Kickstarter made history on Thursday—twice.
The crowd-source funding platform saw its first campaign raise over $1,000,000 at 1:30pm EST Thursday afternoon, when Portland, Ore., resident Casey Hopkins's Elevation Dock for the iPhone campaign crossed into the previously uncharted territory.
Then video-game designer Tim Schaefer's Double Fine Adventure project—a campaign Schaefer started so that his San Francisco-based company Double Fine Productions could build a "brand new, downloadable 'Point-and-Click' graphic adventure game"—broke the $1 million mark just a few hours later.
As of press time, Hopkins's Elevation Dock has raised $1,139,533, dwarfing the $75,000 he set out to raise when he started the project on Dec. 13. Schaefer's Double Fine Adventure project has accumulated $1,308,884 in pledged funding with 32 days left to donate. His $400,000 goal was reached in a mere eight hours.
The two campaigns are similar in terms off attention received and funds raised, but that’s where the comparisons end.
Schaefer's campaign—one focused on a project with a clear beginning, middle, and end—falls in line with Kickstarter's focus on creative projects. And while that sect of the community is still going strong (David Carr of The New York Times reported in January that 10% of all films accepted into the Sundance Film Festival were funded through Kickstarter), Hopkins's distribution-oriented campaign is indicative of a new Kickstarter trend: projects designed to fund the development of sustainable businesses.
No matter the motives, 1 million is certainly a large feat—bigger than any that Kickstarter had seen until yesterday. Maybe that's why media experts like O'Reilly Media CEO Tim O'Reilly are starting to sing the praises of Kickstarter in ways usually reserved for companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google.
"Seems to me that Kickstarter is the most important tech company since Facebook," O'Reilly tweeted yesterday. "Maybe more important in the long run."
Such a claim was backed up by follower @Vladiim, who replied to O'Reilly by writing "I'd say that fueling a plethora of global innovation is more important than baby photos and brand pages."
Photo of Casey Hopkins from Kickstarter