Friday, March 14, 2014

The Dark Side of Kickstarter

Kickstarter and other crowd-funding sources are an awesome idea. I wish I would’ve come up with the idea. But I have a huge problem with it.
Ok, moreover I have a problem with the dark side of crowd-funding.
Maybe dark side is the wrong word.
I have a problem with rich people and celebrities using crowd-funding. Now I get it- we are a free country, yada yada. People can spend their money on whatever they want. They can go in their yard and make papier-mâché piñatas out of money and then burn it. Free country. Beautiful.
It’s just incredibly sad to me that we have become this society of entitlement. People think, well I want to do something and I really don’t want to put my own money towards it, so I will see who will give me money. I’m speaking ONLY of insanely wealthy people and celebrities. Joe Schmoes like you and me would need crowd-funding to record an album, publish a book, what have you. I think it’s a brilliant idea when someone with talent without money needs help getting their product or idea out there, and other people getting something they value (whether it’s an album, a book, recognition) out of helping. Rich people have the option of saying “I have the money and I can do this thing.” I’ve seen this wave on kickstarter of people who can afford to finance their dreams, but instead want to show “the world” that there is support for their idea, etc. I feel like this is anathema to the idea of kickstarter, of people helping other people achieve their dreams who would otherwise be unable. Instead it is morphing into celebrities wanting to make a movie and needing Joe Everyman to help finance it. Captain Megabucks wanting money to research for his book.
I understand this desire to fit in, to be recognized. Some celebrity says for $50 you get your name in the liner notes of a CD, a signature on a picture, et al. I’m sure that Teen Heartthrob of the moment could make a kickstarter for money because he crashed his car and wants to buy a new one, and people would line up to help him fund it. Granted- free country. Do what you want with your money.
Perhaps maybe we should be helping fund new artists, new creators, new sciences. We should be helping build wells in third world countries so the people there can drink potable water. We should be sending money to war-torn countries where children have no parents.
But I digress.  

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