It’s not often that a startup changes the way the world works, but Kickstarter has done just that. The crowdfunding site had a banner 2013 and has won the Best Overall Startup award at this year’s Crunchies.
The category was packed with strong contenders. CloudFlare is a silent partner to the modern content delivery system of the Internet. Snapchat is a young but powerful entry into the consumer Internet market, and Twitter has enabled global real-time conversations without any filter — for better or for worse.
Our runner-up startup of the year, Uber, is challenging the transportation status quo and ruffling feathers wherever people use car services.
But Kickstarter has done something special in the possibilities that it’s opened up for makers of this and future generations. It has democratized the production of hardware, movies, software and other creative endeavors — allowing individuals unprecedented ability to make what they dream outside of the corporate combine.
Its ability to tap funding sources who eventually become its consumers have turned funding models upside down. The company simultaneously fostered a sense of ownership and community around product development and acted as a way for makers to open up about the successes...