My name is David, and I have a Kickstarting Problem

Like the proverbial kid in the candy store, my eyes have been bigger than my mouth since I found Kickstarter. Over the last year I have backed 40 projects on it, and 1 on Indiegogo. I don’t have a problem or anything… I can quit anytime I want…

Yeah, right. Though I don’t think it is likely to be a diagnosable disease any time soon, Crowdfundosis is certainly spreading. I as I have covered in previous articles, the ranks of people funding the dreams of others have swelled so much, that recently Kickstarter had to reiterate that their website was not a store.

What I want to talk about to today is a combination of both what I fund, and why I fund it.

Before I get into the weeds, discussing the whys and the wherefores, lets start with a few facts:

  • Kickstarter divides it’s projects into 13 categories. I have backed projects in 9 of them.
  • My favorite category is Games (26 projects) followed by comics (5) projects.
  • I haven’t backed a single project in theater, dance, design, music, or photography.
  • 37 of those projects were successful, and 3 were unsuccessful in their attempts to fund.
  • Amounts pledged range from $5 to over $100. Only three projects to date have tempted me to triple digits.
  • Of the 37 successful projects, 3 have delivered their rewards, 2 were altruistic donations, and none have failed or given indications of failure to date.

What do all these numbers mean? Mostly that 2013 is going to be a really great year, as I (hopefully) reap what I have sown and am showered with awesome swag of every variety. I have 32 projects still on the hook to deliver a variety of toys:

  • A colossal number of miniatures.
  • Twelve video games.
  • Five board games.
  • Four comic books.
  • Three roleplaying games.
  • One Tee-shirt.
  • A partridge and a pear tree (if certain projects make their stretch goals).

Some of these will probably become gifts for friends that I feel would appreciate them more, and I expect that one or two of the above mentioned projects will fail to produce. On the whole though I would call the time devoted to researching, and the money spent backing all of these to be well spent.

When I go looking for a project, I look for three things:

  • Is it desirable?
  • Does this project need us?
  • Is it credible/feasible?

The first thing I look at is whether not on even want what they are offering. Though I usually look at this through the personal lens of if I want it, sometimes it is broader. I have funded space elevators and urban farms because I think the world would be a better place with them, for instance.

Next I look at whether or not the project needs my funds, or is just looking to “cash in.” This rules out two main categories of projects: those that seem insincere and are just looking to make a quick buck off of something they don’t seem passionate about, and those that are a professional, and seem to be trading on their name and fan base to make some cash when they have lots of other options open to them.

The last thing I look for, is whether or not the project is credible. If I don’t believe the goals are feasible, or the creator is capable of executing them, why waste my money? There is no way to be sure of course, but a professional appearance and some experience can go a long way toward making me a believer.

Almost all of the projects I have chosen align with these principles, though I have taken some heat in the past for backing Reaper. When it comes to Minis you don’t get much bigger than Reaper, after all. I got in on their Kickstarter because it was well done, wanted  to create a whole new line of figures (a very expensive task), and because I am human. Who among us can turn down an army of figures for so little, I ask you! Let him without greed cast the first mini!

What do you look for when it comes down to backing new projects? Are you an impulse buyer, or do you have some rules to keep you honest?

This entry was posted by David Winchester.

4 thoughts on “My name is David, and I have a Kickstarting Problem

  1. I’ve only ever really cared for the video game category. The only projects I’ve backed outside of that have been because I personally know the person running the project. And I have so desperately wanted to believe in the video game projects, but well, we both know how that story ends…
    I use essentially the same guidelines for determining whether or not to back a project, but I almost always get caught up on the second one. Maybe it’s just my bias, having worked on games with no budget at all to multi-million dollar budgets, but I just don’t see the necessity. The fact is, you can make a game with no budget whatsoever. Maybe it’s not ideal, but it is unquestionably possible. So if you’re asking for a budget, you better have a damn good reason.
    Usually, the reason is “so I can focus full time on this project”. That’s just not enough for me: you have to tell me why that’s going to make things so much better. Why is your time so valuable? That’s why I can never do the first-timers.

    • When you are dealing with a digital product, I can understand that. If its a labor of love who needs to get paid, right?

      I have the same annoyance with some of the author projects on here. “If you give me $30,000, I’ll write this book!”

      No thanks.

      My upcoming Kickstarter project budget was figured off of concrete costs: art, printing, and shipping. Chris and I, we work for free as far as the numbers are concerned. Maybe next time we’ll get paid.

  2. Pingback: Kicking in Forward « Caffeineforge

  3. Pingback: Crowdfunding: Swag vs Equity « Caffeineforge

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