Last week our portfolio company Kickstarter quietly launched something called Spotlight that is quite interesting. A project’s Spotlight is its permanent post-funding page on Kickstarter. Here are a couple Spotlights to look at:

Obvious Child

Electric Objects

When you google a project, the Kickstarter page is often a top result, like this:

electric objects serp electric objects serp

But, until now, behind that link was the project funding page which is not particularly useful once a project has been funded.

Now project creators can turn their Kickstarter pages into showcases for the project that can live on and celebrate the project and much more.

There are two aspects to a Spotlight page that I’d like to talk about.

The Timeline – The timeline shows the chronology of a project, particularly what has happened post funding. Here’s a small slice of Electric Objects timeline:

electric objects timeline

What you can see is the evolution of the project as it moves from funding to delivery and beyond. This is a critical part of the Kickstarter experience for backers and creators and yet, until now, it had no place to live on Kickstarter. For me, this is a great first step into more accountability and transparency for the creators to the community which will lead to a better experience for all.

The Creation – Kickstarter is all about helping to bring creative projects to life. The end result is the creation. In the case of Obvious Child, that is the film. And until now, it was not simple to figure out how to watch the film if you wanted to do that.  Spotlight fixes that too. Here’s a screen grab from Obvious Child’s spotlight:

obvious child spotlight

If you click on that blue button, you will be taken to the iTunes page where you can rent or buy the film.

That blue button is Kickstarter’s entry into helping the community and everyone else appreciate all the creations that have been funded on Kickstarter. It’s not too hard to see where this is going.

Spotlight is Kickstarter’s entry into the world of what happens after a project is funded. That’s very fertile and important territory and I am really excited to watch where they go with this now that they’ve stepped into that place.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Matt A. Myers

    Smart idea. A profile/overview to send people to and for people to browse/discover. 🙂

  2. LIAD

    a very easy step from a crowdfunding marketplace to a fully-fledged digital & physical product shopping marketplace for previously crowdfunded projects.majority of successful projects have evergreen products, plus KS could easily charge their sellers a higher commission in their shopping marketplace than they do as their crowdfunding platform.

    1. awaldstein

      logically so i agree.dynamically so is the leap.

  3. awaldstein

    Fascinating.Raises are events in time which aggregate to some degree a cross network community of support.It’s one to one, creator to supporter with KS as the platform glue.This attempt is to both extend and broaden that community after the event.No one to my knowledge has taken a web based or even hybrid IRL/web event like a tech conference and been able to extend that community over time to bridge to the next one.All have failed cause the kernal of connection was dynamic enough. KS has already invented the unimaginable so just maybe.As a community geek, I’m on board to keep tabs on this one.

    1. Anne Libby

      This was one of the things I though was neat about the Eric Ries KS project (the one that got flak here a few weeks ago): a desire for healthy (civil) community around a topic area.

    2. Joe Cardillo

      The folks at &yet had an interesting post about choosing to fund product on KS a couple of weeks ago –…I think one of the implications of “bringing creative projects to life” is understanding that trust/relationships are the core, in other words…community building. Decision by KS makes a lot of sense in that light.

  4. William Mougayar

    Another side benefit is these carry high Google juice visibility, so that’s an extra bonus for the projects.

  5. kirklove

    Such a super idea. What a platform. Swoon.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, me tooi love working with themi’m most excited about what this opens up for them

  6. Eric Snyder

    This is great- takes advantage of the Kickstarter page’s Google placement but keeps it fresh. One tweak I’d love to see would be a “Similar projects still looking for funding…” piece in this. So, if I’m a big supporter of a particular maker and want to fund their other projects, or am looking for something else similar by another person (since this one’s already been funded), I can get those recommendations here.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s a great suggestion. i passed it on to the kickstarter team

      1. Richard

        Subject tag the post? Make tags searchable?

  7. JLM

    .It is a report card which is good because life is a graded exercise.More community building and more engagement have to be a good thing.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Richard

      But limited by Self-reporting and the survivorship bias, highly funded successful projects write more, less successful less ?

      1. JLM

        .The victors always get to write the histories. Maybe let some of the investors take a crack at it?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Richard

          I don’t see how investors would have enough sunshine to write much on what’s happening between the lines.

          1. JLM

            .The investors would be in the Yelp reputation management arena? Commenting on the experience.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Richard

            I see. I was coming at it from the angle of learning about process and future kS projects but that said I could see how this could help KS investors (if battle scar failure is a good thing in the valley why not on kickstarter.)

  8. pointsnfigures

    this is a great idea. More information to the market results in more efficient allocation of resources. More information builds trust, and has network effects across all projects on the platform. This idea will “kickstart” more growth in funding on the platform.

  9. wayne lambright

    Great idea and would allow to get more more based on previous ideas. I’m working on as a wine discovery tool if anybody wants to work with me. Lone programmer here in wine country teaching the farmers what I know about electronics and datasets.

  10. William Mougayar

    This is great for “accountability and transparency”, but I wonder if this can also be used for “learning the best practices” of these successful campaigns.In several of the campaigns I’ve closely watched or mildly advised on, the first steps for the project owners are to learn from others before planning/creating their own campaigns.What if these Spotlight pages also included a short section from the project owners to talk about the 2-3 things they learned that made their campaign really successful.

    1. Richard

      Spot on. See my comments above.

    2. JamesHRH

      Angel list promotes the Spotlight aspect of their portfolio companies, but not as a service (more as a promo tool).The, ‘ Things I Learned Successfully Raising on AngelList ” feature would be popular, I bet.

      1. William Mougayar

        That too, indeed. but it needs to be genuine and not ass kissing type.

        1. awaldstein

          In a hero striated world like angel list, is there really group related activities that aren’t stratas of hero worship.That is the key of what syndicates and circles are about.Actually I’m positive about them but that is what they are.The world is all about ass kissing and pandering. With some class at times,

    3. awaldstein

      The most important piece of working with Kickstarter is that it doesn’t provide a market for your project, you do.Once you understand that your work falls into place,

      1. William Mougayar

        well, I would say it’s roughly 70/30. yes, you have to make it happen yourself (the 70% part), but their network helps you in getting the other 30% going.

        1. awaldstein

          dunno….I’ve done only two kinds of projects:-huge, really big entertainment, video game projects, with monster brand equity to leverage.-small niche books, software, projects in the sub $$35K range,A number of each now.Honestly, it’s all marketing and understanding community and just plain hard work. No more or less for each kind, just different.%–clueless honestly as it really doesn’t impact what you do.

          1. fredwilson

            i like your style arnolddunno means “i don’t agree with you”but dunno is so much nicer

          2. awaldstein

            it’s tough sometimes to find the right idiom fred.avc is a marketplace of opinions to me. the easy friction of dissenting opinions is what makes it unique as much as the conviviality of the’s rude to talk around people, even more so to people i respect.and for friends like william i owe them my gut response cause they gave me theirs. i learn from it even when i don’t agree.the net of these interchanges is what keeps me coming back.

  11. LE

    The timeline is a good idea but the presentation needs improvement. To much scrolling down (on desktop). The fonts, size and white space just doesn’t work.

    1. ChuckEats

      agree – these pages are pretty bland. at first, it’s hard to tell what’s going on. the social proof should be more visible; and the timeline needs to be re-thought/re-designed (a stream-like design might be easier to read, if nothing else.)but a great idea & i’m sure they’ll get implementation figured out soon

  12. Richard

    I’m in the middle of reading Becoming Steve Jobs, The author’s approach to telling Steve’s story would be a great approach to story telling by KS projects leaders.Maybe KS could bring on a full time interviewer?

    1. William Mougayar

      I like that idea.A bit like Airbnb’s Pineapple magazine as they get into content to tell the stories of their community.

      1. Richard

        Each project could even have an associated fundraise by an investigative journalist to write the Becoming “insert project name” narrative.

  13. Travis Henry

    I’m curious if they could take this a step further and integrate with an Etsy-type landing page. Especially for kickstarters that result in brands or product lines.

  14. Guy Lepage

    Love this! The first time I saw kickstarter I was wondering why there was nothing like this. I feel that all campaigns should convert into Spotlight pages once the project has been funded. Makes sense and it adds a bit of a benefit to the company.

  15. mikenolan99

    I found this by accident yesterday when looking for info on the Pebble watch – thought the Kickstarter page was more useful than their website….

  16. fredwilson

    they are working on thatthey’ve been a bit reluctant to open up a person’s project backing history publicly, at least they were initially, and that has gotten in the way of this sort of thing, but they have figured out how to let users manage that and you will see a lot happening in this area over the next year or two

  17. awaldstein the campaigns i’ve worked on we’ve targeted the microcommunities and let them aggregate their nets and get them into the funnel to support one by one.when by friend did her book on the jura, i was the big ‘squeaker’ ala Godin and my two blog posts drove 1/4 of the funds.and it followed up with a series of dinners and tastings within my community.interesting thoughts.

  18. JLM

    .Particle physics?I thought you were an English major, poet type?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  19. JLM

    .Most impressive. Strong, stronger than an acre of garlic.We had a nuclear reactor at VMI — how, I’ve never been able to figure out.I left school in a similar manner — to join a band, that is.Band of Brothers. Made very sweet music when pressed.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…