Visualizing Kickstarter

A visual data company company called Polygraph looked at over 100,000 Kickstarter projects in the US and wrote a really cool blog post about them.

This table shows the different character of the biggest cities on Kickstarter:


  • NYC over indexes for film, theater, and dance.
  • LA over indexes for film in a big way.
  • SF over indexes for art, design, and tech.
  • Chicago over indexes for publishing and theater.
  • Seattle over indexes for music, publishing, design, and theater.

Even more fun are the bubble charts that they created for all of the major locations on Kickstarter:


Nashville is almost all red because its a music city. Atlanta produces some huge game projects.

You can learn some interesting things.

Here are the places that over index for table top games:


And here are the places that over index for comics:


The Polygraph blog post is super interactive (unlike this post) and if you want to dig into the data, you can do it there.

Creativity is alive and well all over the world and you can learn a lot about it by studying what goes on on Kickstarter.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Love reading about comic projects in Columbus OH while I’m sitting jet lagged in the metro wondering which stop In Porto I’m supposed to get off at.

    1. pointsnfigures

      The one with the most port wine

      1. awaldstein

        Trust me. One Port master class is forthcoming. Dinner tonight with the owner of one of the most famous multi generational port houses. Certain i will drink bottles that are older than I.

        1. pointsnfigures

          That would be fun! Vintage port has a grip and taste unlike any other wine.

          1. awaldstein

            Though honestly more interested in the white wines, especially from a whole community of natural, biodynamic producers that are doing some amazing work here.

  2. Twain Twain

    Nice use of D3 viz and it’s like a petri dish of culture!Interesting that the two big gray spots in Palo Alto are for Pebble watches and these are listed under Design rather than Technology (dark green).Yes and I’d like a $9 computer, please! https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    1. Sebastien Latapie

      That’s exactly what they reminded me of!

  3. jason wright

    “September 20, 2016” – does the blogging platform you use allow for the time stamping of when you publish a post?this is following on from your AVC downtime (Bluehost) post discussion.

    1. fredwilson


      1. jason wright

        then if you use it people may be able to report more accurately on the downtime issue. they know the time when they come to read your latest post and would be able to see how many minutes it is since you published the post. it would be more precise feedback data that may reveal a pattern of up and downtime that pinpoints what the problem is (the tweet notification, or some other temporal or geo factor).

  4. Varun

    A data viz opera! Tufte for the masses!

  5. jason wright

    it would be interesting to make a quantitative analysis of how traditional funding sources for arts, theatre, music, and dance activities have changed in the years since Kickstarter started. is elite philanthropic giving dropping as the crowd takes over, and is public (tax) funding expenditure dropping as the crowd takes over?i also wonder if the nature of the projects being funded is changing to reflect the tastes of the crowd rather than the tastes of the elite? Or, is the elite preserving its tastes and institutions by continuing to give to its favourite causes? has hitherto art been a reflection of the economic power of elites? the mass media certainly has and continues to be.

  6. pointsnfigures

    Kinda neat how you can map cultural clusters.

  7. William Mougayar

    Insightful data, but why didn’t this analysis include other cities or countries in the world? The data is there from Kickstarter, I just checked.It bugs me when an article is titled The “Entire” History of Kickstarter, and it’s just about US data. C’mon. Get a global mindset. [Message goes to the authors of the Polygraph article.]

    1. awaldstein

      You include Canada in the ROW πŸ˜‰ Remember well how far down the list of markets Canada was especially when they had crazy rules for labeling bilingual in Patois.

      1. William Mougayar

        my comment isn’t about including Canada. It’s about the rest of the world & what’s happening in the UK, Germany, Australia, Singapore, France, Sweden, Japan, Netherlands (all big countries with Kickstarter pledges). Those global comparisons would be insightful.

        1. awaldstein

          Your sense of humor and nuance needs some brushing off my friend.Of course!

        2. LE

          You are right. But the purpose of the article is to sell Polygraph and achieve their publishing goals with an MVP which relates (to some extent) about media mention. I am guessing their primary market (the US) is more important than global. Really similar to lists that Forbes or Fortune puts out or a local magazine top list. Noting that Fred is talking about this today as we are and now I know who polygraph is.….Freelance Contributors. If you have an awesome idea (or would like to be assigned one), we have a flat $5,000 freelance rate on a per article basis. Final deliverables include all writing, design, and code required to ship an article publicly. and..FWIW, it’s working. Polygraph projects have been covered by pretty much every major publication on the Internet (I challenge you to find one who hasn’t!). One project was even the setup for an SNL bit (though it went unnamed).

          1. William Mougayar

            Yeah. But I was thinking beyond getting publicity for them, i.e. it’s about having a global mindset…or not having it. Either you get excited about how St Louis compares to Seattle, or you get more excited about how New York compares to London or Berlin.

    2. jason wright

      and isn’t the pop. of the US just 4% of the world’s total? this sort of thing bug brains me all the time.

      1. William Mougayar

        well, population isn’t an economic indicator. The US still has about 1/3 of the world’s GDP and in the case of Kickstarter perhaps over 50% of their revenue. So, that’s really the comparison point πŸ™‚

  8. sigmaalgebra

    Nice exploratory data analysis (J. Tukey).

  9. Jess Bachman

    This is a first rate viz. Kudos to that team. I would love to see some stats on KS failures by region as well. But that wont be happeneing I’m sure.

  10. Chimpwithcans

    As Keanu said in the early nineties, “Dude! this is most excellent”

  11. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I love that comics is big enough to be its own category.Our friend @annelibby shared a related post this morning (for everyone who cares about creatives) http://www.lastwordonnothin

  12. manu

    am always amazed when people do amazing things,i just met this hacker guy on the internet,and he was able to change my school grade and also chat my cheating boyfriend for me, he can do lot of amazing stuffs ,you can also contact him in case you need a hack [email protected]

  13. Sam

    I find data visualization so much more useful than long form articles. Long form, you get a headline that may or may not match the article itself, a few pull quotes, and a statistic or two to back it up. If you’re a curious person, you always want more. With data visualization, I can wallow in it. I can generate and test my own hypotheses. And generally, I’m better off for the experience.

  14. LE

    College Towns: cities with large student populations over-index in Kickstarter projects. This may explain why Pittsburgh is a top 20 city for Kickstarter projects, but ranks 85th in population (it’s home to Carnegie Mellon and Pitt). Similarly, cities such as Ann Arbor (Michigan), Savannah (SCAD), and Providence (Brown, RISD) are notable hotbeds for Kickstarter projects.What I am thinking also is that projects encourage more projects (of the same type and to a lesser extent a different type) in a particular geographic area.

  15. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:Phoenix, Arizona is listed second and fourth in both categories listed but no where to be listed as a major city in the bubble charts. Strange how data is based upon what goes in and what will come out.

  16. creative group

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  17. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:OFF TOPIC: (VC)HEADLINE: WOMEN LAUNCH MORE THAN HALF OF ALL NEW INTERNET COMPANIES IN CHINA.Women take lead in China’s VC industry. (That sounds strange based upon tradition and State sponsored cooperation with new companies that disrupt any industry based and founded in China. It appears they want everyone to actually think differently or it is changing with a snap of the finger)…

  18. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:OFF TOPIC: (Science)The Sun will destroy the Earth alot sooner than you think. (A Billion years away sooner)There are plenty of ways Earth could go. It could smash into another planet, be swallowed by a black hole, or get pummeled to death by asteroids. There’s really no way to tell which doomsday scenario will be the cause of our planet’s demise. But one thing is for sure β€” even if Earth spends the re…

  19. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:OFF TOPIC: (FRAUD ALERT)If you google Sienna Ventures (Renaissance Recruiting or Prelude Recruiting) the top seven or eight entries show it at a glance as legitimate company(s) that seek equity funding. If you look closely at it that company(s) fraud appears worse than Asenqua Ventures.One source: (Dan Primack of Fortune TERMSHEET is on their trail)

  20. ShanaC

    I’m unhappy that NY is not overindexing in artThere goes NYC – when the artists aren’t there anymore πŸ™