstarter website. The website focuses only on active projects that are currently acquiring funds. Once the project is successfully funded or their fund raising period elapsed, they pretty much disappear from the website. I’m sure they are still somewhere on the site ready to popup when you search for it, but without a proper section dedicated to completed projects it is impossible to discover them, unless the project is one of the top cash aggregators or hugely popular like Ouya or E-Paper Watch.
So how do you find project that you missed on Kickstarter?
Kickfollower is a discovery tool for crowdfunded projects. It aggregates projects that were not only successfully funded by Kickstarter but have also made it to reality and available for purchase from online stores. Kickfollower is pretty new and at the time of this writing it lists only 62 products arranged in 6 categories – games, food, igear, electronics, clothing and art. The site displays a short description of the product along with an image.
An interesting features is the inclusion of the original Kickstarter pledge price along with the actual selling price. Most of the products are selling at a price higher than the pledged price. Some are retailing less than the original pledge, while others for about the same. Clicking on the product showcased takes you direly to the creators’ website, whenever available, or to the product’s Amazon page.
Outgrow.me is another marketplace for Kickstarter as well as for IndieGoGo projects that were successfully funded and are now available for purchase. The website lists products that are both ready to be bought and products that not quite ready but can be pre-ordered. The site allows you to filter products based on their availability. You can also choose a particular category and view products only within the category you are interested in. Categories include: android accessories, bicycling, books & magazines, design, electronics, ,apple, fashion, food, fun & games, iPad accessories, iPhone accessories, pens & stylus pens photography, sporting, equipment, stuff for children, video games, and watches & clocks.
You can also filter products by price – under $25, between $25 to $75, between $75 to $150, and above $150.
Each product is accompanied by a few images, a short description and a video. Other information include the date when the project was funded and the total amount raised. It doesn’t display the pledge amount but what it does is let you view the original Kickstarter page for the project.
As of August 2012, more than 68,000 projects have been launched in Kickstarter of which over 29,000 were successfully funded. It’s not known how many products actually made to it reality but I believe it is a high figure – high enough to demand special marketplaces like Kickfollower and Outgrow.me.