Using Kickstarter to Fund App Development

This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on May 6th, 2011.

If you’re not already familiar with it, Kickstarter is a website through which you can crowd-source initial funding for a business idea or concept. Anyone can contribute a small investment in your idea, and receive something in return – the more you contribute, the better the reward is.

If a project meets the total investment target set, it goes ahead. If not, everyone gets their money back. People have different opinions about whether Kickstarter is a good idea. Last year, Frank Chimero generated over $100,000 in funding for his book – something that sparked a discussion about whether Kickstarter is appropriate for creative projects such as this.

Personally, I think it’s a fantastic idea. But why bring Kickstarter up in the context of AppStorm? Read on to find out…

Dialoggs

Dialoggs is a social network concept – coupled with a beautiful app – that is currently looking for funding over on Kickstarter. Drew Wilson, the creator, is aiming for an investment of $15,000 and currently has over $3,000 pledged at the time of writing.

Update: Sadly Drew came up short of his $15,000 goal. You can follow the actual project on Twitter here.

It’s certainly an interesting concept, aiming to fill the gap between Twitter, iChat, and Tumblr. It’s “more than just status updates, and it’s much more than a static blog with comments”. Dialoggs aims to offer realtime communication that is permanently stored and (optionally) publicly available.

Dialoggs is a beautiful-looking app

Dialoggs is a beautiful-looking app

I’ll let you head over to the site and watch the video for a full explanation of what Drew was aiming to do. He has some lofty goals, but the general idea is certainly an interesting one.

Other Apps & Products on Kickstarter

Although Dialoggs caught my eye, it certainly isn’t the only product you might be interested in checking out on Kickstarter. Here are a few others that have tried similar tactics, some of which even blew away their financial goals:

Would You Back an App?

Using Kickstarter to fund the development of an app is an interesting concept. Embarking on a software development project isn’t something to be taken lightly – it takes time, money, and lots of expertise. Not to mention the risk that demand may not reach your expectations after you unveil your creation.

I’m all in favour of developers using platforms such as Kickstarter to get a head start on a new project. It gives them a chance to test the market demand for their app, receive initial feedback from potential users, and fund the time and expense require to embark on the development journey.

But would you back an application before a single line of code has been written? Obviously there’s an inherent risk that the software may never see the light of day, or that it may not live up to your expectations.

Of course every individual project should be judged on its own merit, but I’d say that this is a worthwhile risk on the whole – especially if you’re only pledging a few dollars. The chance to support a developer embarking on a new application is an exciting one, and something definitely worth considering!

Would this be something you’d think about doing? If so, why/why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


  • docMD

    I backed Tapose, but yes its a definite risk that nothing will come of the app. I hope it does, though, and in a reasonable time frame.

  • http://technocliq.com Christian

    Sounds like a great service, if it can get off the ground. It would be an awesome Twitter rival and I would back them with $10,000 but I just don’t see anything truly appealing in return. Now if they would reward you 2x your investment for $1,000 4x for $5,000 and 6x $10,000 that would be very interesting. Of course it would take time for them to become profitable if ever but that is the risk involved. Now of course they can throw in some site goodies for the top investors and what not like they have going as well.

  • http://www.twitter.com/cobold0815 Micha

    I would totally support the concept. For example, I’d love to see Linux’ amarok on Mac – not those half solutions when you never know whether it’s gonna work or not but a native mac app that’s working perfectly.

    I’d give some money for that. But how to start that idea with the folks programming amarok?

  • rbq

    I’d definitely back the development of an app. Of cause it must be developed and licensed as Open Source software and not require any centralized service. I mean, I’d gladly pay for the software development but wouldn’t want to fund a business or have the app die if it turns out to be commercially unsuccessful.

  • http://writerpresident.com Aqif Azizan

    I really love the idea of KickStarter. And I love the idea of app development. It gave the opportunity for developers to create their dream stuff, and get lots of support (money etc) and exposure at the same time.

  • Hussein

    There is also a new alternative to kickstarter which focused on app campaigns only. Appsplit also allows international campaigns and accepts Paypal.

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