The hidden Kickstarter industry

BY CHRIS NICHOLSON The crowdfunding industry is largely hidden from the public eye. To the uninitiated, a crowdfunding project looks like one person’s lonely slog through sleepless nights and white-knuckle days. The truth is that, while it may be sleepless and white-knuckled, it is rarely lonely.

Kickstarter alone has helped projects raise $789 million since it was founded in 2009. Together with Indiegogo, Crowdtilt, and numerous other platforms, crowdfunding could raise almost that much again just in 2013, according to Deloitte. Except for a few startups’ thin margins, all of that money will go to the marketing, manufacture and delivery of the products that crowdfunding backers support. If you are a marketer, manufacturer or shipper, that’s good news.

These service providers are the hidden Kickstarter industry. They are the makeup artists preparing dancers to go on stage, the carpenters fixing the set, the spotlight operators high on the catwalk: no one in the audience can see them, but they make sure the show goes on.

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