Kickstarter was one of those web-projects that was supposed to herald a new more democratic age of raising capital. Or, if you have the imagination of a socialist, it was “the people’s NEA”
It was invented by a group of guys who wanted to raise $3,000 to make a record.
But a little bit of news this morning has got to be depressing. Charlie Kaufman and Dan Harmon (the creator of NBC’s show Community) have set a record for fundraising on Kickstarter.
By that, I don’t mean that these relatively wealthy people have donated money to some worthy project by a bunch of idealistic kids. No, instead 5,770 supporters have given them nearly $406,237. The idealistic kids are funding the Establishment now.
I’m sure Harmon and company can put together a nice stop-motion film. But could they really find no one in Hollywood willing to part with $500,000?
This happens over and over again on the internet. Twitter was announced with a lot of hot hair about how both you and Lady Gaga are limited to 140 characters. And sure, a few people have become notorious on Twitter. But Lady Gaga has over 29 million followers. Even some of the most famous-for-Twitter properties are nowhere near that. @ShitMyDadSays has just over 3 million followers.
I’m glad for the internet. But it isn’t ushering in some new era of meritocracy. The easiest way to go viral now is no different than it was in the 1950s: have a hit on television or radio.