Kickstarter has been criticized on and off in recent months for allowing celebrities to use the crowdfunding service to raise money — most recently Zach Braff, who raised more than $2 million on Kickstarter for a follow-up to his movie Garden State. Now, Kickstarter has decided to break its silence and address the issue.
This crap annoys me. It’s a kind of reverse snobbery that gets right up under my fingernails. Why should Zach Braff be barred from crowdfunding projects on Kickstarter? Because he’s well-known? Because he was once on a quirky TV comedy? Because he may have contacts that may get him access to other funds?
I’m calling bullshit on it all.
Look, who’s going to be the arbiter of who is too famous or too wealthy or too connected to participate on your crowdfunding site? The arguments don’t hold water. If the idea is for the artist to have more control, how does the notoriety (or lack thereof) of the artist in question matter? If Zach Braff doesn’t want to make a movie with studio funds — and studio strings — why is he any damn different from Joe Smith from Flushing, Queens?
One of the Kickstarter guys said earlier that he hoped that [insert name of someone famous here that I’ve forgotten already] wouldn’t run their crowdfunding project on Kickstarter because it might scare off the person looking for $500 to fund her lithography project.
Guess what? That’s Kickstarter’s problem. It’s called marketing. You have to tell people how to raise $500 and tell people how to raise $50 million. OR cap the amount of money you’re going to allow people to solicit. Other than that, shut up already about your enterprise being TOO successful.
PS – The link above also contains a jump to an excellent video with Braff explaining his take on crowdsourcing, social media and interacting with fans.