When I graduated from college in 1958, electric typewriters were not yet in use by anyone I knew. So when I told an old college friend recently about Kickstarter and how we planned to use it to try to crowd fund some CYOA interactive cartoons via the internet, he had a hard time wrapping his head around it. "Do the investors get part of the company?" "No, no, it's not like that. They are backing a project," I explained. "So do they get a share in the royalty stream?" "No, not that either," I replied. Peter, who made his money managing other people's money on Wall Street (very successfully) was seriously perplexed. “They get the chance of seeing something that they believe in come to life and say ‘I was part of that’,” I added. “And depending on their pledge, we might send them a signed copy of the script, an 80s time capsule and/or a copy of the final cartoon," I explained. "Really?" he asked. "Yes, really," I answered. "That's crazy," he announced confidently. "Actually, it's not so crazy,” I said. “Kickstarter has been around for three years and in 2012, they gave three times as much money to the arts as the U.S. government." *
Peter, who gives many of the millions he's made to the arts and to early childhood education, sat quietly and thought. After a while he spoke. "I can't quite take it in. I mean, I believe you. But I just don't understand it."
I know what he means. Sometimes as our incredible staff helped put our Kickstarter page together over the past couple of months, I had to pinch myself. It's an incredible world we live in. I've always embraced new technology, and have the Apple II nailed to the wall of my old writing office to prove it. But Kickstarter, what it does and what it implies, is pushing me to the edge of my own comfort zone.
I guess I am finally showing my age.