Kickstarter and the meteoric rise of crowdfunding

The Pebble Watch is Kickstarter's highest-ever earner.
Kickstarter has been around since 2009, but it wasn’t until February of this year that the website became a phenomenon. That was when Time Schafer’s Double Fine Productions used the service to raise $3.3 million to create an old-school adventure game, and kicked off a string of mega-successful Kickstarter campaigns including Project Eternity ($4 million), the Ouya Android-based console ($8.6 million) and the Pebble E-Paper Watch(a whopping $10.3 million).
Seemingly overnight, Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowdfunding sites have become the go-to source of cash for projects too hip for old-fashioned venture capital. Our only question: how many of this year’s funding success stories are going to become next year’s vaporware?