I really like kickstarter. I’m not exactly sure why, but I just want to back every project on there. Of course, the product is a big part of it. The projects I’ve backed are the ones I get a product I want and can use, but I’d probably be less inclined if it was already for sale. They’re a plenty of iPad styluses (styli?) out there, and I’ve bought zero, yet I’ve already backed two on kickstarter. I think it’s more the feeling that you’re a part of this undertaking. You’re not only getting something, but you’re also making something. If you didn’t back the project, it might not happen. In a small way, you’re part of the reason for it’s existence. You get to play angel investor or philanthropist.
It’s also personal. If a big company was asking you to fund their next idea, you’d never go for it. But it’s usually one or a few people, asking you for help. They’re genuine (hopefully) and transparent about what they need and why they’re doing it. They’re telling you a story, and for some reason you want them to succeed.
An interesting side effect of kickstarter is delayed gratification. Everything today is usually about right now. When I want something, I want download it, pick it up, or I want it Amazon primed to my house in two-days. But kickstarter is the opposite. It takes months. The product doesn’t even exist yet. There is a chance that it won’t ever exist. You may have to wait 30 days to see if there is a chance it will happen. Then, you wait months while it’s going through the various stage of production before it finally shipped to you. When you get it, you’ve all but forgotten about it. It’s like sending yourself a present in the future.