Feb 24, 2015 · 1 minute

Kickstarter should never again claim it doesn't run a store.

Pebble has made that clear with a campaign meant to support the latest version of its smartwatch, the Pebble Time, which met its $500,000 fundraising goal in 17 minutes.

This isn't a theoretical product that will only debut if its campaign is successful. It's a long-planned update from a well-funded company that would have released it either way.

But that hasn't stopped people from flocking to this latest project. It's raised more than $2.1 million at the time of writing, and it continues to raise more at a fast clip.

That might have something to do with Pebble being the original Kickstarter darling. I suspect, however, that it's also because this is everything people want from a project.

A finished product from an established company at a discounted price? That's the crowdfunding equivalent to passing out free LSD at a Pink Floyd reunion concert.

And that's fine! If Pebble wants to use Kickstarter to preempt the Apple Watch's debut, even though it's already raised nearly $26 million, there's nothing stopping it.

It just makes it harder for Kickstarter to claim that it's a democratized platform through which aspiring creatives will be able to bring their dream projects closer to reality.

Pebble set the crowdfunding record with its first campaign in May 2012. This new campaign has probably set the record for the platform's fastest-funded project. If that doesn't show that Kickstarter is a store, at least some of the time, what will?

[photo via Pebble]