Introducing The KickBack Machine

A few months ago, I wrote a bit about Kickstarter, and how they hide (or at the very least, make it very difficult to find) failed projects.

I believe that when it comes to crowdfunding, there’s much to learn from past projects — both successes and failures. And I’m not the only one who feels this way. Early on in The Crowdfunding Bible, Scott Steinberg writes:

Whatever your approach to crowdfunding, your first order of business is to take a hard, analytical look at projects that have succeeded, as well as ventures that have failed. Your goal: To observe and learn how successful projects work, and to understand the subtle nuances and tactics that determine why some triumph while others don’t.

By hiding failed projects, Kickstarter makes it difficult for aspiring crowdfunders to take a hard, analytical look at “ventures that have failed.”

With this in mind, I built a Kickstarter research tool.

It’s called The KickBack Machine, and it’s specifically designed to help aspiring artists, creators, and entrepreneurs do their crowdfunding homework.

For example: Let’s say I’m a hip-hop artist and I want to raise $10,000 for my next album. The KickBack Machine lets me find examples of past hip-hop projects that tried to raise approximate $10,000.

Here’s a short intro video I made to explain the tool:

The site has limitations. Notably, it only knows about Kickstarter projects that ended after mid-June 2012, and you can currently only filter by category and project goal. But it’s a start, and it should be at least somewhat useful in its current form.

If you’re an artist, creator, or entrepreneur who’s considering Kickstarter as a crowdfunding service, I’d encourage you to check out The KickBack Machine. I’d love to hear your suggestions for how it could be a more useful tool.