KickStarter: The Good, The Bad…and The Paul

 KickStarter

In this week’s edition of “Masters Degree Studies with Kelly” we take a look at crowdsourcing. Our assignment was to take a look at KickStarter. Anything we liked? Anything we want to fund? Blog about it. As always…my purpose here is purely academic…

So there is a running joke in my home. Inevitably every month or so, some gadget will show up at our doorstep that will make a S’more without fire or turn any object into a robot or flush the toilet by winking. (Ok that last one may be a slight exaggeration)

The joke is…”Put down the KickStarter and Step Away from the Computer.”

My amazing spouse is brilliant and very successful professionally and personally. She is also a huge optimist, idealist AND a believer that you actually CAN flush the toilet by winking. Sometimes this is not bank account-friendly. She introduced me to KickStarter a year ago so when it came up in class this week, I was familiar with the site. My time on it was limited until now.

The Good

How can you not love the KickStarter concept? It’s a site for dreamers. It’s a site all about ideas. It seeks to tap the innovator in all of us. When it comes to KickStarter, I am more of a voyeur than a doer. I will happily read and potentially fund but I don’t think it is something I would do. I don’t really have any projects I want to fund but I absolutely see the merit in having this platform. It’s packaged nicely with famous quotes to inspire and it is very easy to navigate. If you haven’t been, here’s a small glimpse:

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Surprisingly, I knew some of the projects, I just didn’t know they originated with KickStarter. Check out what happened in 2013 alone:

One thing I really like about KickStarter, you can tailor your search to projects local to you. I’m a big believer in trying to do what you can to boost your own community so I spent some time cruising projects local to Atlanta. There were all kinds of campaigns from music to fashion to weddings to science. Which leads me to the first of my three favorite finds this visit. It’s called the Sirens Project. It’s a campaign to fund drones to fly into tornadoes to further research and ideally, save lives. Take a look:

Pretty cool stuff.

Rounding out my three favorites, we turn to food and fashion. While I may have a ridiculous amount of handbags and purses in my closet, I am also a big fan of pockets. When you are going to a concert, an amusement park, a festival, a bar or just anywhere with kids, it’s nice to be able shove things in your pocket and not have to carry a ton of bags. I don’t want to always wear jeans to do this. Sometimes you want to still look hot and be able to hold stuff. To that end, there’s Pockett Boutique. Leah Williams promises to give you fashion with function:

Pockett Boutique

Pockett Boutique

Finally…despite my love of fashion, a girl’s gotta eat!

And this gal…likes her barbecue. More than just barbecue, I like the taste of charcoal-cooked, open flame food. It doesn’t have to be meat, it can be veggies too. There is just something about that taste that says “summer” and “Buckeye football tailgating” to me.  Enter Hexx. It promises to give you the charcoal, open-fire taste to all you cook AND you can take it anywhere.

Now I don’t have one but I may just back this and test it out. (If I do, look for a blog review soon!) In fact, I don’t have intimate knowledge of any of these products. I like the idea of them though. I like the optimism of predicting tornadoes to save lives. I like the function of having what I need at my hip. And I certainly like a good open-flame meal.

The Bad

ksabuserAs with most things, with good there is some not so good.  I don’t want to call out too many people here though. That’s not the purpose of this blog or in sync with who I am. After all, even what I will call “bad ideas” were inspired by something. Even if it’s greed, narcissism or just for giggles and grins, someone took the time and effort to start a campaign and put it out there.

Now That Said… I Give You The Paul

I came across this little ditty when researching for this post: The 10 Most Hilariously Awful Kickstarter Projects of All Time.

This one by far is my favorite. It’s so bad, it’s good. Thank you internet. Thank you.

Oh and in case you were wondering…I have managed to keep Paul from arriving on our doorstep.

10 thoughts on “KickStarter: The Good, The Bad…and The Paul

  1. Hey Kelly,

    I love the enthusiasm you show to each class assignment. Your blog is always a pleasure to read cause of the work you put into it. I liked the examples you shared with us this week – pretty interesting ideas.

    I did not talk about it in my blog but one of the problems I have with Kickstarter is that it kind of feels like begging/panhandling. I am not trying to be mean but sometimes I equate it to how strangers would approach you on the street and ask for help with sending someone to school or assist with buying new computers for the school.

    This issue came up when Zach Braff used Kickstarter to fund his movie and people were asking why someone of his stature would be “begging” for money? I understand that some projects are so large that an individual could not support it using his own finances and this is where Kickstarter comes in.

    If used like that I definitely have no problem with it. I think majority of the people on Kickstarter are using with it that intention and not trying to make a quick buck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had completely forgot about that Braff incident. I hear your point though. There are some crap projects on there. It makes you wonder why people even make the effort. For every crap project though, there is an awesome one! Thank you for your comments about my blog assignments. I figure it’s out there on the web and it represents me. So I want it to actually represent me!

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  2. Hi Kelly –

    Before this assignment, I knew what KickStarter was and had heard of a few of its bigger campaigns, but had never spent extensive time on it. I had no idea that you could search for campaigns in your local area. Now, I’m going to waste even more time by doing that now! All of your campaign interests were pretty cool! I just don’t think I am inventive enough to put a KickStarter campaign together for myself. I mean, we can’t all be creative enough to create the new Paul, let’s call it Paula. I’ll let you decide where the charger will be and we can split the profit. ☺

    Please keep the humor on your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley I laughed out loud reading this. Alicia wanted to know where Paulina was…I told her you already had dibs on Paula! The local aspect is pretty cool. I love seeing what’s on the verge of erupting in my city. It just adds to that sense of community.

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  3. Wow! That’s all I could say after seeing the video about Paul. I found myself trying to guess what it was going to be, but I was nowhere in the ballpark. What a unique and creative idea. Of course he pushed the sexual envelope and I am sure someone would be offended, but I applaud his boldness. The creator understands that the way to get attention is to stand out. It was very obvious that you are a Kickstarter veteran and I appreciate you sharing some of your favorites. I like that on the site I got to decide what I support, after all it is my money! At one point I actually thought about turning to Kickstarter to pay for some elective plastic surgery, I would share my story and explain it was to feel better about myself, it was actually a suggestion from a coworker. I then thought that the money I raise may come with requests. I digress, My only question I guess that remains is, is there a Paulina too?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Well Alicia…Ashley already said we should make a Paula and cash in! I’m by no means a veteran of the site. I just knew of it. Your plastic surgery concept is interesting. I wonder if that process would be hard to go through. Look how people reacted to Renee Zellweger! I hope whatever you are going through is resolved though. There are good people out there who will help someone in need or someone who wants to feel better.

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  4. OH MY!!! I can just imagine what all could be done with Paul. I imagine all the experiments with kinky and lonely women. I can’t seem to get the video out of my head… that lady and those cords…

    Thank you for the laugh. So does Paul fall into the good category or the bad category… or is he just a category of his own?

    Once again, great blog. You have a way with presenting information. I hope that you will continue to blog after this class. I have really enjoyed all your work in this class.

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    • Thanks Leia. I started this blog last semester for a different class. I imagine I will keep it up. The Paul is so bad it is good. I just couldn’t believe it. You gotta hand it to the creators. It took a pair of you know what to do that video.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. OK, time for a little crowdsourcing of our own. There are about 30 students in the class. Paul inexplicably fell about $5,800 shy of full funding. So, if you leave Kelly out of the equation, just $200 from each of us could probably get them to reopen the project and help her realize her dream. Wait, $400 gets you your own Paul? That amount would get us a total of 14 Pauls! She could have one for each room, and we could still probably save one for Dr. Mahone as sort of a finder’s fee. Who’s in?

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