Every day, more and more creative types are turning to crowdsourcing to fund their projects. Get Involved, Internet aims to help them. If you know of a worthwhile project needing attention, let us know.
Not every crowd-funded project is a nice band trying to make a nice package or somebody trying to make a proper Greg Louganis movie. Witness The Porthole by Martin Kastner, which began its life as an incredibly fancy way to serve incredibly fancy booze, and whose new production run was inspired at least partly by thieves. The vessel is an infuser that was designed by Kastner's Chicago-based company, Crucial Detail, for use at an incredible bar called The Aviary, which is part of the restaurant mini-empire spawned by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas, the duo behind Alinea and Next. (They're like the Radiohead of the food world, if that helps explain things.) Kastner's company designs and manufactures much of the serviceware for those restaurants, and interest was so high in this particular piece—which cost hundreds of dollars each—that when patrons were told they couldn't buy one, some tried to simply steal them. (Yes, there's a portion of the Venn diagram where "people who buy $20 drinks" and "people who feel entitled to whatever they want" meets.) So Kastner decided to gauge interest in actual purchases, expecting to sell a couple hundred via Kickstarter. He quickly blew past a modest goal of $28k, and now he's trying to reach $300k, at which point he'll include some glasses along with the porthole, which is going for $95. If you want to go totally nuts, though, you can pledge $5k to the project, which buys you not only a pair of portholes, but also a day at the Aviary alongside chef Achatz. (Also: Have you read his autobiography? In short: World's greatest chef gets tongue cancer, can't taste, almost dies, comes back strong. It's pretty amazing.) Check out the Kickstarter video below.