As you might guess, crowdfunding did not, in fact, take off in 1999. We can at least partly blame the dot-com crash of 2000, when the ‘convergence’ acolytes lost their jobs and all those freshly-poor investors got scared away from throwing their money at indie filmmakers. Slowly, however, as the economy recovered, crowdfunding would be reborn.

Mark Tapio Kines

Did you know that Mark Tapio Kines is the first person to successfully crowdfund a film on the internet?

In this interview with Indiewire, Kines talks about how the basic mentality behind giving money to a creative stranger has changed since 1998.

Yeah, we’ve always been really clear that we have no intention of selling the company or trying to go public. We’re an independent organization that’s focused on things we believe in, which is helping people create. There can be a tendency as organizations grow that you soften or become more middle of the road, and that’s not us. As a company whose community and brand are built on the Web, I think we have to be a dynamic living organization, and that’s a constant challenge. Hitting a billion dollars is like — cool, great, now let’s get back to it.

Yancey Strickler

At a billion dollars pledged, Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler reflects.

All a website needs is eyeballs—with that and no other requirement, an original series could prove worthwhile. Viewers are no longer concerned with the brand of the content distributor, as audiences may have been back in the 80s or 90s. Content has reached a new egalitarian state, and viewers are consistently differentiating less between different channels through which content is provided.

Zachary Wigon

In the future, the audience will come first, and the content will follow.

If filmmakers gravitate more exclusively to the crowdfunding model, gone may be the days of waiting years to try to get a movie financed; far better to realize in 30 days that your film idea is an unpopular one than after shopping it around for ages. This allows filmmakers to shift their priorities to other projects with greater ease.