Whoa, Nelly! The largest Kickstarter project ever: 4 soon-to-be grads from NYU posted a project to fund their internships for the summer with a request for $10K to build the beginnings of an open-source, distributed Facebook. Man, did they get their timing right. As of right now, they have reached $177K! They have essentially raised a strong angel round, with no strings attached, no experience, and not a single line of code written. And they still have 15 days to go.
They hit this at the perfect time. Anti-Facebook sentiment over privacy issues recently hit a crescendo and they got some great press on the NY Times blog DealBook. I had the same thought as Jason Fried that these guys may, in fact, be hampered by this huge windfall. It’s too much money for 4 guys with no experience for a summer internship. Wouldn’t the money be better spent on different teams working on several pieces of the distributed social puzzle? (New term alert: “distributed social”. You heard it here first. Maybe.)
I bring this up on Co-Innovative because it demonstrates the amazing power of Kickstarter; to promote, distribute, and collect funds for a project. As I wrote back in October, Kickstarter is a killer platform. Further, a completely centralized network such as Facebook will not survive long term as they exist today, and neither will Twitter. Diaspora is a brilliant marriage of these two concepts. I’m looking forward to whatever these guys produce. Who knows, maybe in 3 years it will evolve into a Facebook killer.