Two Kickstarter Projects You Should Know About

I backed a couple Kickstarter projects this week and I thought you ought to know about them.

The first is from Josh Harris. Yes, the Josh Harris who was one of NYC's most notable entrepreneurs in the mid and late 90s. The Josh Harris who threw killer parties, did the Quiet and We Live In Public projetcs, and the Josh Harris who was the first person I ever met who did podcasting and videocasting on the internet. Josh wants to build an Internet Television Network called The Wired City. Here's the video introducing the concept.

The Wired City is an extension of everything Josh has been working on over the past fifteen years and is exactly the kind of super creative project that Kickstarter is perfect for. If you'd like to back this project like I did, click here and go for it.

The second one is from Brian August. He wants to build an augemented reality app for the iPhone that will allow users to document their stories of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in NYC. Here's his video:

Brian's project has 17 days left and he's closing in on his target. If you'd like to insure this app becomes a reality, click here and back it.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Steve Poland

    Kickstarter might someday be the investment you look back on as your greatest in terms of impacting lives… making dreams come true for creators and the beneficiaries.

  2. Jason Hirschhorn

    I also just backed Brian’s project yesterday. Tons of emotion for me there, yes, but also amazing applications to sightseeing and monuments. Love it.

  3. Dave W Baldwin


  4. tyronerubin

    Thanks, gives me something extremely cool to check out today. Might be my first Kickstarter project I dive into. What an amazing company.

  5. awaldstein

    Thanks Fred…110 Towers has touched me as a downtown New Yorker. I know many people who have notebooks and files full of stories and pictures that maybe, after almost ten years are looking to share and find community around the event.

    1. JLM

      The oral histories of these type of events are so important to the “learning” of future generations as they speak w/ a genuine voice that cannot be captured simply by books.  Books are not bad but the voice of the man on the spot is priceless.I have assisted in a very small way w/ the oral histories of D-Day and have been amazed and awed by the stories I have heard.I watch a man — a seemingly “normal” man, perhaps even otherwise unremarkable — walk into a room and watch a giant leave having shared his experiences.  It makes me love our countrymen with a renewed respect and reverence.  It is the hand of man on fashioning our history as a Nation.I recall in earlier times going to Keefe Bruyette’s offices and watching a glass of water slosh as the sun went around the building and the sunny side expanded.What a tragedy.  Sorry to get started down that road.

      1. awaldstein

        So well said JLM.I’ve been doing this with my mom, now 92, over short snippets of video that I pulled from rotting super 8 films taken when she was in her 20s.9/11 brings in more complexity. I watch the new towers finally starting to rise and know that even, finally, with a new compass marker for the southern tip of the island, there needs to be something more.This is important to the country and the world, but indelibly personal to the millions who saw this live. A big collective memory band that this app may turn into a community experience.

        1. LE

          I think you mean 8mm. Super 8 didn’t come out until 1965 (hey my mom was a fact checker you see…)

          1. awaldstein

            Thanks for that clarification. I’m certain you are correct because these were taken way before ’65.Very cool video snippets.

  6. Aaron Klein

    Both projects are pretty darned awesome. And Fred, now you can’t say you haven’t invested in Josh Harris yet. :)On a side note, I’m so grateful for the AVC community and the feedback, encouragement and great advice I’ve received with my new startup from folks here. Investing is broken, filled with emotion and conflict, and our mission is to fix it. I’m incredibly grateful to so many AVCers for their support.Today, just five months after we started, we hit our Beta 3 milestone. Our technology will allow you to capture your unique and personal Risk Fingerprint, and find an investment portfolio that fits your tolerance for risk, using an objective, mathematical algorithm.So two things:1. We hit our Beta 3 milestone today and as a token of my thanks (and a desire to get even more feedback from AVCers), I’d love to give a Backstage Pass to any AVCer who wants one. Drop me an email at aklein AT and you’ll get yours.2. I happen to be in NYC today meeting with some partners and had some extra time materialize in the late afternoon. If any AVCers want to meet up and say hello, ping me at the same email address.I hope this comment isn’t too off topic, but the community that Fred has built here is absolutely amazing, and I’m incredibly grateful.

    1. ShanaC

      I feel so bad, I just send back your survey.(And weirdly, I’m going to have empty spaces of time in Manhattan this afternoon after 3:30)

      1. Aaron Klein

        No worries at all, and I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to meet! Perhaps we should have done this as an official AVC meetup. 🙂

  7. William Mougayar

    Creativity is an understatement for these projects. Great ideas.

  8. Andrew J Scott

    Love the second one, 110 Stories: great name, great idea.

  9. Ivan Vecchiato

    Thank you for writing about two interesting projects, 110 Stories is touching and very well pitched by Brian.Just a side question about Kickstarter: you said once that you decide to back a project mainly based on the team and the passion of the people supporting the project. This seems to me the main if not the only way to decide about backing someone on Kickstarter, isn’t it?

  10. Bryan Thatcher

    Love Kickstarter, every time I take a look I end up backing something! I backed Brian’s project right from the start, great idea great timing. Just backed Josh’s project, knowing him it will be something brilliant!

  11. Peter Sullivan

    Maybe I’m too young, and I understand that this guy Josh is a visionary, but I think he projects are too far out there for me. I dig art, I dig abstract concepts, but it just doesn’t do it for me. 110 Stories is awesome. I like he was representing Greenpoint (my birthplace) in the video. I always had an idea that can also be related to that idea but in a bad context. Since 9/11 I’ve always wanted to point my camera on my phone at a plane flying overhead and have information of where that plane came from and where it was going.

  12. ShanaC

    a) for whatever the reason, We Live in Public (the movie) has always scared me (the friend who saw it with me claims it was the gunshots….).  That being said, I think Josh Harris is right about interactive web tv.b) the 110 project is super awesome.  And if they plan out the project well, they can reuse the technology for all sorts of places, people, and events (like an app to go to yellowstone with, or to see the mansions at newport, ri….)

    1. obscurelyfamous

      Wait, there were gunshots in that movie?

      1. ShanaC

        Yup, the actual QUIET location had a shooting range in it, and there are scenes of people using it, mixed in with the other crazy stuff going on there.  The way the scenes were shot/mixed, when the guns went off, it kind of kept me jumping (mixed in with some of the philosophical points the movie made, i kind of was jumping out of my seat from nerves.)

  13. Roger Ellman

    Value of noted history from many perspectives – enormous.Wired City – hope to see it one day.BestRoger

  14. Girish Rao

    I think you were looking for “If you’d like to ensure this app becomes a reality, click here and back it.” (not insure)

  15. whitneymcn

    I’ll take this opportunity to promote a little hack I put together recently:, a Kickstarter backer tracker.I love it when friends become advocates for the Kickstarter projects that they back (and I think that’s one of the most powerful aspects of Kickstarter), but people don’t always broadcast the projects they back. I wanted a way to get an automatic notification when Fred or someone else who interests me backs a Kickstarter project.Kisttr does just that: it allows you to “track” (or “follow”, if you prefer) the Kickstarter users who interest you, and then get a daily email if any of the people you’re tracking back new projects.It’s alpha and not too polished but it works, and if anyone’s interested I’d be happy to add a few more users and get a little more feedback on it.  Anyone interested in an invite can just drop a note to [email protected] or ping me directly.

    1. kirklove

      Whit,I’ve really enjoyed using your alpha. I like seeing what you and others back. Is there an easy way to find people on Kickstarter? Or do you just click through projects you like and see users?Fred,Thanks for pointing these out. Backed both.

      1. whitneymcn

        I decided not to touch the question of who [whom] to follow within Kisttr. In part that’s because I’m not up for trying to code the amount of site scraping and statistical analysis that would be required for me to build a finder/recommender system, and in part that’s because I’m not entirely convinced that the results would be particularly interesting. I think that kind of recommendation is going to be extremely difficult to get “right”, and since Kisttr scratches the specific itch that I had I’ll leave the problem to Kickstarter themselves or another brave soul. 🙂

      2. Phil Simon

        I just find projects I like by browsing or looking at tweets.All of this is fascinating stuff. I’m a huge fan of Kickstarter and used it to fund my third book. This time I’m back for #4.…enough icky self-promotion.

    2. daryn

      Kisttr is awesome – Kickstarter needs to get that officially integrated! It’s also where I saw Fred had backed “The Wired City” the other day, which made me smile, but I decided not to out him on twitter 🙂  

      1. whitneymcn

        Thanks — I’m pretty pleased with how well it accomplishes what I wanted.And yeah, for a number of us it was old news that Fred had backed these projects. 😉

  16. Brian August

    Thank you for your post, Fred, and for all of the positive reactions. I’d like to personally invite you and all of my backers to the launch event, which will take place on the evening of September 10, at a beautiful venue in Greenpoint that happens to be the location of the 110 Stories photo you see above. While that weekend will probably be filled with a series somber and reflective gatherings, I intend to do something uplifting. Its what 110 Stories is all about. The idea comes out of a simpler and in some ways even more thought provoking idea — to build 110 benches around New York City (within the same 50 mile radius as the app) at locations where people would have been able to see the Towers. Each bench will have a unique art installation associated with it, however, all of the installations will do the same essential thing as the app does —  correctly render the tower in both size and location. The idea is extremely complex logistically, and in thinking about it, I decided that the app could both stand on its own merit and also generate enough acceptance of the idea to help me get started. And, to answer another question, yes I am fully aware that the concept has many possible unrelated uses, including in tourism and for brands. It has been engineered with all of that in mind.  

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Do you plan to use the app (or some of its code) in profit-seeking ventures after 110 Stories is done?

      1. Brian August

        Its an extremely strong possibility. It has lots of very good applications.

  17. Tom Labus

    Studs Terkel comes to mind.  I hope they follow his trail.… history from participants is so alive and engrossing.  I believe that there are kiosks in NYC where you can go in and record a family history or remembrance.  I don’t know if I have this right but maybe someone will know more about them.

  18. howardlindzon

    Good for Brian…an old friend …

    1. Brian August

      Thank you, Howard!

  19. Foodie

    I’ve invested in two projects on Kickstarter and these are them – good to see they’re getting some recognition.

  20. Cameron Brain

    Just backed Josh Harris’ project.  Very interested to see if TWC has the same impact as his past ventures.

  21. Gregg Grossman

    too bad wired city is only just north of 25% funded – i really wanted to my uniform!

  22. Mark Nowotarski

    If anyone is going to be up Connecticut way this Thursday evening, July 28, I’m giving a talk on Kickstarter to the CT inventor’s association.  A link to details (and my special kickstarter patent offer), is here

  23. daryn

    I backed Josh’s project because I have huge respect for him as a visionary, pioneer, and downright legend, and great admiration for his passion. That said, there’s also a little bit of crazy there :)The project is a huge vision that I’m not sure we’re ready for. The heavyweight curation and production is compelling yet hugely daunting, still I hope Josh raises his money and gets a shot at pulling it off. 

  24. Eunice Apia

    I like the idea of The Wired City. I was just reading about The Next New Network which is being backed by Google, I believe. Great ideas. I wanted to see We Live in Public when it came out but didn’t get the chance. I know at least two or three of the guys who were in the Documentary and it sounded like an interesting experience.

  25. Ansel Halliburton

    Fred + web,Do you know of any sites similar to Kickstarter for less “creative”-oriented non-profit projects? I want to fund development of a safety-oriented smartphone app & related content for domestic violence victims. I’ve been looking around but haven’t found any great fits yet.Thanks!

  26. Steven

    p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 22.0px; font: 16.0px Helvetica}Fred, I would be very interested in your (or any other’s) take on the commencement speech given this year at Kenyon College by Jonathan Franzen – I would describe it as his response to the Wired City.  It may be that his humanist definition of community and the investing/user definition are different or it may be that Franzen is on to something – a kind of fatal flaw that may be built into the DNA of the wired city concept that first seduces and then does something else. Not sure what Franzen is saying but he is a smart guy and so are you so I would really love to hear what you think about his talk… you can find it here (reprinted after a brief intro):  http://roughfractals.blogsp…

  27. meenuahuja

    MICR Code/ Magnetic Ink CharacterRecognition as printed on cheque book to facilitate the processing of cheques.