Kickstarter Can Be Kind Of Gross

Kickstarter is the future of investment, kickstarter is the future of invention, kickstarter is the future of intellectual property creation, kickstarter is the future of capitalism, kickstarter intersects the future of pop science, Kickstarter may well be the future PERIOD.

Also, undeniably…

Kickstarter is a popularity contest.

That’s gross. Popularity contests are gross. They’re even grosser when you’re the one who’s losing. I should know that. I was never popular as a kid in elementary school, actively bullied throughout some of middle school, mostly ignored throughout most of middle school and high school, and at the tail end of high school, I finally managed to reach the “accepted within certain circles” rung of the ladder, which to me, along with finally having a girlfriend, felt like being King of the World. In college, I was the center of a small but passionate clique, which is not quite the same as being popular, but is the closest I will ever come. As an adult, like most adults I know, I have few friends and no real idea how to make new friends: unlike most adults I know, I am also great at losing friends, but that’s neither here nor there.

If you’re one of the people who want to help us stop losing this particular popularity contest, you can do so here, but I have a feeling that everyone who reads this already has pledged generously to the Systems Malfunction Kickstarter, or is one of my enemies, spying on me and waiting for me to say something that’s not PC. It’s impossible to overstate how much I hate the fact that I unironically have enemies at this phase in my life. Or for that matter, at any phase of my life. It is NOT good for someone with a chronic, stress-exacerbated disorder like Crohn’s Disease to know with total certainty that they have actual enemies that actually, provably spy on them.

Anyway I know at a glance this may seem whiny and entitled, but try and hear me out …Kickstarter has some issues, and those issues begin at the intersection of human psychology (which is terrible and ugly) and things like Stretch Goals. In essence, a Kickstarter isn’t really considered to be “successful” unless it has (massively) overfunded. The analytics are all whack. People are massively more likely to give money to Kickstarters that have already funded than Kickstarters that are desperately struggling to fund. Even worse, the more a product has already overfunded, the more likely new people are to keep throwing money at it. Even even worse, Kickstarter’s own algorithms seem to reinforce this behavior (although you could throw a citation needed there at me and I’d be right to take it because I do need a citation for that).

Still, I think that Kickstarter is a lot of what’s wrong with Capitalism, with “Democracy”, writ slightly smaller, microcosmic: the rich get richer. Full stop



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