The power of crowdfunding is that, by aggregating relatively modest donations from what is often hundreds or even thousands of backers, consumers can help artists and inventors turn ideas or concepts into reality. The Pebble smartwatch that set the record for funds raised on Kickstarter was noteworthy for breaking the $10 million barrier. That money, though, came from nearly 69,000 backers.
Today, the two biggest crowdfunding destinations, Indiegogo and Kickstarter, offer different approaches to what gets presented on their sites. Indiegogo is a completely open site; there is virtually no screening of projects. Kickstarter, on the other hand, is a curated site. Projects must meet a range of criteria. As co-founder Yancey Strickler recently explained at Engadget Expand, the roots of Kickstarter were in the funding of creative and social pursuits. Kickstarter has been a haven for artists such as photographers looking to create a photo book or musicians seeking to cut a first album or create a music video.