The Little Guys
We’ve talked quite a bit about big companies taking advantage of the fertile ground that is Kickstarter and whether or not it hurts the little guy. Its a good topic, but then that is what everyone is talking about. All of the big blogs will talk about Kickstarter projects these days, but only if you are well known or wildly successful. The conundrum is of course, how do you get that attention if you really need it to succeed.
In effect, we are falling into the same trap as everyone else – we are only talking about the big projects and trends that are already getting enough attention from elsewhere. I hope you find the topic as interesting as I do, because today we are going to talk about some projects you have probably never heard of.
It might come as no surprise to regular readers, given how much we talk about the topic, but in the last few months we have been approached by a number of projects for our thoughts on a wide variety of crowdfunding questions. A few are asked pretty regularly: where do you find backers, how do you get featured, how do you figure out how to … Sometimes the questions are even more in depth or we are asked to review a project’s pitch before it launches. I think that last bit is loads of fun; its amazing what a stranger will notice that a creator and their friends have not.
We have even been approached a couple times about advertising projects on the blog. While according to WordPress’s terms we cannot do this with our currently free account, it is flattering to think that we have a readership worth pursuing.
Two projects that are currently funding on Kickstarter that we have weighed in on:
- Fire your Job: This creator is passionate about entrepreneurship, and wants to share some of his hard earned lessons in small press book on the subject. Scott was certainly receptive to improvement on his pitch (which I think is excellent by the way,) but with his thesis he faces a difficult double standard. Either he is a successful enough entrepreneur to have advice worth sharing (in which case why does he need my money,) or he has a real need to make this project achievable (in which case why should I read his book.) I think this is a wonderful small press project, but then I think that is a pretty rough category on Kickstarter.
- Horizon’s End: I love comic books – there is no denying it. I think that if anything, Kickstarter has a dearth of good projects it is this category; I can find projects in the games category I want to back on a regular basis, but this one is a bit of a stretch. This project is very professional, and with an excellent pitch, though I feel that its goal places it behind the 8 ball from the very beginning. $45k on KS is ALOT of money. Unless you have some big names and your script involves steam-punk zombies odds are not good. Nonetheless it looks interesting, and I hope they succeed.
Both of these projects have an uphill battle ahead of them, but in a broad sense I think these are the sorts of projects that can (and should) be helped by crowd funding. There are so many deserving projects out there – how do you choose? The most important thing you can do to help a project is to give it a dollar.
Because of the way Kickstarter’s (poor) search functionality works, the “popular” feature is by far the most useful, and the way you move up those rankings is by getting more backers. Anecdotaly, when The Wardenclyffe Horror fell from the 12-15 range on the list, to the 16-20 range, the amount of random backers dried up almost completely. It was almost instantaneous. Why? Because the top 15 all have a chance to be featured as one of the 6 ‘popular this week’ slots; according to Google page rank, the difference in that page and any other page your project is likely to be featured on is literally an order of magnitude.
Don’t listen to me though. If you want to do your best to succeed, look to those that are successful.
If you really want to see what a successful small Kickstarter creator looks out, Check out Jamey Stegmaier’s latest launch, Euphoria. It destroyed his previous project’s total (a very respectable $60k) with an outrageously successful $300k. He truly is a success story of the crowd funding scene. Jamey does a lot of things right: his layout is clean, his information is clear and his projects probably have the best outreach technique of any I have seen. His updates are worth studying, no matter what you are trying to fund.
I can’t wait to see what he and his partner show us they can do over the next year or two.
Want to talk about your project? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.