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3 Ways to Be a Success on Kickstarter

by sunsj » Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:26 am

A blogger's new analysis sheds light on what may contribute to a funding project's success or failure.


Amid a blogosphere debate over Kickstarter's success rate and failure visibility, blogger Jeanne Pi has put together some success insights that Kickstarter doesn't list on its Stats page.

With the help of Ethan Mollick, professor at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Pi crunched the numbers to help identify some of the factors that correlate heavily with successfully funded Kickstarter projects.

And while of course there's no guarantee of success, Pi thinks some of these findings could help potential projects meet their fundraising goals. Here are a few of her most interesting findings:

1. Set the Right Goals
Of projects that fund successfully, 25% were funded at 3% or less over their goal, and 50% raised only 10% over their goal. That means that if your project does reach its goal, it will most likely do so just barely. At the same time, however, the success rate declines as goal size increases.

Takeaway: Set a realistic funding goal from the outset. Because even successful projects rarely overdeliver, you need to make sure your funding goal is sufficient to complete your project. But don't be greedy: The more you ask for, the less likely it is you'll meet your goal.

2. Know Your Time Frame
For an average $10,000 project, a 30-day project has a 35% chance of success, while a 60-day project has a 29% chance of success.

Takeaway: Resist the urge to lengthen your campaign duration.

3. Know Who Your Friends Are
The number of Facebook friends you have makes a difference. For a $10,000 project, if you only have 10 Facebook friends, you've got a 9% chance of reaching your goal; even having 100 Facebook friends brings only a 20% shot at success. Having 1,000 Facebook friends means more than a 40% chance of succeeding.

Takeaway: Cultivate a rich social network to help you reach goals.
Pi's analysis also noted that projects "featured" on Kickstarter have an 89% chance of being successful, compared to a 30% chance for projects not featured. According to Kickstarter, the staff members who decide which projects get highlighted look for projects that "use the system creatively, have compelling videos and rewards, and have a nice head of momentum behind them." But neither Kickstarter nor Pi could offer any more specific tips for potential fundraisers hoping to get featured.

Pi did say, however, that she believes that many project creators focus too much effort on creating the "perfect" campaign instead of first building a strong following.

"For me, it's akin to putting together a great dinner party with no guest list," she said in an email. "I think that any future Kickstarter, myself included, would do well to focus first on pre-launch activities such as generating buzz and cultivating a following as part of a long-term plan of attack."
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by 02geek » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:57 pm

ha 'Resist the urge to lengthen your campaign duration.' to late for us as its the very first KS we ever did i figured 60 days and then start planing to get panicked about it. very interesting statistics by the way where did you collect them? what are the odds that i make my goal? :)
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by ElliaWang » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:48 am

Thank you for sharing the tips! That's really helpful!
My project: The NATURE Wallets - Handmade in USA w/ Fine Italian Leather
Link: ... ne-italian
If you back my project for just $1, leave a comment, I will do the same too!
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by Bryce Carmony » Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:21 am

Curious, what are your thoughts on "stretch goals" ? I imagine that they could be helpful since you can put a lower Goal but then add stretch goals for some things.
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by 02geek » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:13 am

as we crossed this week our goal initial goal I'm going to setup stretch goals. i have no idea what there value is but it helps let people know that the more they support you the more everyone gets and the more they help expand the final product.

i think the goal should be the lowest viable number to get the product to market. that way you don't end up without the funds at all.
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by Warriorofheaven1 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:18 pm

II agree with the facebook part of it, being connected to social media helps a lot
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by pbsanford » Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:47 am

Interesting! This is just the kind of info I've been looking for. I'm starting to see why my new ks campaign isn't jumping out of the gates. Thank you.
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by NYC » Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:16 pm

Twitter is good for social media as well alot of big names actually reply at times on there
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by quadzool » Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:20 pm

Thanks for the stats. At least I think I did 1 thing right.
20 Inked and 20 Painted Surreal Abstracts
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by nerdkidleo » Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:03 am

I really wished i have read more of this during the pre lunch of our kickstarter
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