Updated (3:35 p.m.) There are about 150 million good reasons (read: $) why everybody's talking about Kickstarter lately. Kickstarter is self-described as "a new way to fund creative projects" according to two beliefs: one in good ideas and one in how "large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement." And according to co-founder Yancey Strickler, if the success rate of the first two months of 2012 holds up for the rest of the year, the Brooklyn-based startup is on track to provide more $150 million for creative. Strickler notes that is $4 million more than the entire operating budget of the National Endowment of the Arts.
Writing at his own site, The Information Diet, the former director of Sunlight Labs Clay Johnson is one thinker willing to engage. Besides the hopeful notion of Kickstarter doling out $150 million this year (we're only two months into 2012, while the NEA's $146 million budget is locked in for the fiscal year,) he blogged about how "Kickstarter's not even close to the NEA" and presented a good data-driven analysis of what types of projects Kickstarter helps get funding. Long story short, (which he illustrates with the pretty chart at right) projects funded by Kickstarter aren't exactly the sorts of things that get NEA grants. Roughly a third fall in the design category. "To give you a sense of what this category is: 6 out of the top ten projects are marketed as accessories for the iPhone or other Apple-related projects," Johnson writes. "Two are products designed to better the consumption of coffeee, one is a photography tool, and the other is a very expensive pen."