Kickstarter has changed the game. A touring musician disinclined to waste valuable songwriting time on a dreary day job can ask her friends for $20 apiece and end up subsidizing the next three months of her life. An artist with a big idea doesn't have to win a grant when he can snatch a few grand for supplies with a few keystrokes. These are all relatively small sums. Increasingly, Kickstarter is being used to generate capital for (and extensively promote) ventures that once required investing partners, bank loans, and expensive P.R. campaigns. For instance, take the Kickstarter launched by the new New York-based Museum of Food and Drink non-profit project (MOFAD).
While plans for a permanent base are percolating, MOFAD is currently seeking $80,000 to help build its first pop-up exhibit: BOOM! The Puffing Gun and the Rise of Breakfast Cereal, essentially a giant 3,200 pound metal contraption that models itself after similar industrial machines used in cereal production. Yeah, we're quizzical too, but the history of cereal production is pretty fascinating, and if the museum very thoughtfully gets into the history of cereal trends and cereal marketing as well as cereal technology, we'll be intrigued. But maybe not enough to want to pay for it up front.
Some people are though. At press time, with 11 days to go, 283 backers have pledged nearly $35,000 to MOFAD's campaign, and success appears likely. Perhaps donors are seduced not only by the promise of a brick-and-mortar food museum being erected in New York City, but by the gifts they can receive in return for their generosity.
Forking over $30 will get you a fetching MOFAD t-shirt. Chip in $100, and you'll have that t-shirt, a tote bag, and a bag of snacks shot out of the puffing gun. If your pockets are deep to the tune of $10,000, in addition to receiving plenty of wearables, you'll see your name on the side of said puffing gun, attend the VIP launch party with three friends, and enjoy a Momofuku Ssam Bar dinner with founder Dave Arnold and director Peter J. Kim.
Momofuku dinner? Snacks shot from a gun? An entire museum devoted to food and drink?! We might be changing our minds about paying up front for this thing. Want to contribute too? You've still got 11 days.