Some parts of the project process are straightforward, and some present a new challenge or bring on a new experience. We asked ten Kickstarter project creators to respond to the same question:
What did you learn during your Kickstarter project?
Jacob Krupnick, Girl Walk//All Day: Naïveté can be a mighty gift. If I knew what sort of undertaking making a whole film would be, it would've been crushingly intimidating. Instead, I thought about the 577 people who backed Girl Walk and imagined a small village of people cheering us on, anticipating our finish line. Film #2 feels far scarier than film #1.
Molly Crabapple, Molly Crabapple's Week in Hell: Hotel security is far more slack than I ever expected.
Lauren Krakauskas, Freaker USA: Kickstarter is bigger than just the money that you raise. The concept of building a community, of testing the markets, of using all the energy you have to see if “doing what you want” is a realistically profitable life-option… it’s incredible. Everybody has something. Something they love. Something that excites them. What if somebody out there is into it? What if a lot of people out there are into it? Kickstarter is wildly important. It’s not just a funding platform, it’s a testing lab for a new way of living.
Jay Silver, MaKey MaKey: Too much to list. I learned what moves people. I learned that honey is not conductive, and neither is oil, but avocado and cat paws are, but hamster feet are more complex. I discovered that I used to want to live in the '60s when the revolution was happening, but I'm finding that it's coming back around, and I'm in the right era, gay marriage, brown president, legalized marijuana, government lies exposed, internet-catalyzed revolts, and I don't need any CEO's permission to launch an idea, just the crowd's.
My favorite lesson is that if you believe in people a little, they believe in themselves a lot.
Sam Jacoby, Form1: The people and community involved are the most important part of any product. We're always talking to our community, and Kickstarter really got that all started. Some of the folks on our team were our earliest Kickstarter backers.
Lisa Q. Fetterman, Nomiku: Your Kickstarter fans are forever fans. These are folks who believed in you from the very beginning and have a lot of insight into your company. Some will even last longer than our first employees!
Eric Kersman, BRCK: We learned that you need to prepare a good amount of multimedia materials and really test out your copy before you push a Kickstarter live. The week before we finally “published” our Kickstarter was a bit hectic as we were going through so many things so quickly. We spent quite a bit of time testing out our images and copy with friends, peers and would-be customers to ensure that what we were saying resonated with people immediately.
Coulter Lewis, Quinn Popcorn: We learned how to tell our story, how to connect to people, how to get others to feel the passion we have for this. On Kickstarter you have the attention of people who want to believe, who want help make something great come to life. That's a one of kind opportunity. If you can't connect to that audience then there's no hope when you are in the real word where it's all inferred, where you are lucky to get a customer to read one sentence of the back of your box.
Alex Blumberg, Planet Money T-Shirt: I learned that people really will support projects that capture their attention. I learned that putting together the most ambitious multimedia project in NPR's history is really exhausting, but also really fun. And I learned that the people who make our clothes are real, complicated individuals, with real nuanced ideas about the clothes they help bring into being.
Patrick O'Neill, Olloclip: [I learned] that the Kickstarter community is full of amazing people with great creativity. I have met so many of our original backers at events and just met one at SXSW [recently].