Kickstarter rarely delivers a viable market product, so what makes a Kickstarter project make money? Professor and creator Ian Bogost at Fast Company sees the most attractive projects like compulsory TV. The instant jackpots, like the OUYA, are not the ones that are in high enough demand to float the market, but they entertain us, give us the thirll of buying a dream.
The fact that OUYA raised so much money so fast speaks more to our fantasies than the market reality. Whether or not OUYA will disrupt the console business is beside the point–no one could predict such a thing anyhow–the pleasure we get from imagining that possibility is highly valuable.
When you fund something like OUYA, you’re not pre-ordering a new console that will be made and marketed, you’re buying a ticket on the ride, reserving a front-row seat to the process and endorsing an idea. It’s a Like button attached to your wallet.
We don’t really want the stuff. We’re paying for the sensation of a hypothetical idea, not the experience of a realized product. For the pleasure of desiring it. For the experience of watching it succeed beyond expectations or to fail dramatically. Kickstarter is just another form of entertainment.
Perhaps the middleman that we so valiantly vanquished actually had reasonable influence over the overzealous creator and the excitable audience.