When the Crowd Met Pebble: A Story of Kickstarter Success

07/09/2015 01:14 pm ET Updated Jul 08, 2016

Getting a Kickstarter campaign on point is something that many people spend hours mulling over. Balancing written content with positive intent and great images is a very tricky thing indeed to manage and if you don't get it quite right, you risk alienating your audience and ruining the whole thing. So there's no pressure, then.

Whilst crowdfunding is something with which we are relatively new, there is enough positive evidence out there to suggest that it is one of the most effective methods of financing a project. The idea that people would want to fund new ventures from their own pockets seemed a little off at first but based on recent history, it's clearly not something to be scoffed at.

If you're looking for proof of the people power at this moment in time, then you need look no further than Pebble. The smartwatch company to end all smartwatch companies, Pebble has looked time again to Kickstarter to fund its latest projects. Most recently, its proposal for watch Pebble Time overfunded its goal by roughly 4,000 percent, raising enough cash to create the watch of the tech-lover's dreams. The fastest funded campaign in Kickstarter history (so far, at least), Pebble Time raised $1 million in less than an hour, already doubling the proposed $500,000 number.

What made the Pebble Time campaign different from others? Logistically speaking, not a whole lot. If you take a look on Kickstarter at any moment in time, you will find no end to the high budget, advanced tech projects out there. Differentiating between them can often be a challenge in and of itself and when the market is so saturated, it's almost impossible to predict which projects will make it and which won't.

Pebble Time is a product entirely of the people. Whilst the company was already backed up by its positive history of crowdfunding success, it was thanks to the online community that it really found its power. The crowd mentality is king on online funding sites and even though you might be giving your money as an individual, you are thinking as small part of a larger machine.

Centuries before the internet was even formed, the notion of the crowd mentality was making the intellectual rounds. In written essays by Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Baudelaire, readers were introduced to the idea of the urban crowd, a being so large that it subsumed completely the idea of individual identity. In the 21st century, things remain much the same and whilst the crowd finds its voice in a far different place (namely, the internet), it is just as powerful as ever.

When we see others react to an event, or an idea, we automatically become drawn to it. We have our voice and we feel impelled to use it. When hundreds, or thousands of people become involved, however, things shift. We still have our identity, but instead of expressing it in terms of our individual needs, we do so in regards to what we consider our "people". We recognise others with the same traits and beliefs as us and automatically, attach ourselves to their tribe. As they move, we move; as they think, we think.

We see others becoming invested in Kickstarter campaigns and we play along. Proposals with a huge amount of interest run away with themselves and the more interest they have, the more they generate. The secret to the Kickstarter campaign is not wholly due to innovation, or creation but rather, the crowd mentality. We are swept away in the movements of the online crowd and with it, we follow the larger instinct. Whilst we might celebrate innovation on a relatively small scale, we create success on a huge scale. The collective mind is responsible for the failures and successes of businesses today and the only question is, how do we tap into the crowd's thoughts?