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Funding As Failure


I’ve been noticing a trend on Kickstarter recently that I consider extremely worrying, and that’s the perception of backing as failure. It has arisen in two major forms, the “early under” and the “funded and cancelled”. I really want to say a little about these two forms, and then advise new creators to ignore and avoid them.


The early under comes from some fairly significant sources. No less an authority than Jamey Stegmaier on his blog advises campaigns to cancel if they are not fully backed within a week of launch and many projects cancel because they have either not backed on day one or not reached over 50% on day one. These ideas have nothing to do with backing, they have to do with overbacking. In order to back solidly you need 30% on day one and you can have a good strong campaign that backs in day 20. You can back with an opening day of 15-20%, although you’ll need to keep the pressure on and don’t expect to back before the last 72 hours.


The funded and cancelled is a phenomenon that I for one find to be a serious problem, this is the process whereby a project sets a goal, reaches that goal, and then cancels the project. While it is possible that a project might realise that its project could offer its backers a greater range of options or elements, there is very little that a well thought through campaign cannot incorporate, that could be a good idea to incorporate, within its campaign. In truth many of these campaigns offered too low a goal in the hopes of funding early and overfunding, and are forced to cancel when they realise this is not going to be the case.


I just want to take a moment here to state that correlation is not causation and that early funding correlating with high funding does not mean that it is a cause of it. Well put together campaigns fund early, well put together campaigns fund highly, therefore campaigns that fund early tend to fund highly. However, it does not follow that a badly put together campaign that funds early because it has an unrealistically low funding goal or artificially inserted funds will fund to a high level, the two are not directly linked. There is a story about a group of mathematicians who concluded that the best way to sell people ice cream was to stand them on some