What company could claim to have helped launch satellites into space, brought US rappers to North Korea, been part of powering up the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, and resurrected the TV show Veronica Mars? Kickstarter, of course.
This crowdfunding platform came out with its stats for 2013 on Wednesday and the year proved to be the company's best to date. In all, Kickstarter saw 3 million people pledge $480 million on projects posted to its Web site. That means $1,315,520 was pledged per day, coming out to $913 a minute.
According to Kickstarter, those millions of project backers came from 214 countries and territories and from all seven continents, including Antarctica. In all, 19,911 projects were successfully funded in 2013 and thousands more came to fruition. For comparison, in 2012, 2.2 million people pledged about $320 million, and 18,109 projects were successfully funded.
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Kickstarter has become an online juggernaut, giving entrepreneurs, artists, and others the chance to pitch their projects to the masses. In many cases, pledges for projects are quite small. But as more people see potential in a project, the money can quickly pile up.
Among the projects that went from idea to reality last year were the Pebble smartwatch and the Ouya gaming console. Some of the more quirky projects included an emoji translation of "Moby Dick" that entered into the Library of Congress, a Delorean hovercraft that floated around the San Francisco Bay, and a human-powered helicopter that took flight. A personal favorite of this CNET writer was Werner Herzog's narration on a short video about a chef's special salt blend recipe (see video below).
"2013 reminded us that people are amazing," Kickstarter wrote in its year-in-review release, "that ideas are exhilarating, that we're all capable of creating incredible things."