In our own words, Kickstarter is a platform that enable entrepreneur to gather crowdfunding to support their product development projects and bring them to live.
It was Perry Chen, who initially came up with the idea for Kickstarter in 2001 and subsequently launched it in 2009 with co-founders Charles Adler and Yancey Strickler.
Typically, the Project Manager will provide a detailed write-up to pitch to the public (website visitors) who will then decide if they would pledge money to support the project. If they decide to pledge money for the project, they will be called “Project Backers” and will be given incentives or rewards (e.g. the product itself) at the successful completion of the project.
How does Kickstarter work?
Thousands of creative projects are funding on Kickstarter at any given moment. Each project is independently created and crafted by the person behind it. The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control and responsibility over their projects. They spend weeks building their project pages, shooting their videos, and brainstorming what rewards to offer backers. When they’re ready, creators launch their project and share it with their community.
Every project creator sets their project’s funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers’ credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.
Can Kickstarter be used to fund anything?
We allow creative projects in the worlds of Art, Comics, Crafts, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film & Video, Food, Games, Journalism, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater.
Everything on Kickstarter must be a project. A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it.
Kickstarter does not allow projects to fundraise for charity or offer financial incentives.
What are the Fees?
If a project is successfully funded, Kickstarter applies a 5% fee to the funds collected. If the project does not reach its funding goal, there are no fees. Below is the breakdown for Singapore:
Can Someone Copy My Kickstarter Idea?
Any idea on Kickstarter can be copied, even though the publishing of the project details on the website itself serves as a proof of whoever started the idea. However it does not matter who started idea, because ideas cannot be protected. It is the final, completed product design that can, and should be patented.
What Is The Risk of Using Kickstarter?
We feel the risk of using Kickstarter is that you are offering your idea to the public to view, instead of a carefully selected panel of potential stakeholders, who can be asked to sign Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before you reveal your idea.
As mentioned earlier, we understand that no one can patent or legally stop anyone from copying an idea. So anyone can take your project to create the same product based on similar design, concept and idea. Given the right expertise and resources, they can even complete the product before you without their own funding, and patent the design. They do not have to do it via kickstarter.
So What is the Best Approach to Avoid Copying?
Please feel free to correct us. We understand that Kickstarter will appove your posting and charge the backers eventually only if
1) you have already produced a physically working, final prototype, and
2) can deliver the products to backers.
The first part of the funding is borne by the project team themselves. Basically you come up with the product idea, develop the final prototype and then pitch to the world that it is a fantastic idea and “please back our project”, before you mass produce it to reward your backers. It is already at the tail-end of a self-funded development project, and all you are doing is the implementation (mass production). The backers are not pledging for you to kick start and figure out if your product will work.
With that understanding, we believe it is best to patent the design before publishing it on Kickstarter. If you have already spent so much time and money to make a final working prototype, the design patent is necessary to protect your product!