The Kickstarter Effect
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“Over the course of our campaign, I personally wrote back to every supporter, thanking them and gently urging to spread the word to friends. I’m not sure that it helped significantly, but it was important to me to acknowledge that even the $10 pledges gave us a huge boost emotionally. After working for so long below the radar, it was a great feeling to have people backing what we were doing. Once things had leveled off, we had one of the groups supporting our goal, The Institute for Justice, send out an e-mail mentioning the campaign, and we saw a flurry of activity that carried on for a couple of days. We repeated this type of strategy with other groups over the coming weeks.
By the time we had two days left to go, we were only 65 percent of the way there. I was a little worried, but I figured that the Kickstarter effect would go into overdrive — and it did. Over the next 48 hours, we had a steady stream of pledges that picked up steam as we got closer to our deadline. At 7:00 p.m., with five hours to spare, we crossed the $25,000 mark with nearly 400 supporters. The vast majority of our supporters pledged at the $25 level, but we also had a number of $50, $100 and $500 pledges. I talked with a lot of people who told me that they were constantly watching the progress all day and thinking of other people to send the link to. As we suspected, they became invested in the process and became our essential allies in reaching our goal.”
— Michael Galinsky, The Kickstarter Effect: Funding as Game Theory
Michael Galinsky’s Battle of Brooklyn is another example of a project using, to quote Michael, “the Kickstarter effect” to reach its goal in the final stretch, just as the Jens Pulver doc and so many other projects have. As both Michael and the Pulver project creator Gregory Bayne make clear, though, this is not the sort of thing that just happens. It’s very much an earned boost — the groundwork laid by consistently and enthusiastically spreading the word and sharing their passion. It’s a powerful thing when it all coalesces, as it did for Michael and his documentary about a Brooklyn neighborhood facing an uncertain future. Click through for his full essay.
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