A few days ago, an old friend of mine from graduate school posted a link on my facebook wall.

I followed the link, proceeded to spend way too much time on the website, and ended up deciding that it was The Best Idea Ever.

Kickstarter Home Page

Here's the concept: an artist/entrepreneur films a pitch for a project that he (or she) wants to create.  The pitch gets posted to the website.  Then, people who want to fund projects can search the cite for projects that inspire them.

It's like twitter and facebook for fundraising.

My friend is hoping to create a web series that he's written about stand-up comedians, a la Sienfeld or the Larry David Show.  He is, without a doubt, the funniest person I've ever met, so I have high hopes for him.  Until I knew him, I thought improv comedy  was scripted.  I just couldn't fathom that anyone - much less a bunch of people together - could be that funny on the spot.  And then I met Sammy, and the funny things coming out of his mouth just Never Stopped.  He moved off to the West Coast after graduate school, and I haven't gotten to enjoy his comedy for many years now.

So I was excited to learn about his project.  And this is where the real brilliance of Kickstarter shows.  It takes the best of the virtual world and the fundraising world and combines them into one amazing funding platform.

Everybody's A Comedian

When I visited his Kickstarter project, I watched a short video promo, and then I was able to learn a bunch more:  how much money he's seeking, how much has been pledged and by whom, how many days he has left to match his funding goal, and - this one's the kicker (sorry - I couldn't help myself) - what I get at each level of pledging.  People like to be a part of something, especially when they're providing funding for it.  Most people don't want to just send off a check and then never hear anything else about what they supported.  So the "thank you gifts" for each level of funding are genius.

Sammy's Pledge Page

I will not pretend that I wasn't tempted to spend 1000 bucks and get a cameo in Sammy's video.  Very very tempted.  I'm not above paying for stardom.  Unfortunately for me (and for Sammy), that's not really in the cards right now (namely, my Visa card).

If a web series on stand-up comedians isn't what gets you going, don't worry.  I challenge you to NOT find something you'd love to support on this website.

People are making documentary films about Rwandafloating paper bridges, and tweenbots.  They're creating DIY shows on independent radio stations and honoring the queer music of the American South.

As someone who suffers from a whole lot of little insecurity about my own dreams and ideas, I have so much admiration for all of these people who have believed in themselves and their plans enough to make a film and put them up on the website.  And here's the thing - other people believe in them too!

These projects have been successful:

Mobile Greenhouse

Crocheted Yurt

And let me tell you - if it hadn't already reached its funding level, I would Right Now be submitting my pledge to a crocheted yurt.  

So go find a project that inspires you!

Or...perhaps your mind is busily coming with your own pitch - in which case, I say Go For It!