People making cool stuff attracts people who want to buy cool stuff, and therefore people who want to fund the development of cool stuff. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter have been used by everyone from your independent comic producer for things like Rocket Girl to Spike Lee working outside the studio system to make the films he wants.
You have to work your own PR, and figure out the best incentives to get people to donate. It’s a process. Ben Templesmith, the artist on 30 Days & 30 Nights has funded several projects through Kickstarter. Sure, he had a considerable following before, but there are enough people who have come out of nowhere and had real success with the system, that it has more than proven itself as a means for getting those projects which might have ended up in the slush pile or on the cutting room floor produced.
Most independent artists have to wear several hats when it comes to promoting their own work – they produce it, they write copy for it, and then they have to market it. Sites which have a built in audience that allow you to pimp your product and fund it make the whole thing a lot easier, but there is still a learning curve.
Promoting your work to get noticed – to give just enough material to get people interested, but not so much that they don’t feel they have to buy the product to get the information you wish to share.
Cool has a magnetism – you want to buy it because of what it does; you want to own because of what others will think of you. You can qualify it to a degree, but there is always an element of chance. How to stack the odds in your favor? Know that you have to have a button – something that targets a service or product a customer might need, and then you need a message: the answer to the problem that your product or service provides.
There does seem to be an alchemy to the whole process; a certain je ne sais quoi to the whole thing, but hit that button and deliver that message and you are more than half way there; your cool quotient will follow hot on the heels.