Three keys to crowdfunding success


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Or… you can just make your fellow conservatives believe them damned libruls are out to get ya…


I can’t help but feel that “getting one of the most viral cartoonists on the Internet to do the art and work on the theme” did a lot more for Exploding Kittens than anything else. He’s regularly cranking out comics that get shared around a lot, and I’m sure that every single page on Inman’s site had a prominent link to the Kittens kickstarter while it was running.

If you know someone who has a web presence like Inman and get them to give you a ton of free advertising for your game, it’s going to be pretty hard to fail at Kickstarter. I’m not really sure there are any lessons to be taken away from Kittens beyond “figure out how to get someone with a huge fanbase involved in your project”.


And that said, as a veteran of two Kickstarters for my graphic novel (with a third on the way on a few months), I do agree that it’s best to make the campaign about just one thing, and get your audience a little invested in its success. Adding on tons of tchotchkes drains time, energy, and money that could go into the project instead of t-shirts; the basic nature of Kickstarter is such that it encourages all your fans to buy in a little and promote it for you.

But “I got a SEO expert who raised $1.3m for the Tesla Museum on a whim to join my team and work for free” is not really something that can be ignored when discussing Kittens. If I could persuade someone with Inman’s reach (and an aesthetic closer to mine) to pimp my Kickstarters for weird-ass comics about a lesbian robot with Philip K Dick problems, I’d make a fuckton of money too.


I agree completely, @egypturnash (and I’m pretty sure Elan does too). There was an interesting experiment, albeit poorly controlled - Matt had run three prior crowdfunding campaigns. All of them were successes: one for $200k, one for $1.3M, one for $500k. Now there was a lot different about Kittens: it was on Kickstarter instead of Indiegogo, it was for a product instead of a cause, etc. But it still is one of the data points I find most interesting because, unlike most campaigns,

  1. there’s something to compare it to, and
  2. Elan returns my phone calls.
    So I asked him why he thought Kittens was such a huge success - even more so when you consider the number of backers (220k people vs. 3-30k for past campaigns). That’s where his comment came from; that Matt’s brand was good for “only” the first million, irony quotes and all.
    It’s totally fair for you to dispute the conclusion, and say it was just a reasonable variation in the returns of a guy whose average success at crowdfunding campaigns is really good. I can’t argue with that. But I also think Elan might be right - it was the story behind the campaign that drove it to set the all-time crowdfunding record for most backers on any platform, for any project, ever.

Really. So that was not just lucky? Ok, lets see you do it again.

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I’ll take you up on that.

If you are so sure, then you’d be a fool to not do it again whether some dope questioned you or not.

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The top two keys to success here are

  1. known names and work and even if you don’t know those names and work:
  2. “Production of the game is simple … none of us want this to be a campaign where you spend the next two years getting fifty emails about production updates and delays.”

I get those fifty emails all the time and all I want is my shit.

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