10 Wacky Kickstarter Projects That Succeeded - InformationWeek

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10/20/2014
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10 Wacky Kickstarter Projects That Succeeded

Crowdsourcing site Kickstarter famously made Pebble and Oculus Rift possible -- but check out Kickstarter's weirder side.
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Two years ago, a company developing a smartwatch took to crowdfunding website Kickstarter to raise money for its project. Within two hours, the company surpassed its $100,000 goal and, by the end of the campaign, had raised a whopping $10.2 million from nearly 70,000 people.

"You, our backers, have transformed our little project into a worldwide phenomenon," Pebble's team wrote. Today, Pebble has sold more than 400,000 watches, which retail between $99 and $199.

Pebble isn't the only tech success story to come from Kickstarter, which launched in 2009. It's also where virtual reality company Oculus Rift got its start, raising more than $2.4 million on a goal of $250,000. Earlier this year, Facebook acquired the company for $2 billion.

For the past five years, Kickstarter has served as a space for people to test their ideas on everything from games, art, and design projects to films, gadgets, and technology inventions.

The way it works is simple: Page creators set a funding goal and a deadline to meet it, plus incentives to backers, such as a copy of the finished work. If a Kickstarter campaign doesn't meet the goal, they don't receive any of the funds. Kickstarter says this model is effective -- 44% of projects have reached their funding goals.

But among the wildly popular projects like Pebble and Oculus Rift are even more wacky and weird ideas that have made it big on Kickstarter. Take this summer's breakout hit, for example: a campaign to raise money for potato salad.

Zack Brown of Columbus, Ohio, famously launched a Kickstarter campaign in August to raise $10 to fund a batch of his favorite side dish. "I really wanted to make potato salad, but am not at a point in my life where I could assume that level of risk," he jokingly told ABC News.

Brown's potato salad pitch went viral: Nearly 7,000 people pledged a total of $55,000 to make his culinary quest a reality. Last month, Brown made good on his campaign and threw PotatoStock 2014, a party paying homage to the spud that promised "peace, love, and potato salad."

Potato salad isn't the only strange campaign to meet its funding. Tech projects, including a steam gauge that displays Internet usage, a mock mission to Mars, and wearable devices that pantomime an imaginary marching band, have also raised the money needed to make their projects a reality.

Here's a look at some of the strangest tech projects to hit Kickstarter that met -- and often exceeded -- their funding goals.

Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
10/27/2014 | 9:07:45 PM
Re: Re : 10 Wacky kickstater Projects
@tzubair I was sent an Ostrich Pillow last year ahead of the Dreamforce conference. It's certainly not for the claustrophobic -- and I haven't actually used it to nap -- but it is amusing, if anything, for a few pictures. :-)
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