On the Problem with Patronage

I am pro-kickstarter.

But, I would also like to think I am not an idiot.

The world has been around a long time. And there are many different creative fields. And those fields have existed for a long time.

Ideas, well, they are a dime for -- are you kidding, I don't need any change?! Who uses change?! I could give you 1000 ideas for free. You can literally just sit there and spout off ideas for hours and it costs nothing. You have limitless immediate access to a functionally infinite number of ideas.

The thing is, that's not what creativity is about. Creativity is about effective, artistic, implementation. And that dear readers, is in mighty short supply.

Let me be clear! I do not doubt that the majority of projects that are backed will be finished. Anyone can fulfill an obligation and walk a road until it ends.

Let me illustrate it by talking about movies. There is a huge vetting process involved in film. You have to be a good proven writer, you have to be a good proven director, hundreds of talented people are involved. And yet most movies are just. . . meh.

So what do you get when you take a bunch of people who have an idea (which I can't get up and go to the bathroom without tripping over) who have no experience in not only producing/making ideas but doing it well?

I think most people are aware of this, and it's why the most successful Kickstarters are from those people who are proven veterans.

5 comments:

  1. I think most people are aware of this, and it's why the most successful Kickstarters are from those people who are proven veterans.

    Yes. I think the name "Kickstarter" is a bit misleading for this reason: the ransom funding model (which is what we called this ten years ago) was always understood to be most effective when someone had already "kickstarted" their career by successfully producing something popular. But I have to say that I'm hugely gratified to see the model taking off in reality rather than just in the minds of a bunch of free culture geeks. It will have its disappointments, to be sure, but I think we may be witnessing a significant change in how capital is directed toward the production of creative works, brought about by the Internet. It's hard for me to overstate how enthusiastic I am to see this happening.

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  2. To a certain extent I would agree: in order to fund a project with one of these services successfully, you do need to prove yourself. But I would disagree that you necessarily need to have "already made it." Instead, it can be used to help someone make the jump from projects they can fund themselves, to projects they can't.

    For example, as far as I know you don't have any professionally published games to your credit. But you do have several years worth of blogging history which demonstrates that you can be consistent. You also have several lengthy documents for download which demonstrate that you're capable of putting larger projects together. You've proven yourself, and if you decided to self-publish a retro clone, I think you could fund it with kickstarter.

    I would be a huge fan of kickstarter if they didn't descriminate: http://rachelmarone.com/banned-from-kickstarter-for-being-a-stalking-victim/

    I prefer kickstarter alternatives until that issue is resolved.

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  3. *Let me illustrate it by talking about movies. There is a huge vetting process involved in film. You have to be a good proven writer, you have to be a good proven director, hundreds of talented people are involved. And yet most movies are just. . . meh.*

    Is it not possible the vetting process causes the "meh"?

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    Replies
    1. I don't believe so. They are investments, and everyone wants to do all they can to get their money back, you know?

      There are thousands of movies that people pour their heart and soul into, good scripts with great actors, and somehow they just end up being. . . ok.

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    2. I would actually agree with Zzarchov. The people who invest money in entertainment (publishers, movie producers, etc) are usually not entertainers or artists themselves.

      The problem is that the stuff which is most entertaining is almost always the stuff which deviates from a formulaic approach. And that's a risk. And while risks might make LOTS of money, they just as well might make NO money. So make something formulaic. Critics will hate it, but audiences will probably pay to see it once, and profit is made.

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