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(The Atlantic)   How Kickstarter became the Hipster Home Shopping Network. "From aquariums made out of vintage iMacs to handcrafted bamboo sunglasses, the following projects read like a game of hipster bingo"   (theatlantic.com) divider line 46
    More: Amusing, Kickstarter, iMacs, vintage iMacs, bamboo, QVC, aquariums, long weekends, bamboo sunglasses  
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2720 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 May 2012 at 4:07 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-28 01:14:10 AM
Kickstarter is like digging in the $5 bin at Walmart. Yeah, you might find something you enjoy, but there is a LOT of crap.

/I still do it
//Found some cool projects, mostly indie games
 
2012-05-28 02:07:56 AM
That's because hipsters are creative-artsy types with no business skills or money/seed capital.

So they have lots of (mostly stupid) ideas, but no resources to implement them.
 
2012-05-28 03:02:39 AM
I dunno, my girlfriend's old iMac is just collecting dust. I was thinking of turning it into a flower pot, but the conversion kit that aquarium-guy is selling looks pretty neat.
 
2012-05-28 03:09:28 AM
Any product or tool designed to foster a love of chemistry or biochemistry in the K-12 set is fine with me. The rest of the digi-kitsch ought to be scrapped.
 
2012-05-28 03:18:55 AM
I dont get all the hipster/hippie bashing -they're a relatively harmless and avoidable demographic; unlike, say, the yuppies of the 80's who aspired to be Gordon Gekko from Wall Street. Now theres a group worthy of scorn.
 
2012-05-28 03:39:10 AM
I thought of these things about 25 years ago, and even "built" a prototype, but nobody was interested.
Mainly because they were well...stupid.
But people are actually buying them now.

laboratoriows.files.wordpress.com

They're still stupid. I thought of them as a joke, but the joke got old quick.
 
2012-05-28 03:57:00 AM
Yeah. That infectious enthusiasm for creativity sure is stupid. I simply don't like how people are finding support for endeavors I condescend to look down my nose upon. And I CERTAINLY don't like how some people are finding a market for things I don't like. Well, I guess I'll tolerate it, but those hipsters better not find any sort of success with these projects. These uppity hipsters should stop succeeding at being artists, which they're definitely NOT.
 
2012-05-28 04:13:01 AM
i.imgur.com
I don't see a problem with this.
 
2012-05-28 04:29:59 AM
To me, it's like a video game version of Etsy. A lot of crap, but a couple of really awesome things I wouldn't mind having and pitching a few bucks toward.
 
2012-05-28 04:41:27 AM

Msol: I dunno, my girlfriend's old iMac is just collecting dust. I was thinking of turning it into a flower pot, but the conversion kit that aquarium-guy is selling looks pretty neat.


I want to turn my eMac into an aquarium when I first bought it 10 years ago. I settled for a fish screensaver.
 
2012-05-28 04:41:34 AM

Shadowknight: To me, it's like a video game version of Etsy. A lot of crap, but a couple of really awesome things I wouldn't mind having and pitching a few bucks toward.


Regretsy is good lulz, dedicated to showcasing the extreme fringe Etsy sellers and mark-up sharks
 
2012-05-28 04:50:04 AM
Can you really make fun of hipsters when your name is Kasia Cieplak-Mayr Von Baldegg?

/unconvinced that it's not a made-up name
//I mean, c'mon. Baldegg?!?
 
2012-05-28 05:11:26 AM

Frederick: I dont get all the hipster/hippie bashing -they're a relatively harmless and avoidable demographic; unlike, say, the yuppies of the 80's who aspired to be Gordon Gekko from Wall Street. Now theres a group worthy of scorn.


I think the problem is that they're the bandwagon and lots of impressionable people want to climb on. Just like the 80s.
 
2012-05-28 05:42:50 AM
Whatever. These are cool:

biochemies.com

Though I'd have expected to see them on Etsy, not KS. And bamboo sunglasses? God forbid we use something other than polymerized oil to make things. So "hipster"!

Fair_Poopsmith:
Yeah. That infectious enthusiasm for creativity sure is stupid. I simply don't like how people are finding support for endeavors I condescend to look down my nose upon. And I CERTAINLY don't like how some people are finding a market for things I don't like. Well, I guess I'll tolerate it, but those hipsters better not find any sort of success with these projects. These uppity hipsters should stop succeeding at being artists, which they're definitely NOT.

Anti-"hipsters" are so often... well... hipsters. "God, Kickstarter is so mainstream now, it's like anyone can use it!"
 
2012-05-28 05:55:42 AM
Oh the dreaded H word. You're surprised there are stupid ideas on a website that funds stupid ideas? Let's leave it at that.

catandgirl.com
 
2012-05-28 06:13:01 AM
Those coffee joulies have a stupid name but I totally want one.
 
2012-05-28 06:34:19 AM
Whatever. Coffee Joulies, Tiktok, and Plush Molecules are cool. And Grilled Cheesus is AWESOME.

I like that kickstarter exists. I've only ever backed one thing, but it's cool to give people a chance to try something they otherwise couldn't.
 
2012-05-28 08:12:45 AM

Knobbs: Tiktok


Battery life seems like a problem for this. I only need to worry about my watch battery every couple years. I suppose if you have an ipod you're used to recharging it regularly.

It also looks like a bit of a pain to actually operate - needing two fingers to look at the time defeats the simplicity of a watch. I think apple or another manufacturer could make this great, but just slapping the item in a (cheap looking) wristband is only a first step.
 
2012-05-28 08:23:50 AM
"Hipster" is a term of derision used to describe 20-30something people you don't like. There is no one class of hipster- each of us redefines the term for ourselves. Each of us, in turn, is somebody's hipster.

Also, Kickstarter is also really good for board games, as well as the odd developer tool. The LightTable IDE looks brilliant.
 
2012-05-28 08:25:23 AM
Those sun glasses look pretty cool. Grilled Cheesus guy is way late to the ballgame though.
 
2012-05-28 08:27:23 AM

Ishkur: That's because hipsters are creative-artsy types with no business skills or money/seed capital.

So they have lots of (mostly stupid) ideas, but no resources to implement them.


QFT. This thread was over at its second comment.

I'm becoming fairly convinced hipsters are the entire segment of the western population that chose to attend non-compulsory arts & drama classes in secondary school. Or at least, those kids are the "potential hipster" population today.

Kickstarter's going to down due to its shiatty signal-to-noise ratio, and the fact that any successful project basically exits kickstarter by, y'know becoming a real product.
 
2012-05-28 08:31:46 AM

Lexx: Kickstarter's going to down due to its shiatty signal-to-noise ratio


I don't think they're worried about SNR- there's an entire ecosystem of users that do the job of filtering out the noise.

Lexx: and the fact that any successful project basically exits kickstarter by, y'know becoming a real product.


I'm not sure how this is a threat to kickstarter's model. They get a cut of the fundraising earned (as I understand it). Their overhead is fairly low. So long as there is a large enough volume of "good" products (popular enough to get funded), they'll be fine.
 
2012-05-28 08:35:53 AM

Fair_Poopsmith: Yeah. That infectious enthusiasm for creativity sure is stupid. I simply don't like how people are finding support for endeavors I condescend to look down my nose upon. And I CERTAINLY don't like how some people are finding a market for things I don't like. Well, I guess I'll tolerate it, but those hipsters better not find any sort of success with these projects. These uppity hipsters should stop succeeding at being artists, which they're definitely NOT.


Whoa whoa whao, calm down there. Did you hear a song from your ipod on the radio this morning?


^^sarcasm alert^^
 
2012-05-28 08:39:47 AM

Lexx: Ishkur: That's because hipsters are creative-artsy types with no business skills or money/seed capital.

So they have lots of (mostly stupid) ideas, but no resources to implement them.

QFT. This thread was over at its second comment.

I'm becoming fairly convinced hipsters are the entire segment of the western population that chose to attend non-compulsory arts & drama classes in secondary school. Or at least, those kids are the "potential hipster" population today.

Kickstarter's going to down due to its shiatty signal-to-noise ratio, and the fact that any successful project basically exits kickstarter by, y'know becoming a real product.


They should create a "Kickstarter Marketplace" site and demand some level of exclusivity.
 
2012-05-28 08:44:17 AM
Coffee Joulies are a great idea if you are particular about your coffee temperature.

Personally if the cup I bought is too hot I just let it sit for a while and then I usually forget about it until it's a little cooler than I'd like it but still drink it anyway.
 
2012-05-28 08:45:00 AM

t3knomanser: Lexx: Kickstarter's going to down due to its shiatty signal-to-noise ratio

I don't think they're worried about SNR- there's an entire ecosystem of users that do the job of filtering out the noise.

Lexx: and the fact that any successful project basically exits kickstarter by, y'know becoming a real product.

I'm not sure how this is a threat to kickstarter's model. They get a cut of the fundraising earned (as I understand it). Their overhead is fairly low. So long as there is a large enough volume of "good" products (popular enough to get funded), they'll be fine.


I'm thinking kickstarter will become a glorified advertisement for its successful projects, which don't exist anymore on kickstarter.

The funny thing about kickstarter is that it basically turns small-scale venture capital into a viral thing, but the second a project goes viral, it dies (or rather succeeds and exits kickstarter). Kickstarter itself doesn't benefit from the viral nature of its projects.

And as far as SNR goes, if the "signal" its users are filtering through is composed of flower pots, wine racks, and the like, then it really has become the hipster home shopping network. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it was a lot more interesting when it was the place where engineering students sought the funding for the amazing and ingenius project concepts that they might've never otherwise developed into a real product.
 
2012-05-28 08:53:08 AM
d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net
images.cheezburger.com
 
2012-05-28 08:55:10 AM

Lexx: where engineering students sought the funding for the amazing and ingenius project concepts that they might've never otherwise developed into a real product.


As far as I can tell, it is. I see gadgets, films, albums, and software when I check on Kickstarter. I know there are other things on there, but I'm not looking for them, so I don't really see them.

Lexx: Kickstarter itself doesn't benefit from the viral nature of its projects.


Which is kinda the whole point. Kickstarter helps you fundraise and then gets out. Their overhead is low, so they don't need to keep a fork in your project after it's done. They take their slice and get out. It's good for them (they can focus on their core business- fundraising) and it's good for their "suppliers" (who don't want to be tied to their investors), and it's good for their customers (who can invest to receive very specific rewards- like the end product being produced via Kickstarter).

Could Kickstarter make more money, at least in the short term, by somehow leeching off of the projects post-kickstarting? Sure, but I think that would scare off a lot of potential suppliers. As it stands, they probably only need one Shadowrun-scale project to make bank each year.

And it does benefit, at least a little, in the form of free advertising. "This project was successful on kickstarter" keeps kickstarter memorable as a viable option for people who need funding.
 
2012-05-28 09:00:32 AM

t3knomanser: films, albums


I should add- I see films and albums because there are so many I can't possibly avoid them. I should also add, I'm often there looking for board games, and honestly, when I've got a board game of my own developed to the point where I need to hire artists to make assets, I'm probably going to be hitting Kickstarter to do it.
 
2012-05-28 09:03:26 AM

Frederick: I dont get all the hipster/hippie bashing -they're a relatively harmless and avoidable demographic; unlike, say, the yuppies of the 80's who aspired to be Gordon Gekko from Wall Street. Now theres a group worthy of scorn.


Hippies are okay.

Hipsters, on the other hand, are a marketer's dream - they're insanely materialistic and fad-driven. You'll come to dislike them when your hobby becomes their fad-of-the-week.

And the worst part? The absolute worst part? When you try to keep yourself, try to distance yourself from that horrible horde, you end up sounding just like them. Here, let me give you an example, an example painfully close to me.

I used to ride tons of nasty trails on my mountain bike, mid-90s timeframe. Shifter and derailleur breakage was a once-per-week event, if not once per ride. (I could break GripShift shifters, which is why I stuck with the 600 series - the 800s weren't any more functional, just more expensive to replace. Shimano was right out.) One day, I realized that 95% of my trail riding was done in a single gear, 32/21. So, I yanked the derailleurs off and make a short chain and went for a ride and loved it.

A couple years later, singlespeed and fixed-gear bikes started showing up in the bike rags. 10 years later, hipsters grabbed onto the idea.

But you see, I was doing it before it was trendy.

See how that works?
 
2012-05-28 09:11:26 AM

Mister Peejay: I used to ride tons of nasty trails on my mountain bike, mid-90s timeframe. Shifter and derailleur breakage was a once-per-week event, if not once per ride. (I could break GripShift shifters, which is why I stuck with the 600 series - the 800s weren't any more functional, just more expensive to replace. Shimano was right out.) One day, I realized that 95% of my trail riding was done in a single gear, 32/21. So, I yanked the derailleurs off and make a short chain and went for a ride and loved it.

A couple years later, singlespeed and fixed-gear bikes started showing up in the bike rags. 10 years later, hipsters grabbed onto the idea.

But you see, I was doing it before it was trendy.


Look, hipsterism is just people self-selecting non-regional stuff because of access to the internet. The idea that people shouldn't use a good idea because you used it first is just dumb. That's why everyone is "special snowflake," because now you've got kids who can buy anything from anywhere and coming out with novel, mostly retarded, combinations.

TLDR: drunk online shopping
 
2012-05-28 09:29:04 AM

Argoran: Can you really make fun of hipsters when your name is Kasia Cieplak-Mayr Von Baldegg?

/unconvinced that it's not a made-up name
//I mean, c'mon. Baldegg?!?


She's farking hot, check out her pics. Some NSFW.
 
2012-05-28 10:52:59 AM
I'm not sure I've met a hipster. Is a hipster a person that likes stuff that's neat, interesting, or useful? Is my mom a hipster? Should I hate my mom?

Is all of this hate for hipsters just because a bunch of unemployed mid-20s art grads came up with some ideas that you're jealous of?
 
2012-05-28 11:20:06 AM
Whomever coined the term "twitterati" needs to be drawn and quartered.
 
2012-05-28 11:58:52 AM
I think Kickstarter is going to scare the crap out of some of the big-budget producers, at least in terms of videogames, because it can (at times) remove them as a middleman *entirely*. See Doublefine's Adventure kickstarter, for instance. It's really interesting, to see how the internet can slowly alter and shape industries. We really are still just scratching the surface...
 
2012-05-28 12:09:38 PM

PonceAlyosha:

Look, hipsterism is just people self-selecting non-regional stuff because of access to the internet.


No it isn't. It's liking strange, esoteric things just because they are not the norm, not for their intrinsic value (if it even has one).

The idea that people shouldn't use a good idea because you used it first is just dumb.

They don't care about "good ideas". They care about being different for different's sake, and screw any notions of practicality or other value besides "it's not what you have".

The irony is, the mob mentality means that there's a kind of conformity happening. And this conformity, combined with the materialism, means that, if you're one of the poor sods who has their hobby appropriated, you're suddenly priced out of what you enjoy for fun.
 
2012-05-28 12:26:27 PM

Mister Peejay: PonceAlyosha:

Look, hipsterism is just people self-selecting non-regional stuff because of access to the internet.

No it isn't. It's liking strange, esoteric things just because they are not the norm, not for their intrinsic value (if it even has one).

The idea that people shouldn't use a good idea because you used it first is just dumb.

They don't care about "good ideas". They care about being different for different's sake, and screw any notions of practicality or other value besides "it's not what you have".

The irony is, the mob mentality means that there's a kind of conformity happening. And this conformity, combined with the materialism, means that, if you're one of the poor sods who has their hobby appropriated, you're suddenly priced out of what you enjoy for fun.


So essentially they should stop liking what you don't like?
 
2012-05-28 12:30:34 PM
I love how one of the ideas that they present is the aquarium in the shell of an iMac. This is nothing new. I found a Maquarium site probably a decade ago and used some of the thoughts there to make my own. This is someone stealing the ideas of others to make a buck. The original idea was a labor of love with the ideas out there for others to use, but not to use as a profit thing.
 
2012-05-28 02:16:48 PM

casual disregard: Argoran: Can you really make fun of hipsters when your name is Kasia Cieplak-Mayr Von Baldegg?

/unconvinced that it's not a made-up name
//I mean, c'mon. Baldegg?!?

She's farking hot, check out her pics. Some NSFW.


You said it. Definitely an unexpected pleasure.
 
2012-05-28 06:34:31 PM

Mister Peejay:
No it isn't. It's liking strange, esoteric things just because they are not the norm, not for their intrinsic value (if it even has one).


And what, precisely is wrong with liking something because it's "odd" or "weird" or just "damn, never seen one of those before"?
 
2012-05-28 06:43:57 PM
People developing products are not hipsters, they're inventors.
As you can see here, the video game industry has benefited greatly from Kickstarter. The big companies are getting too big, and their arrogance has lead to audacious money grabs that are alienating gamers.

These small companies are the hope of the industry and of us gamers.

casual disregard:
She's farking hot, check out her pics. Some NSFW.


I suppose that would explain how she maintains her job with such lackluster writing.
 
2012-05-28 07:04:01 PM
The funniest thing about hipsters is that that is the one subculture where the members aggressively deny their membership IN it...

weird.
 
2012-05-28 07:31:48 PM

Walt_Jizzney: The funniest thing about hipsters is that that is the one subculture where the members aggressively deny their membership IN it...

weird.


There are memberships?
 
2012-05-29 06:08:04 AM
Just helped fund my twentieth project. There is a lot of crap in there yes, but the awesome really is just that.
 
2012-05-29 03:14:50 PM

God-is-a-Taco: People developing products are not hipsters, they're inventors.


This. Hipsters do not create things: indeed, they cannot create things, because in that moment of creation they cease to be hipsters.

At the base of hipsterism is the search for "authenticity" in the existentialist sense -being true to themselves despite external pressure- and an idea that their own contemporary culture is inauthentic. But not everyone who seeks authenticity outside the mainstream is a hipster: the key ingredient is the idea that authenticity is something you can get from somebody else: mimed, traded for, or bought outright. The theory goes that by doing what "authentic" people do and not doing what "inauthentic" people do, one will eventually become authentic.

The thing about hipsters is that they seek "authenticity" (in the existentialist sense: being true to one's self despite external pressure), but they think authenticity is something that can be mimed, but they also think that their own contemporary culture is hopelessly inauthentic. By doing what "authentic" people do and avoiding what "inauthentic" people do, the theory goes, they too will eventually find their own authenticity.

Almost any non-hipster can tell you that this is absurd, but it is key to understanding how hipsters work: they have a massive blind spot with respect to their own inauthenticity. They look outside themselves to find something authentic, spot it in another culture and/or time period, and take on the trappings of what they have found. That's an inherently inauthentic thing to do, but the hipsters don't get that.

Eventually, though, pop culture -which has always been fascinated by hipsters and their predecessors- picks up on the latest thing, and starts doing it themselves. Now the hipsters can see the inauthenticity, because "inauthentic" people are doing it too. But rather than seeing the inauthenticity in their own actions, they blame the thing itself, claiming that it has become inauthentic (or, to use a popular term, "sold out"): a thing that is rarely if ever true. The hipsters then abandon their old pursuit and look for the next authentic thing to mime.

This is why hipsters cannot create. Creating things is, in and of itself, a demonstration that the creator understands something critical: that authenticity comes from within. You cannot understand this and be a hipster; it will either stop you from miming others' authenticity in the first place, or it will stop you from seeing what you're doing in those terms, which in turn prevent you from fleeing ahead of the mainstream tide.
 
2012-05-31 10:23:26 AM

Millennium: God-is-a-Taco: People developing products are not hipsters, they're inventors.

This. Hipsters do not create things: indeed, they cannot create things, because in that moment of creation they cease to be hipsters.

At the base of hipsterism is the search for "authenticity" in the existentialist sense -being true to themselves despite external pressure- and an idea that their own contemporary culture is inauthentic. But not everyone who seeks authenticity outside the mainstream is a hipster: the key ingredient is the idea that authenticity is something you can get from somebody else: mimed, traded for, or bought outright. The theory goes that by doing what "authentic" people do and not doing what "inauthentic" people do, one will eventually become authentic.

The thing about hipsters is that they seek "authenticity" (in the existentialist sense: being true to one's self despite external pressure), but they think authenticity is something that can be mimed, but they also think that their own contemporary culture is hopelessly inauthentic. By doing what "authentic" people do and avoiding what "inauthentic" people do, the theory goes, they too will eventually find their own authenticity.

Almost any non-hipster can tell you that this is absurd, but it is key to understanding how hipsters work: they have a massive blind spot with respect to their own inauthenticity. They look outside themselves to find something authentic, spot it in another culture and/or time period, and take on the trappings of what they have found. That's an inherently inauthentic thing to do, but the hipsters don't get that.

Eventually, though, pop culture -which has always been fascinated by hipsters and their predecessors- picks up on the latest thing, and starts doing it themselves. Now the hipsters can see the inauthenticity, because "inauthentic" people are doing it too. But rather than seeing the inauthenticity in their own actions, they blame the thing itself, claiming that it has become ina ...


I had a similar insight into hipsters. There's a strong anti-consumer culture sentiment among them...and they prove they don't support big brands and stores by...buying vintage clothing and shopping at farmers markets.

They reject consumer culture, and show this through...conspicuous consumption. I always thought there was something a little farked up there.
 
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