Today’s question comes from Simon. 1) I see a lot of people have grown tired of Kickstarter because many products failed to deliver as promised. Do you see this as a viable option for startups? 2) Are you potentially locked into a design if you put it on Kickstarter?
Kickstarter can be a good route to go to get early stage traction quickly. But my problem with Kickstarter is that they are good about talking about the success stories but not the failures. Confirmation bias can be an issue here because when you look at the successful campaigns we decide that when we see success stories that it’s the exact blueprint for what we need to do to be successful, but that’s not really true.
This plays into the story a lot on Kickstarter. There’s a lot of information out there claiming to know the exact formula for a good campaign, but there are too many variables for that to be true.
Kickstarter can show you right away that someone will pay you for something and it’s something they have to pre-pay for without the immediate satisfaction of getting the product. That means they really like what you are making. I wouldn’t put a lot of money into the campaign, but it’s something that you can at least try. With Kickstarter you have to go all-in to make it work, which can be problematic if you don’t have a ton of money or time.
This is why I like some of the other methods I’ve talked about for marketing because I can take little steps and do small experiments, which is something you can’t do on Kickstarter.
If you are creating a physical product then it can be a great fit. But it has to be something that’s totally different than anything else out there.
It’s also good if you have a specific demographic that you are targeting. If you have a niche market that you want to sell to then it can be a great route, too.
Another situation where Kickstarter can be beneficial is if you have direct contact with influencers such as athletes, celebrities, etc. This can help bring virality to the project and get quick traction.
Software and services are tough to make work on Kickstarter. Something you can do is if you have a software company or services company and you are launching a physical product (for example, ConvertKit launched a book) then you can have some success. In those cases, other forms of marketing are worth more of your time and money.
Kickstarter is based on the promise of something tangible. Services and software don’t have that type of allure.Kickstarter is based on the promise of something tangible. Services and software don't have that type of allure. Click To Tweet
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