Since Kickstarter launched in 2009, crowdfunding has become an obsession, and very cool stuff has hit the market as a result. While countless projects fail, some have captured the imagination of investors to far surpass funding goals.
What makes some campaigns catch fire and some fizzle out? Take a look at these successes and see if you can figure it out.
Here are ten very different Kickstarter campaigns in all their blazing glory.
1. Limited Edition SOLOSCOPE Automatic by XERIC
Watches are timeless (no pun intended) symbols of personal style and this watch is a magnificent example. While tech watches age quickly into obsolescent uncoolness, the Limited Edition SOLOSCOPE Automatic is a classic mechanical watch that will never go out of style or require an upgrade.
The SOLOSCOPE Automatic is the brainchild of Watches.com founder Mitch Greenblatt. Its design is somehow equally retro and ultra-modern, with the beauty of the inner workings exposed and a distinctive single hand to keep time. Maintenance-free operation never needs winding or batteries. It's powered by your movements.
To date, the Kickstarter has blasted through its $50,000 goal and racked up $464,838 in pledges - weeks before the project end date.
2. GeoOrbital Wheel | Make your bike electric in 60 seconds
Turn almost any ordinary bicycle into an electric vehicle capable of 20 miles per hour, and a range of 20 - 50 miles depending on size and whether you pedal. Install the GeoOrbital Wheel in 60 seconds with no tools, and you're good to go.
The innovative project by GeoOrbital blew through its $75,000 goal in no time, and already has $509,928 in funding, just a few weeks into the project.
3. The Woman Card[s]
When Donald Trump made that fateful comment about Hillary Clinton playing the "woman card," Zach Wahls and his sister Zebby knew exactly what they had to do. They asked for $5,000 in funding, and have already collected $111,189.
Woman Card[s] are a deck of playing cards featuring truly badass, history-making American women who made (and in some cases, are still making) a real difference. You'll find Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, and Beyonce, among the stellar portrayals.
4. Town of Salem - The Card Game
Why tabletop games are outrageously popular on Kickstarter is a mystery to me, but imaginative flights of fancy are met with outrageous success. Town of Salem, by Blank Media Games, began as an online game (you can play it free here) and features "werewolves, pilgrims and fancy witch hats." It's irreverent, gruesome, and undeniably fun.
More than 6,000 people have pledged, bringing the total raised so far to $265,011 - burning down the lofty goal of $10K.
5. Trance Sphere: Oligodynamic Copper
The Trance Sphere is a decorative, germ-killing ball formed of 99.9% pure elemental copper, made by trancemetals.com. It comes in matte or polished finish and two sizes. Judging by the comments, customers love it.
With about a week left to go, the project has raised $200,750, starting with an original goal of $5,000.
6. Noria: Cool, redefined
Noria is a window air-conditioner unlike any you've seen before. It's small, sleek, easy to install, and you can control it with your smartphone via Bluetooth. Loaded with innovative features, the Noria will even pull in air from the outside on cool days to freshen and circulate the stale inside air. Cool air is directed up towards the ceiling to create an even temperature throughout rooms up to 160 sq ft.
The Noria Kickstarter campaign sought $250,000 to help them get the product off the ground. A big price tag - which they easily doubled. To date, they've collected $509,082.
7. Calamityware Dinner Plate 9
Don Moyer is an artist who seems to be on a mission to make everyday life more silly. His Calamityware series of plates looks much like traditional china. Until you get closer and see the flying monkeys, pirates, tentacles, or, in the case of Calamityware Dinner Plate 9 currently on Kickstarter, frogs. Lots and lots of frogs. The more you look, the more frogs you find. It's genius.
Starting with a goal of $20,000, enthusiastic fans have pledged more than $55K so far.
8. The Unstainable® Workwear Collection
Designed by Elizabeth & Clarke on the heels of their successful Unstainable® Shirt campaign, the businesswear clothing is treated with a nanotechnology finish to repel spills of any kind, and be wearable, breathable, flattering, and completely odor-free.
Investors have pledged more than double the $40,000 the company was asking for. To date, they've raised $80, 272 to fund the Unstainable® Workwear Collection.
9. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls - 100 tales to dream BIG
Forget princesses. Real girls need to hear about real heroes, and this book delivers 100 inspiring tales of women who have changed the course of history. Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, founders of Timbuktu Labs, bring history to life with colorful artworks featuring accomplished women from different cultures. To add emphasis to how much women contribute, each story is illustrated by a different female artist.
As I was writing this story, the donation counter kept going up. The project started with a goal of $40,000, and as of this moment, has accumulated $316, 963. No, wait. Make that $316,966.
10. EcoQube Air - The World's First Desktop Greenhouse
Developed by Aqua Design Innovations, EcoQube Air is a self-contained greenhouse that provides the perfect environment to grow plants indoors. The airflow system, works with the plant's natural CO2 processing to oxygenate the air and remove toxins, making your personal breathing space healthier and more breathable.
As of right now, the project has raised $277,207, more than ten times the $25,000 goal.