Every time I look at the cover of this issue, thetheme songfor Reading Rainbow goes through my head.
Um, sorry, if I just got it stuck in your head. But that terrific show earned a whole generation of fans for its host, LeVar Burton. He’s the kind of warm celebrity you can think of as a friend; this helps explain how he broke the Kickstarter record, raising $1 million in a day to bring Reading Rainbow to classrooms for free.
And that’s really what social media is all about—including crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter. Crowdfunding is less about the funding than it is about the crowds. It’s about friends, in other words. This issue gives you advice you won’t find anywhere else on how to crowdfund your own dream—or maybe just invest in someone else’s.
I’m a huge Kickstarter fan, especially for ventures started by my friends. As I write this, I’m wearing a Lumo Lift, a cool posture monitor that I helped fund on Kickstarter. (Mom would be so proud of her formerly slumping son.) I gave two classically hilarious Kickstarted Calamityware plates to my daughter for her birthday. And half our family sports Kickstarted Sword & Plough bags, made by veterans out of repurposed military fabric.
It was Sword & Plough—and specifically its co-founder, Emily Núñez—that gave us the inspiration for the story in the first place. Emily, an active duty officer in the U.S. Military Intelligence Corps, happens to be a pal of my son’s, and he put us on to her brilliant startup. We sent writer Tracy Ross to the Kickstarter HQ to get a closer look.
Never before have friends been put to such good use.