Gerry Canavan points toward an account of why Kickstarter is a scam. As someone who has long suspected that Chicago’s great start-up, Groupon, may actually be a conscious scam to defraud investors — and I’m so dedicated to this view that I actually read a good chunk of their IPO prospectus — I was of course pleased to see yet another “cool” web service taken down.
The basic point is that Kickstarter amounts to a hugely expensive web-hosting service, which makes its money by skimming a percentage off the financial transactions it intermediates. Yet this is supposed to be okay, because they’re cool people:
People who think outside the box, creative types who don’t want to be told what to do, trailblazers and mavericks with new ideas. They’re rethinking everything, breaking down barriers, and bringing their fresh, youthful flair to overturn staid, conventional, old-fashioned paradigms. These people support lcoal artists, local musicians, local bakeries, local apps and locavorism; social enterprises, organic food, micro-breweries, open source software, peer-to-peer production, collaborative consumption, volunteering, making the world a better place, community-supported agriculture; simplicity, minimalism, spiritual but not religious, being a maker, not just a consumer; digital nomadism, owning less and experiencing more; being your own boss, being passionate, being connected, being involved; DIY and knowing exactly who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning.
Surely we’re all willing to pay a coolness premium.