The Kickstarter Blog

$100 Million Pledged to Independent Film

  1. Is lateness failure?

    Kickstarter projects are great at a lot of things, but meeting deadlines isn’t one of them. This isn’t just a Kickstarter thing. All creative projects, whether they’re on Kickstarter or not, often take longer than expected. What’s unique about Kickstarter is that everyone gets to see how things are made and exactly how long it takes to make them.

    A research project from a Wharton professor earlier this year sparked a conversation about how long Kickstarter projects take to be completed. The research found that just 25% of surveyed projects delivered rewards by their Estimated Delivery Date. In other words, many projects were late. (The professor also found that only 3.6% of surveyed projects failed to deliver. This got much less attention.)

    Occasionally art is known for how long it took to be created. Sometimes for better (the Sistine Chapel) and sometimes for worse (Guns ‘N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy). But with few exceptions, the amount of time a creative work takes to be made has little relevance to its audience. If anything, the longer the period of creation the higher esteem the work is held.

    The focus on lateness within Kickstarter brings three problems. 

    First, it incentivizes creators to take shortcuts to hit their deadlines. As legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto recently said, "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” 

    Second, it ignores what makes Kickstarter so unique: getting to watch a project come to life. The opportunity to see how something is made and to have a hand in its creation is a special thing. If a creator turns the creative process into a story they share with backers, delays don't have to be bad news.

    Third, it presumes that Kickstarter is a store. Sure, it's unacceptable for a store to ship something late. But Kickstarter is not a store. The Estimated Delivery Date is the creator’s best guess at how things will go, and it’s made at a very early stage in the project’s life.

    We at Kickstarter know quite a bit about lateness ourselves, funnily enough. Our original plans had Kickstarter launching in April 2008, but a variety of obstacles delayed the launch an entire year. Does this delay make Kickstarter a failed project? We hope not. Ultimately the creative process takes as long as it has to take.

  2. Kickstarter in the UK: The First Month

    On October 31, 2012, Kickstarter opened to projects from UK-based creators for the first time. How has it gone? Let’s have a look at what transpired in the first month.

    Statistics for projects from UK-based creators (October 31, 2012 — November 30, 2012)

    Total Pledged: £2,069,164
    Total Backers: 45,799
    Launched Projects: 407
    Successfully Funded Projects: 30

    In Kickstarter's first month in the UK, an amazing £2 million was pledged to UK creators. That works out to £48 in pledges each minute.

    Of the 400 projects that have launched, 30 have already been successfully funded and many more are on their way. A public art project called the Chime Pavilion was the first successfully funded project, with triple its funding goal. The very first project to launch, a hardware project called Picade, was successfully funded with £74,000 pledged — double its funding goal.

    Projects have launched from creators all across the UK, including Belfast, Brighton, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Hull, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, York, and other places in between. You can see all UK projects listed here.

    Location of UK creators' backers (Based on user settings and IP addresses)

    Nearly 50,000 people have backed a project from a UK creator. Where are those backers located? Here's a breakdown:

    UK backers: 39%
    EU backers: 23%
    US backers: 23%
    Other areas: 15%

    To date, 39% of backers have come from within the UK and 61% have come from outside of it. (For US projects, 78% of backers have been from the US and 22% outside of it.) Of the EU countries, Germany, Sweden, France, Denmark, and the Netherlands are home to the most backers so far.

    Projects from UK creators are finding support from local backers and being discovered by people all around the world. We're thrilled by their success. Thanks to the hard work of creators and the support of their enthusiastic backers, an amazing array of new creative works are already coming to life. Congratulations to all of them, and cheers!

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