“Start Kicking” Assignment

For our “Start Kicking” assignment we were instructed to peruse the website www.kickstarter.com. I began the perusal process by scoping out the “Discover” section where I was lead to 15 “diverse categories” including: arts, comics, crafts, dance, design, fashion, film & video, food, games, journalism, music, photography, publishing, technology and theater.

KickStarter category page

If you knew me, you would know I am not a left brain person, so many of the artistic and musical categories were not of interest to me. However, I love FOOD…so I dug a little deeper into the 649 “live projects” (at the time of search) that were categorized as “food.”

It didn’t take long for me to find a project I was passionate about: The Chocolate Conspiracy Expansion is intended to expand a raw artisan chocolate company out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Included in the project details is a video about the business that starts with a still image of a delectable looking chocolate bar (shown below).  Also included in the project details is an extensive list of items needed to grow their business, including the prices of the equipment needed. The concept is built on the organic, local food movement and uses local honey to sweeten their chocolate.

KickStarter - The Chocolate Consp. Expansion

Gainesville Co-Op

In sticking with the same theme (food), I decided to search some local projects in Gainesville, Florida. I recognized the image and name of a local Citizen Co-Op, which claims to want to “build a community through a local food marketplace that offers fresh creative alternatives to how we connect with our food.” I was pleased to discover they were already “Successfully funded” and I look forward to scoping it out next time I’m on that side of town. 


Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 12.12.08 PMWhen I returned to the Kickstarter website for a third time to gather my thoughts, I stumbled upon Zubits Magnetic Shoe Closure, which I couldn’t resist writing about. At the time I saw the Zubits project it was 646% funded! Zubits is the perfect example of a “Shark Tank” type invention. It’s been said that successful inventions are those that solve a common problem or make a current task easier. Although there are of course sneakers with velcro; however, they are far less fashionable, Zubits provides a revolutionary way to fasten your sneakers. While it seems elementary, over 4,000 individuals have backed the project and $187,216 has been pledged thus far.

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 12.16.30 PMAs previously confessed,  I am not a left brain person and my level of creativity is bleak to say the least. While I don’t personally have a concept or project I would want funded, I know plenty of other individuals (far more creative than myself) that may be interested in this concept, and I appreciate being made aware of this financial crowdsourcing platform.

5 thoughts on ““Start Kicking” Assignment

  1. Yes it is elementary but when you have kids…that Zubits thing seems BRILLIANT! Velcro comes undone ALL THE TIME. Kids want to pull at it. This seems like it could be a pretty cool gizmo.
    Good post as always Kaitlin.
    I love how many people are writing about food. I am guilty as well! One of the three items I wrote about is a barbecue gadget!
    Of all your selections, I love the local food idea. I have been obsessed with reading labels lately which is not something I typically do. (Yet another byproduct of motherhood).
    Don’t get me wrong–I can hoover a package of Oreos in one sitting so I am not a zealot about health food. I am however, looking to eat fresher, locally-sourced stuff.
    You have now inspired me to scan Atlanta for something similar to the Gainesville project!

  2. Hey Kaitlin,

    I enjoyed reading your post and once you started talking about chocolate I became real hungry. I do not think Kickstarter is strictly for people with left brain dominance. You would be surprised at how the craziest of the craziest ideas get funded. The idea does not have to solve an issue it could also be with regards to something fun. The one thing I have learned in life, as well as watching the late night infomercials, is that you can come up with anything and make money out of it. If you believe it in it you can make it happen.
    I am saying this to encourage and not discourage you – you are capable of having something worthy of being supported by Kickstarter. The beauty of Kickstarter is that the possibilities are limitless.
    Keep up the good work and it is always a pleasure reading your entries.

  3. Hi Kaitlin.
    I thought I would comment on your blog… not because you commented on mine but because it really was my favorite. I think you are a little left-brained after all. You are a very good writer.

    I love all three of your finds. I love chocolate, really good chocolate and kit kats. Kit Kats are good, too. Who am I kidding? I’ll eat anything chocolate. I also want to fund, find, and purchase the Zubit thingy…my five year refuses to learn how to tie his shoes… and laces are so much cuter than Velcro. The locator on Kickstarter wouldn’t even recognize the place where I lived as a valid location… so I am assuming no one in my community has ever used it. Other places in my state had projects, though. Mississippi is either the most or one of the top “giving” states so people are missing out. We are good at HELPING people. That is what we do.

    I really enjoyed this site and this assignment. My favorite show is Shark Tank. I love seeing what people come up with. I love dreamers. I live vicariously through them because I am too scared that my idea would tank or be made fun of.

    Thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to after this class if over.

  4. Well, Kaitlin, you’ve outdone yourself once again. What an excellent post! Like the others have mentioned, The Chocolate Conspiracy Expansion was favorite project of the ones you listed. Huge kuddos for finding the most delicious project on the site! Okay, here’s the million dollar question, are the backers rewarded with chocolate? If so, I could take a huge bite out of that one! Okay, in all seriousness, I am becoming a huge fan of Kickstarter. While I had heard about the website previously, I had never really used it on my own. I have since discovered a number of projects to which I’d like to pledge and look forward to brainstorming a few ideas to add of my own. Also, to Mark’s point, I don’t think you necessarily have to be the most creative person to come up with a stellar product or concept. In fact, you just need to be an ordinary person who has found the answer to a problem or question that other ordinary Americans experience. The magnetic shoe closures are an excellent example of that. Thanks again for a fantastic post.


  5. Hi Kaitlin: Congrats on a very thorough look at Kickstarter. I can find hours of interesting projects on the site. It also motivates me to find innovative ideas that can potentially help us do everything from a better way to tie shoes to helping a community solve a problem. I especially appreciated the Kickstarter local community exploration in your post. Like Leia, I too have found a number of projects that I’m interesting in exploring further. I also think crowd funding sites would make for a good research project as well. Exploration might include getting a better understanding for why folks contribute to projects, what they gain from them. I enjoy seeing a public movement, a kind of social change in innovation and a new way of problem solving.

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