Kickstarter’s Greatest Hits

Kickstarter is undoubtedly the king of crowdfunding. Although there has been some question over what should and does happen to pledged funds if a campaign doesn’t reach its fruition, that hasn’t stopped users from launching over 70,000 projects. We know that there have been 38,000 unsuccessfully funded projects, but there have also been many projects that exceeded their funding expectations. So, what projects have raised funds far beyond their initial goals? Here are a few:

OUYA

The creators of the OUYA gaming console set out with a goal of $950,000 — not exactly an easy goal to meet. But the $99 Android-operating system caught gamers’ attention and wound up raking in $8,596,475 from 63,416 backers in just a month. The OUYA system is now available for preorder on the official OUYA site.

Pebble

The Pebble e-paper watch promised wearers the ability to customize their time-telling experience, as well as control their music and track their workouts. The sleek design and easy-to-read display won the funds of 68,929 backers, surpassing their $100,000 initial goal and earning an astounding $10,266,846. The watch is now available for preorder on the official Pebble site.

Amanda Palmer’s “Theatre is Evil” Album & Tour

Amanda Palmer set out to change the way artists create their music and the way their interact with their fans. From the beginning of the campaign, Palmer said she believed Kickstarter was the best way for artists to put out music and her fans agreed. With incredible incentives (e.g. an art book, the opportunity to have a donut with the singer herself), 24,883  fans helped Palmer exceed her initial goal of $100,000 and brought in a total of $1,192,793. The “Theatre is Evil” album is now available through iTunes.

“Double Fine Adventure”

With a goal of $400,000 the minds behind the “Double Fine Adventure” game sought to create a retro-feeling point-and-click PC game. Backers were able to receive a download of the game with just a pledge of $15, and the additional incentives (e.g. autographed posters, mini portraits of the backers) enticed backers to go above and beyond. After a month, 87,142 backers pledged $3,336,372. “Slacker backers” can still preorder the game at the Double Fine site.

Thinking about tapping the Kickstarter community to help fund your next big thing? Here are a few ways to win votes and pledges for your dream project.