Think Before You Stretch

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Over time we’ve seen a growing number of creators adding “stretch goals” — unofficial targets beyond a project's funding goal, with promises of new rewards or other incentives if they are reached. Stretch goals are seen as a way to keep pledges coming in after a project’s funding goal has been reached. But are stretch goals a good idea?

All-or-nothing funding is simple and clear: a project has a single goal, and backers support the project in its pursuit of that goal. Stretch goals muddy the waters. What if someone got in early and helped a project reach its funding goal, but now the creator is focused on stretch goals? What if someone backs a project for a stretch goal-related reward, and that goal isn’t met? Both are bad experiences for backers.

For a typical stretch goal a creator will promise to release their game in additional formats or add extra functions if certain funding goals are hit. But expanding a project’s scope can change the creative vision and put the whole project at risk. We’ve seen stretch goals leave some projects overwhelmed, over-budget, and behind schedule.

As many creators and backers have learned from experience, often what seems like "extra" money isn't extra at all. If a project has a funding goal of $10,000 but raises $1 million, does that mean its creator got an "extra" $990,000? Not at all.  More money means more backers and rewards to fulfill — and less margin for error.

Many Kickstarter projects end up significantly overfunded, and creators often use those funds to improve the project's end product. More funding might mean higher-quality materials and other improvements that thank backers with a better-made thing. For other creators overfunding means the project turns a profit. Both are great outcomes. Stretch goals, on the other hand, trade long-term risk for a short-term gain. Tread carefully.

What should a creator do if their project is funded with significant time on the clock? The same thing every creator should do: make an unforgettable experience for their backers. Use updates to share the creative process as it happens. Make a connection that goes beyond funding. Money gets spent, but a strong community will last forever.

    1. S.D. on

      I consider stretch goals to be an extension of the solemn commitment made by the project itself. They are an extension of the promise made by the project creator, and codified in the verbiage permanently stored on the project page, in updates, and the creators own statements in the comments thread.

      For that reason, it's critically important that the project creator treat these with the same careful budgetary eye as is used to set up the project itself, including it's thoughtfully-considered reward tier structure. Backers have an obligation to exercise a measure of due-diligence; wise and helpful backers have convinced a project creator to more deeply think (and adjust) unreasonable stretch goals on many of my backed projects, usually to the benefit of both parties.

      Stretch goals make me highly uncomfortable, but they are an organic extension of the Kickstarter platform, and a way to increase the scope and depth of a promising campaign. They can clearly cause huge problems, but they can also open the door for fantastic opportunities! I believe they're here to stay, unless a policy statement is made by your team, and that the crowd-funding community has to meet the challenge and mature around this cultural shift.

    2. Adam Farnsworth

      I think that while the all-or-nothing funding approach of Kickstarter is part of what makes it awesome. That being said, the stretch goals were born out of what I think is an inherent problem with it. Many of the projects I've funded had a simple, base-level idea that could be expanded and developed upon with the right amount of funding, but since the initial investment is much more attainable, it makes sense that they would try to get the base-level idea funded, as it's solid as is, and than hope for stretch goals along the way. Also, in my experience as an initial funder, my investment has only gotten better, my reward as either increased or become more richly featured. I actually would prefer if Kickstarter implemented a stretch goal system, rather than fight it. The most poignant example of where I think stretch goals need to be implemented is for video games. As a Mac user I wouldn't be able to participate at all, usually funding for ports of the game is part of the first stretch goal, not part of the initial funding. I understand it, developing games for PC is much more cost effective, and when you're crowdsourcing funds, the customers are very picky about your finances. Mac and Linux users just aren't a big enough audience to initially fight for. I would wholeheartedly participate in a tiered funding system, where you can fund features AFTER you've funded the initial project. There's a project right now, I've pledged $1 for, since it's for PC-only until they hit their first stretch goal, at which point, I'll up my funding to receive the full game.

      Anyway, those are my two cents. I think it's a mistake to fight the stretch goals and instead, Kickstarter should embrace and implement them, like "RT" and"@" on Twitter.

    3. Helen Di Duca on

      I have backed a project recently which introduced a stretch goal. In an update once the stretch goal was met it stated they were going to use the extra pledges to back another persons project. I can see the pros and cons to this although the additional agenda was not made clear. Has anyone else come across this, what do you think to this? I want to back projects and watch them develop and I thought I had control over the amount I pledged and to which project.

    4. Emilie Nouveau on

      I agree with Adam that it would be neat to see Kickstarter actually work on implementing a Stretch Goal system instead of fighting it. I might be lucky, but in the projects I've backed I haven't felt like the stretch goals slowed delivery down (I could see how video games might be more susceptible though; I've only backed one of those). Also, I think backers are typically more understanding if the stretch goal rewards are delivered later than the initial rewards. If a real system was implemented to manage those goals, then the expected delivery date field might even be enough to get project owners and backers thinking about the longer-term situation of delivering their larger goals.

    5. Michael K. Tumey on

      The stretch goals in my project will be produced whether they are funded or not. Getting funded will make it easier for me to achieve, but not getting funded isn't going to stop their eventual release. My published release date in the Kickstarter gives me plenty of time to all the goals and stretch goals released on time, though my plan is to be able to begin releasing the goal project in half the time then stated release, with all stretch goals released by the set date. When I originally conceived this project, I didn't plan on using crowd-funding at all, rather as something that I definitely planned to do, and began creating content for it, even before I finallly started my project. I was talked into doing this on Kickstarter by an active and interested community. If my stretch goals are unlocked, it means I can afford to hire on freelancers to help the project get done faster - not getting met, only means it will take me longer to release all the products, but will otherwise not affect my planned schedule.

    6. Bob Corrigan on

      The easiest sale is to someone who has already bought. Ergo, stretch goals. I remember the Reaper Miniatures Bones project (see - a marvelous example of stretch goals that introduced new products to dedicated supporters. For them, more support = more capacity = more product = more interest from customers = more support (lather, rinse, repeat).

    7. Michael M on

      Somebody please show this to the fine folks over at Double Fine!

    8. Jito463 - WoOS, LofUT on

      Double Fine's problem wasn't stretch goals, it was the creator overreaching after funding was complete.

      I also concur with Adam, that KS should seek to implement a proper stretch goal system, rather than fight against it. Then again, we're still awaiting a proper pledge management system for after the campaign ends. I think that's more important. So many creators have struggled with managing backers, which could have been aided by a proper setup on KS itself.

    9. Joshua Ferguson on

      Many Kickstarter projects end up significantly overfunded. I have to disagree with this. a huge chunk of the projects i have seen i would say more than "many" are unfunded. I have also noticed if your not trying to reinvent a wallet or dinnerware your project gets shoved to like page 3 or 4 of your alotted catagory. I have found many amazing projects that were unfunded, but so many failures, like "square shaped window clings" and people wanting $12,000 to release horrid clothing. That gets staff picked some how. That is the real kickstarter update i want to read about.

    10. Delicieuxz on

      Yeah, I'll take the stretch goals and the lengthened development time. What fool complains because they're suddenly getting a 500% game, and 500% more for their money than they originally were? Talk about a non-complaint.
      I wish the KS co-founder would not say these things. Don't jeopardize the quality of our games and the value I, and the other backer get for our $. We're currently facing a 2nd golden age of gaming, the last being in the 90s, and the ONLY reason that's happening is because of the stretch goals to great projects. Geeze. Imagine how much less Project Eternity, Banner Saga, Wasteland 2, and Broken Age were going to be without their excess funding cash. They weren't going to be anything comparable to what they now will. Back off, KS, and let the goodness be.

      And as Yancey seems to be unaware: delays are the NORM for game development. If you have a project who's release date is announced at the time of project commencement, IT WILL BE DELAYED. 99% guaranteed. That's how the industry works - there is no accurate calculator for how long creating all the assets, coding, and bug testing will take, its an entirely dynamic process.

      I desperately hope that no future projects will be compromised by this news posting. Remember, it's the backers who want the stretch goals and the bigger and better games!!

    11. Delicieuxz on

      Btw, Tim from Double Fine said himself that without the additional money and the revised game plan that came with it, Broken Age, or whatever game would have taken its place, was going to be a piece of crap. You can't make a quality game for $300g - even $3.3m is a tight budget, so MASSIVE thanks the man Tim for making efforts to pursue and secure additional funding to bring out a P&C adventure game such as we've not experienced in well over a decade.

      My personally most-anticipated KS funded game, The Banner Saga, benefited immensely from over-funding, and, consequently, stretch goals - which of course means a release delay. Now, instead of being a small bite of something different, it's going to be a savoury meal of something amazing!

      Question yourself this: If developers didn't provide stretch goals, where would the extra money go? After the project goal fulfillment, the additional funds would cause KS listings to cease to be fund-raisers, and would commence to be for-profit drives. That means that everybody would then be legally obliged to pay taxes on their projects, which would mean that KS project managers would have to seek to raise more to accomplish less, which would mean that all project backers would get less for their money, and be less enthused to support in the first place. As long as excess funds are channeled back into project development, and the rewards are given as rewards and not profit-making sales, it continues to be a not-for-profit fund raiser.

      Please don't criticize backers receiving better products for cheaper, or project backers serving their backers with their excess funds, again. It's too ridiculous, not least of all because it WILL negatively harm your own business models.

    12. Delicieuxz on

      Last comment: How about someone seeks and collects, from the successfully-funded studios themselves, a descriptive comparison of the initial project concepts which they anticipated and offered, and what those projects have grown into due to the additional funding? Who, with any sensibility, will prefer the vastly inferior project?

      All that needs to, and should, be done, is the provision of a disclaimer that over-funding may result in delays due to growth in project scope, additional content, and additional project value. Then the the backers vote for what they prefer with their wallets. Chances are that disclaimer will make people even more eager to bid on projects which they held a half-interest in, benefiting the project managers, Kickstarter, and, not least of all, the backers. Then you will see for yourself where the average backer aligns themselves on this issue. Remember, a vocal-minority seem larger than it is, because they're the only ones complaining.

    13. ET3D on

      Stretch goals are part of what's great about Kickstarter. The ability of a project to grow beyond its base goal is very helpful in creating better products. Sure, they need to be carefully thought out like the original funding goal (which itself often turns out to not be enough).

    14. Missing avatar

      genbatzu on

      Stretch Goals are like paid Launch-DLCs. they suck.

    15. Renato Murakami on

      I'm with Yancey on this one, and I'll tell you why.
      People really really have to think twice before backing a project with too many stretch goals - not that they should not fund them at all - because it's happening quite a lot that those stretch goals are empty promises.
      They might even be well intended, and not a thing engineered only to get more money, but often times the devs don't realize what it takes to reach those stretch goals.
      And too many people are getting the idea completely wrong: it doesn't matter if a certain project reached 500% of what it aimed at first.
      Backers are not paying more for it, the fact that it reached 500% more only shows that more people are interested in the project than it was initially expected.
      Provided that for several projects that are digital in nature 500% more won't imply in 500% more costs for distribution, it'll still imply in more costs nonetheless.
      Let me make a comparison: for auctions or for regular sales, only because there are more people interested in a product willing to pay more for it than what was previously predicted, doesn't mean that whoever is selling the product is obligated to make it better or bundle more stuff with it just because. It just means that more people are interested in funding the initiative. Demanding that the scope of the project gets bigger only because more people is interested in it is not only unreasonable, it might determine a path for it's failure.
      Now, the thing about empty promises: It has been happening quite a lot and we've been hearing about it that developers of said project puts stuff they don't really know how to manage into stretch goals. So they do a very bad job on estimating how much they need in order to make those promises happen.
      I've seen it happening repeatedly in projects with stretch goals - devs loosing grip with reality, not being able to manage scope and teams, simply because it became too big of a thing. And then, the project is delivered an year or more late, or not being delivered at all - needing a spiraling ammount of money (more and more) to deliver what was promised not as the original goal, but the bunch of stuff promised on stretch goals, which should be unnecessary.
      It's not only a bad thing for the project overall, but it's specially bad for the people that arguably made the project happen in the first place: early backers.
      See, I'm not saying that stretch goals should be forbidden and that backers should not fund projects with them, but you have to look at stretch goals as something as important to analyze when deciding whether to fund or not, with the same critical sense you use when you analyze the original goal.
      For instance, if stretch goals promise something that the devs have absolutely no experience with, it's something to worry about. Stretch goals could also turn the original project in something you are not really interested in. Delays and mismanagement issues are bad enough, but it's even worse if you fund a project early, and because of stretch goals it turns into something you don't even want.
      You have to think about the possibility of developers turning stretch goals into priority because they are harder to reach (or have no experience with), and that this will in turn make the original project come out later than originally promised if at all.
      The most common bad example I've seen happening in lots of projects is for a game to be delivered as original goal, and stretch goals promise some sort of element that might sound like a simple thing to do, but ends up overtaking the whole thing to a point it becomes an obstacle impossible to overcome.
      Original single player game that goes multiplayer if a certain stretch goal is reached. Stretch goals that promises physical copies of artbooks overlooking how bad the logistics behind that can get. Stretch goals that promises a simple linear game experience at first but makes promises about expanding the universe and enabling all sorts of crazy things in stretch goals.
      Teams that have good experience in managing small projects promising triple A level games if a certain stretch goal is reached, hiring more people and getting bigger teams to do so, not knowing that the difficulty might not only escalate exponentially, but might also become completely inviable for the people who originally envisioned it.
      I might be in the minority here, but I'm far more confortable backing projects that has one goal alone, not promising anything else if they go over that goal, only perhaps to try to make it more polished and deliver results faster. I'm paying one price for it, I don't expect anything else other than what I paid for. The extra money can even go to make devs more confortable with their lives or with the project, it's just a reward for suggesting something that is interesting for tons of people.

    16. Missing avatar

      genbatzu on

      my above comment is of course only applicable on Games and such things ~

    17. twincast ~ Mangy WoOS DOoD Mage

      I could hardly agree more with the title of this blog post.
      I could hardly agree less with the content of this blog post.

      Of course it's the responsibility of the creators (and the backers) to gauge what they can do with what amount of money, but that's true no matter whether it's the base funding goal or any stretch goal whatsoever.

      Many a game (or other project) that barely made their goal will end up good, just like many a game that raked in much, much more than they asked for for their base design would have been good. But with all that additional money and consequently additional features they're shaping up to be utterly amazing and if they'd asked for somewhere near their final amount they probably wouldn't have made even close to that and some of them probably wouldn't have gotten funded at all despite being interesting and craved for for years, simply due to the perception of "asking for too much" and "it won't make it anyway". We all know projects like that.

      And I do not see how expanding on a minimum amount makes it not be all-or-nothing funding in any way, shape or form. Unless they're starting with a ridiculously low base goal and stretch goals of 2k% or so, of course, but one can see those few scams from miles away. Then again, they did manage to slip through whatever checks you make before a project starts...

      Listing specific features instead of a vague "bigger and better" simply serves to better entice backers, giving us more details to salivate over during the eventual wait. If I'm an early backer, those new guys are making the game I've pledged to better for me. And if you're a backer only backing in hopes of reaching a specific stretch goal, then I honestly wonder why you even pledged to begin with (unless it's platform support) and by all means, cancel your pledge if it doesn't look like it'll make that goal, nobody's stopping you.

      Also, what you claim to be good examples of using additional funds for more technical, physical projects is *exactly* what stretch goals are for more creative and/or digital endeavors. And declaring overfunding to be pre-release (let alone pre-production) profit is pretty much the worst way to put it, both legally and ethically.

      And as already stated before, the video games industry is the epitome of delays - in fact, outside those few series getting pushed out in a yearly grind delays can easily amount to several years before the game can legitimately be called vaporware. And whenever a game isn't allowed the polish it needed due to some arbitrary fiscal year deadlines, it shows. You simply can not plan exactly how long a good game takes to make and I'd much rather have a better game a few months or even about a year later then one with less polish and/or features at precisely the date they guesstimated when they set up their KS campaign.

      Are you honestly telling people to make a worse product than they'd be able to?!

      Double Fine Adventure of course isn't exactly a shining example of handling their funds well, but it is hardly the first successful KS project to ever blunder or seek for additional funds elsewhere. Punishing other, future projects for it simply because of its high exposure in the media (which is what this post reads like a preparation for) isn't doing anyone any good. Least of all yourselves, truth be told.

      I'd rather you spend your energy improving the functionality of the site itself for bother creators and backers.

    18. Delicieuxz on

      "Also, what you claim to be good examples of using additional funds for more technical, physical projects is *exactly* what stretch goals are for more creative and/or digital endeavors. And declaring overfunding to be pre-release (let alone pre-production) profit is pretty much the worst way to put it, both legally and ethically."

      Absolutely true. The news posting can hardly be made sense of.

      >> What if someone backs a project for a stretch goal-related reward, and that goal isn’t met? Both are bad experiences for backers.

      Answer: Then the backer can not fulfill their pledge at the end... problem non-existent. And backers are fully aware of the risks of backing, that's telltale. There is no guarantee that you're going to get what you want when you invest in something, and everybody knows that it's up to their own judgment to choose what to invest in.

      >> But expanding a project’s scope can change the creative vision and put the whole project at risk.

      Answer: Yes, change it for the better by improving and adding to it. I have yet to see a stretch goal that diminished the vision for a project. I think that would be called a Constrict goal, not a Stretch goal. And it would turn backers away.

      It's impossible to know have a game development project is going to go until you're in the thick of it. New things come up all the time, things you thought would be important turn out to not work at all, unforeseen conditions require entirely new components to be designed and implemented. Release dates are nothing but guesswork, and they always turn out to be wrong. Always. I say again, always. It's amazing that some people never noticed this before now.

      The forced-release-date model of gaming was now long ago deliberately abandoned, by the insistence of countless enraged gamers, after they got sick of getting unfinished products, and every release being buggy as hell, leaving gamers mad as hell. The gaming industry consequently moved to ambiguous release dates, budgets, and project criteria as a direct response to the consumer anger, and the extremely poor results that were being delivered from having cemented goals, budgets, and release dates. It's pure ignorance for anyone to suggest that a KS project, or other project, should stick to their projected release date. We've been there, we all hated it to the core, and we demanded change, and we've been much happier ever since receiving that change. It's absolutely 100% impossible to know what the release date is actually going to be at the start of any project - and even in the middle of it, and also when nearing the end. Things never stop coming up.

    19. NaNaJackJack on

      Stretch goals are lots of fun-- but as a backer, I've come to worry about the project creators getting overextended.

      When I support a project, I genuinely like it and want it to succeed. By extension, I want the project creator(s) to benefit in some way. Simply put, they deserve to make some profit. Otherwise, how can they live and what motivation will they have to continue to create and share their work?

      The problem with stretch goals is that it's like an arms race. We are already to the point where some backers consider kickstarter a store where they can preorder cool new products without realizing or taking responsibility for the inherent risk that a project may fail.

      Now I'm seeing unrealistic expectations for stretch goals. For example, on one project, there was a stretch goal that would simply offer the opportunity to upgrade the product for an increased pledge. The creator was upfront about the actual cost of the upgrade, and subsidized it heavily, absorbing approximately 50% of the cost for backers to upgrade. Still, the first comment after the update was not appreciative; the backer appeared to expect the upgrade to be offered free of charge.

      However, everything is so case-specific that I don't know how you'd implement policy to manage it-- at least not without a staff to do so, which would add cost-- and the fees for using kickstarter and amazon payments are already high enough!

      Finally, I agree with Joshua Ferguson (comment above)-- I'd like to know more about how projects become "staff picks", as I do not see evidence of consistent criteria for choosing them. Since being a staff pick appears to have a direct impact on pledges, having that section really seems against the spirit of kickstarter-- isn't the whole purpose here to help new and unusual projects find their audience? If so, what's the purpose of arbitrarily singling out some projects to promote more than others? I realize few backers will look at all projects-- but I'd like to see the "staff picks" section abolished, to level the playing field. (For the record, I've never created a project, so this is not just a case of sour grapes.)

    20. Adam H (Peak Design Employee) on

      Stretch goals for me are a little contentious. However, the BEST project stretch goal that I was involved with was through The Union of Genius: Because all we need is soup project

      This projects £13,000 stretch goal was:
      "We will provide free soup to Edinburgh's Care Van in perpetuity or for as long as they want. The Care Van is run by Bethany Christian Trust in partnership with the Edinburgh city mission. It provides provides soup, rolls, clothing, blankets, support and homelessness information to between 20-60 rough sleepers in Edinburgh city centre every night."

      The more backers pledged, the more they GAVE not GOT. The creator was surprised by the number of backers who didn't want a "Reward" even if they were entitled due to their pledge level and the project was funded with more than double the initial asking target, now that is Community Funding rather than Crowd Funding.

    21. Michael K. Tumey on

      Another thing. For my project, I am creating 4 instructional manuals as print and PDF books, and my intentions of the project is to release those for books. The scheduled release date includes the full production period to cover from creation to delivery of said books. However, as a creator I didn't want the goal to be the cost of 4 books. Rather the goal is the cost of creating the first book, the stretch goals are producing the other 3 books as individual funding points (stretch goals). My stretch goals aren't meant as extra work beyond the first book and requiring extra time. The scheduled release date is based on the assumption that all 4 books are funded. If any of the books are not funded, that means mine turn-around for product delivery should be much faster - but at least the initial stated release date doesn't conflict with any earlier release.

      My stretch goals are extras - they are part of the base original project goal. I did not want to set one large goal to include all 4 books, in case the total wasn't funded. By breaking the overall project into goals and stretch goals, I am better assured to acquire funding for each step - whatever gets funded.

    22. Piers Duruz | on

      This is really a case for more education and more systems, much like crowdfunding was in the early days of Kickstarter.

      With actual software based systems for stretch goals, it would be clearer what people were actually pledging to create and how it would alter the delivery timelines. With more education (which can be supplied at the time that creators are entering stretch goals in Kickstarter's system) creators would better understand what makes a good stretch goal, and what makes one that is likely to blowout their budget / timeline.

      Yes, stretch goals force creators to sometimes adapt to very different scales of business, but this is part of the beauty of Kickstarter. It makes trying something new and innovative attainable to anyone and then provides the system and a helping hand to get there. Why should it be different with stretch goals?

    23. The Evolutionary on

      Stretch goals can be cool, but only if delivered. I've seen stretch goals backfire, or attempts to make a project too big endanger its success. I don't remember Double Fine having specific stretch goals but Shafer designed himself into a corner with his ambitious project upon exceeding his goal several times over. The Banner Saga also need more funding to reach their ambitions after they got extra funding (and made many very unhappy be releasing a combat only part of the game). Stretch goals can be exciting too. In the Multiplo project we got an upgrade from plastic to Aluminum for some of the single 1 cm long pieces which was awesome. Other hardware projects got some bonuses but they were achieved simply by purchasing rather than creating from scratch. My experience is in software projects if often delays/endangers it, but on physical projects it is always a benefit in my experience. Software (especially gaming) design is an artform, and hard to predict. So is hardware design, but software is less tangible (and people in that field are worse at estimates). Anyway, that is my take. I think they are a mixed bag, but for software the odds are greater of causing problems. We'll see how Project Eternity and Torment: Numinera turn out.

    24. Charles Ehlert on

      I think stretch goals are nice but in the same aspect I would myself be happy with just reaching my goal on a project versus seeing over funding while yes it is true it ensures a better outcome of the project than the initial ending with the main goal of the project. I believe that if it was a bad Idea than KickStarter would say ok your project is successful so here is your funding the project is closed. Tho by allowing stretch funding it does ensure that if a backer makes a promise to pay and then turns around and backs out after they have pledged their support for your project that they will still have someone to stand in their place and ensure that the project remains fully funded.

    25. Max Dangelo on

      I think sometimes it depends on your strategy. I think, for eg a software you want to develop, if you add features (that you were going to add anyway) can keep the buzz going and the project alive. I think that the problem begins when the streachgoals divert attention from the real goal, in this case the software done.
      In the end you have to know your resources from the beginning but not show all of them at that moment, it's not a lie to your baker, it's maybe a reminder like "hey if you keep helping we'll achieve this sooner"

    26. Tesh of Project Khopesh on

      Stretch goals were crucial to my project, but only because they expanded a product line, and there was sufficient demand. The numbers for production and distribution were calculated long beforehand. Seems to me that if we're looking for ways to improve KS systems, the very rudimentary shipping system needs an overhaul before trying to make some sort of systemic stretch goal constraint.

    27. Stefano Casadei on

      @MostOfTheseComments; TLDR. ;)

    28. Catherine Brunelle on

      Your last bit of advice is gold. Money is great, but community brings support over and over again. I'll keep it in mind during my upcoming Kickerstarter project!

    29. hybridcurrency on

      Money - humans - stretching always hurts

    30. Phil Hough on

      I've very much of the opinion that done badly, a stretch goal is as outlined at the start, a jeopardy for the project and the product. But well thought through and well applied, it works wonders. Lets take two examples:

      A hand produced candlestick. Originally the project target was apt, and the workload to produce the orders fine. But the stretch goal, allowed "custom designs", great suddenly things happen slower, and product is slowed as a result. Sure it's paid for, but still things grind to a hault.

      Now take the more digital product, where simply put production time doesn't relate to order numbers. Lets say this is a digital wallpaper art, and the stetch goal allows a blue tint, instead of red. The extra overhead in this instance is negligable, and so a good stetch goal.

      So just in the same way the original pledge goals can be poorly designed, so the stretch goals can be. But that's not to say they're wrong, or shouldn't allowed, they just need to be used, offered and applied in the right way to the right projects.

    31. C on

      I think creators should research their target audiences before even thinking about Stretch Goals. Some products -- and their audiences -- work better with stretch goals than others. Frex, with a $25 Eurogame, these games aren't often not suited for expandability, and their target audience isn't interested in blingly upgrades -- and may not even look at your KS after pledging. On top of this, a $25 pledge doesn't give you much leeway in the risk a stretch goal entails, such as defective product or shipping issues (eg. a stretch goal item that won't fit in the box you thought it did!).

      Meanwhile, $100-mininum miniature-laden trashfests are definitely well-suited for stretch goals. Adding a new mini is well-suited with the incremental reward that stretch goals are, and some gamers *like* the partyfest a one-month KS provides them.

    32. Missing avatar

      L. H. on

      I'm brand new to this whole thing. I stumbled on to this site accidently. So now I am in mid process of launching a project. I don't know what this whole "over funding stretch thing" is all about, but to ME what it would mean is; the difference between having to work a full time job AND working on my project at night (if I am not wiped out) and on the weekends (if I get the grocery shopping, laundry, house cleaning, lawn mowed done first), OR being able to work full time on my project. Either way I AM still working on my project funded or not, and that project is going to be AWESOME when I am done....BUT, I won't lie....if I could just work on my project FULL TIME and not have to worry about working a job to pay my rent and to eat....then I would be the happiest camper in the world ! And isn't that what this site is all about? Funding these folks so they can concentrate on doing what they do best ....being creative ? I don't know....I'm just saying.....

    33. Terrance Grace on

      I recently added a stretch goal for my project and it looks like we will reach it. I do however think that a creator must be diligent with running the numbers. I plug daily numbers into my own spreadsheet which keeps track of exactly how much cash I have, pledge by pledge, reward by reward. My stretch goal was an upgrade for everyone that does not cost a significant amount more and does not burden fulfillment at all. That being said... The next stretch will not be an enhancement to the product, but rather an explanation of where any net profit goes -- And that is simple: Towards financing the next issue in a 4 issue series. My backers are in it to see the complete series and so I think they are completely supportive in any profit being applied towards bringing that goal to fruition in a timely manner.

    34. Lance on

      startup entrepreneurs need 2 or more cycle funding for the project, it's very normal in business.

    35. Ava Marie Carmichael on

      I agree with this article. I always like to refer to the KISS rule (Keep It Simple Stupid). While the stretch goals can make a project more interesting and maybe offer an incentive for more funding, I think it could take the project adrift and create more confusion and cost in the end. Stretch goals should be chosen wisely. If your project is a good fit for SG, perhaps it's something to consider. I have always felt that adding another super cool or helpful reward option that benefits the product or end user at $15 or less, is better than adding stretch goals.

    36. Wynand Engelbrecht on

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    37. Heather McLain on

      This is an old topic but I'd like to leave my two cents on stretch goals as a handcrafter with a smaller project goal, since most of these posts are in regards to games and such. I have an active project close to being fully funded and I do plan a "stretch goal" at that point and I have planned a couple since the beginning and hoped I would get the chance to try for at least one. The reason for this is because of Kickstarter's all or nothing policy. The base goal is the bare bones what I absolutely need to get my business up and running. If I pass that goal by about $400 I could get two additional pieces of equipment that would really make things more efficient and another $400 would enable me to offer more products. I would have loved to ask for those things in the first place but I couldn't risk zero funding if that amount was unrealistic, and with 10 days to go I still don't know how realistic an additional $800 is.

      So which is worse, doing stretch goals once your base is funded if you could really use that additional funding and have built your reward tiers with that possibility in mind, or setting your goal too high at the beginning and risking getting NO funding if you don't make it? Those are the only two options Kickstarter currently offers. I can start my business with the base funding goal but I can start it better with more, and I've limited reward tiers to what I can handle producing in the timeframes I've set so I won't risk not being able to fulfill and when spots for those run out they run out, since I have to make each reward by hand. So there's really no downside for me and I don't think there's one for my backers either. (I'm not adding more rewards for existing backers, I just have enough rewards for more people to back me after the goal is met since my project is not geared towards a mass run of a single product.) So I'm of the mind that if Kickstarter either needs to modify their all-or-nothing policy since that's why people are doing stretch goals in the first place, continue to allow them "unofficially", or to incorporate them into the project options and allow people plan for possible stretches beforehand as I did and approve those with the rest of the project before launch.

    38. Warren Loewen on

      I have been reading a lot of projects in Kickstarter and topics about stretch goals, as I am trying to get my own game launched. Someone please confirm this, but from what I have seen, if a funding goal is $40,000, it covers all of the stretch goals. It has to in order to be able to pay for the "extra" items you are adding to the game.
      So if a person pays $40 for the core game, but stretch goals are extra minis, the minis will already be included. I say this because a lot of the kicktarters mention that the backer gets all of the achieved stretch goals even when they buy the core set. So why even have stretch goals if you are already including the items in the $40 core game cost? I can see adding extra items that may not be part of the game, like T-shirts, etc, but I would still have that included in the base cost so I know I will still have the funds to pay for all of it.
      I am not being fooled by a stretch goal, knowing that even if I pay the lowest available to get the game, I will still get all of the stretch goals.
      What it should be for example, is you pay $40 to get the core game. If you pay $60 you get the core game and the first stretch goal, Pay $80 and you get the second stretch goal, etc. This makes more sense and it allows the fundraisers to actually gain funds to get those stretch goals achieved.
      Am I right or am I missing something in all this?

    39. Bobby Davis on

      Part of a stretch goal isn't necessarily getting backers to increase, but to bring in new backers.

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      deleted on

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      Upeksha Pawar on

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    42. Natanz Loetawan on

      I'm starting my first KS this year and I think stretch goals could be amazing for me! It's really on a per case basis.

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      Namaku Keren on

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      Doa Ibu Tersayang on

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