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How Pebble And Other Product Phenomenons Killed It On Kickstarter

How Pebble And Other Product Phenomenons Killed It On Kickstarter

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Jul 09, 2012
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02/03/2013

 
How Pebble And Other ProductPhenomenons Killed It On Kickstarter
It‟s a good time to be
Kickstarter. The crowdfunding platform has had ablockbuster year, breaking intomainstream consciousness withcampaigns that raised millions of dollars, like the Pebble e-paper watchabove. The platform has seen almost $275 million pledged to some63,000 projects to date, with $231 million going towards successfulfundings.As Devin wrote at the time,before February, no Kickstarter project hadever raised over $1 million, but since then, seven projects havesurpassed $1 million, including the current #1,Pebble,which raised an astonishing $10 million. And this growth applies to multiple categories,not just sexy wrist watches. Prior to February only one gaming projecthad reached $100K in funding. Since then? 37. Even something as nicheas webcomics saw its number of pledges double in February.A lot of people came to Kickstarter for the first time as part of the buzzaround those seven projects that surpassed $1 million, and to the
startup‟s delight, a lot of them have gone on to fund other projects,
resulting in a positive net effect both for the platform itself and forproject founders.
 
The long-term question/caveat to this, of course, is whether new userscoming to Kickstarter tend to just end up amplifying the projects that arealready blowing up, or whether t
hey‟re actually spreading the love and
helping other projects reach their goals that might not have otherwise.After all, when you launch a Kickstarter project, the odds are againstyou; 56 percent of Kickstarter projects fail to find funding
 — 
with some32K projects in total having failed, compared to the 25K projects thatsucceeded.The company hides the failures as a gesture to creators, and to help users focus on the projects with traction. To further boost its transparency,Kickstarter also launched a stats page in June, which provides dailyupdates on metrics like dollars pledged, success rates, etc., broken downby category. Check it out here. 
A 44 percent success rate ain‟t bad. Considering there have been seven
$1 million-plus projects since February and that today 82 percent of projects that raise more than 20 percent of their goal go on to becomesuccessfully funded, the overall trend is positive. However, keep in mindthat 62,711 projects have launched in three years, and only seven havehit $1M. That means your chances of reaching $1M are a fraction of onepercent.
What‟s more, few of the Kickstarter projects that are successfully funded
go on to become real, revenue-generating businesses. Many of thoseprojects naturally go on to create eCommerce stores to sell their wares.As a number of those projects have used Shopify to open theirstorefronts (including the $10M baby, Pebble) the startup has taken aninterest in this growing trend.
 
Shopify‟s marketing and PR guru, Mar 
k Hayes, even decided to profile
the creators of some of Kickstarter‟s most successful projects to ask what they‟d learned and to get them to share some of the secrets of their 
success. (You can check the post out here.) As Kickstarter grows, and more and more companies opt to use it as alaunchpad and a means to validate their product and measure market
demand, learning from those who‟ve found su
ccess provides anawesome guide future founders. So, piggy-
 backing on Hayes‟ work,herein we‟d like to offer a glimpse into what the most successful
projects have done right
 — 
and what they did wrong.
For starters, it‟s good to know what areas (or categori
es) you should be
focused on based on past Kickstarter data. It turns out that “Theater” and“Dance” projects have the highest success rates at 64 and 69 percent,
respectively
 — 
good to know for all you theater and dance geeks outthere. Yes, there are people who will fund your avant garde, dance-
heavy rendition of “A Confederacy of Dunces.” (Best to do it now in the
event Zach Galifianakis beats you to it.) Of course, only 3,256 Theater-related projects have been launched,which is on the lower end, when you compare it to the 18,263 Film &Video projects and the 14,906 Music-related projects that have launchedon Kickstarter. These two categories are by far the most popular, having
raised over $100 million “successful dollars” between them. While there
is far more competition for dollars among these categories (and inPublishing), of the more popular categories, Music projects have the
highest success rate at just over 54 percent. Meanwhile, I‟m sorry to say,
readers, but Technology ranks near the bottom with only 1,236 projectslaunched and the second lowest success rate at 29.25 percent.

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