[intro]Using the Web to Bring Artists and Patron’s Closer Together[/intro]
The New York Times tells the story of Earl Scioneaux who was looking for funding to produce a music project:
Then he heard about Kickstarter, a start-up based in Brooklyn that uses the Web to match aspiring da Vincis and Spielbergs with mini-Medicis who are willing to chip in a few dollars toward their projects. Unlike similar sites that simply solicit donations, patrons on Kickstarter get an insider’s access to the projects they finance, and in most cases, some tangible memento of their contribution. The artists and inventors, meanwhile, are able to gauge in real time the commercial appeal of their ideas before they invest a lot of effort — and cash.
“It’s not an investment, lending or a charity,” said Perry Chen, a co-founder of Kickstarter and a friend of Mr. Scioneaux. “It’s something else in the middle: a sustainable marketplace where people exchange goods for services or some other benefit and receive some value.” […] So far, projects on Kickstarter have included building a temporary wedding chapel in Manhattan, converting an old bus into a mobile Thai restaurant, sailing around the world and shooting photographs from all 50 states. […] “I see Kickstarter as micropatronage,” said Lewis Winter, a 27-year-old graphic designer from Melbourne, Australia, who has pledged money to five projects. “If I was rich, I’d fund whole projects, but this allows me to fund as much or as little as I can afford.”
Dollar by Dollar, Patrons Find Artists on the Web (New York Times)