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The feeling of "omigodwhatif..."

Hi all! Just had my first project, first product, first big initiative approved. Ready to launch. I'm going back over the weeks and months and thinking about all I've done, the help I've gotten, the setbacks, the fun... Did you feel totally unsure about what people were going to think, what were they going to say about it, was the project going to get funded? I'm excited, really jazzed because I love what I've created. But definitely a feeling in the pit of my stomach that this might not go well. Thoughts?
Doug Kramer Asked on
33 answers
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Renee Launer
7-time creator
100
Last edited on

We're a husband and wife team and we've run four projects so far.  We've also had those same mixed feelings of doubt and elation.  The first project (a toy castle that I'd have killed for as a kid) seemed to us like a sure-fire hit.  We dressed up in nice clothes, sat behind a nice desk and gave a heavily rehearsed and much practiced and edited speech for the video.  It bombed...not just by a little bit...it didn't even make 1% of goal.   We were entirely dejected and would probably have given up right there and then....except...

One of our backers had a suggestion to re-think the product for a different market - so what had been a toy for little kids shrank in size and became scenery for adult tabletop gamers.   He also put us in touch with a Kickstarter veteran who offered to do a joint promotion - a competition featuring his product and ours as prizes - we donated a few hundred dollars of product and that got us an instant 500 person mailing list.

Despite this, we entered our second kickstarter with very low expectations - we thought we'd just see a repeat of the first one.  Rather than go to the hassle of making a nice video, we literally sat at our kitchen island and ad-libbed - we used the very first take and didn't even bother to edit it.

The tabletop gamers loved it!   We made goal in a little over a week and hit about 350% of goal by the end.   We were totally elated!  There was plenty enough income to let us invest $10,000 in a laser cutter to make the rewards - and we had a small, part-time, business of our own that we could run from our tiny apartment.

The third Kickstarter was an odd mix...we knew it could be done in principle, but we had an entirely new project idea and we had no idea whether it would take off or fail.  We were nervous of screwing up a successful formula - so we went back to the kitchen island to make our video and made NO effort to do anything fancy.  This time, we got 500% of goal...and an incredibly enthusiastic set of backers.   We thought we'd reached the big-time...for one of us, it became our full-time job...we invested another $10,000 in equipment, moved out of our apartment and rented a bigger house with a nice big garage to do it all.

Our fourth, most recent, project had us being very cocky.  We made the most elaborate set of rewards with incredibly flashy photos.  We sweated every tiny detail although we still ad-libbed the video.  We were pretty darned sure of doubling our previous success...but sadly, we had over-complicated things, confused many of our backers and inadvertently timed the project very badly.   So we earned almost exactly the same dollar amount as the second time - but with a LOT more preparation work.   An odd mix of "Yeah!  We made a big pile of money again" and "Oh....we did *SO* much worse than we expected".  :-(

Kickstarter is immense fun to do...the stresses and the elation...the ever-present possiblity of disaster.   It's an incredible rush.  But without risk of failure, no activity can be all that exciting.

It definitely makes us feel more 'alive'.

Our many hundreds of repeat-backers are our friends, we know many of them by name now.   We put in rewards that we know will specifically push someone's button because they asked for it personally.  When someone has an idea for a new reward that's good enough for us to want to make it next time, we give them a free copy of it.   One of them happened to mention that it was his birthday close to the day we were due to ship to him, so we made an extra reward and stuck it in his package with a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" written on the box.  We routinely give away freebies for funny posts, clever ideas or just for being the 100th backer or the 1000th poster...and that makes us feel very good about ourselves.

We'll be back for KS #4...older and wiser!  We're planning KS #5 and #6 as we do it!  Gunning for the viral win that'll spell early retirement!

6 comments

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Ashley Cooper
2-time creator
140
Answered on

I'm not sure that feeling ever goes away. I had it on both my campaigns.

I try to look at it like this: If I'm not going crazy hoping it goes well, I don't care about it that much, and I probably shouldn't be doing it anyway.

Go forth and conquer, Doug!

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IronSpike
20-time creator
153
Answered on

Ha ha, I ran my first project in 2009, back when there weren't a lot of people who were convinced Kickstarter was even a viable concept! It was still new, it had yet to become the juggernaut it is now. So, funnily enough, there was very little anxiety attached to launching my first project. Just a sense of "Let's try this. If this doesn't work, I'll try something else."

I had already crowdfunded projects before the term for it was even coined, funding print editions of my webcomic via Paypal donations. I decided to move my funding efforts to Kickstarter for the improved transparency and automation.

My first Kickstarter project has a pretty memorable story, though; it launched while I was traveling, and in an airport. Air Force One had made an unannounced touchdown, so all other flights (including mine!) had been grounded, delaying everything. People were understandably annoyed, but not me; i was pacing the waiting area, frantically waiting for minute-to-minute updates from my husband, who was watching the funding total tick ever upwards and texting me the results. "$2000 in the last hour!" etc. Exciting!

Good luck with your project, I hope you've reached your funding goal. 

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Pinckard Tools, LLC
5-time creator
10
Answered on

I think it's a bit like walking out on stage the first time and hoping you don't lose your voice or forget your lines. You have to believe in yourself, your product and your mission to bring it to people. Take that chance! I am just 5 days into my second KS and it is doing great. We met our goal in less than 1 day and just crossed 200% at the end of day 4. (You can search for "No.3 screwdriver bit" and you will find me.) I email with my supporters. I tell the truth and answer their questions as fast as I can get to them. After a few days you will start to get followers who like your FB page, defend you if someone writes a bunch of lies about you and basically become friends. In summary, the most important part in my opinion is you have to be offering something that people really want or need. If it scratches an itch they have, they'll support you because they want it and they want you to be around in the future as a business so they know where to go.

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Dustin
Creator
21
Last edited on

Starting a campaign is full of emotions!  Excitement, fear, worry, sometimes all of them at the same time! 

I think most people start a campaign jumping head first right in with a lot of motivation.  I certainly did!  I was unaware how critical it was to plan ahead before jumping straight in.  I had done some planning myself, looked at a few articles, studied the Staff Picks and tried to create cool graphics to go along with my campaign.  I had a well thought out trailer which I had already created for the video game I had started developing.  I felt ready.  I started in the middle of the week not realizing the importance of having a large support network to give your campaign the necessary boost to keep the popularity ranking high.  I was excited just to see my first two backers the next day and assumed that I must have something great!

I failed to realize that my game would quickly tumble into the depths of the unknown due to a lackluster launch.  I had some social media presence with family and friends, but I relied too heavily on some magic that I assumed would promote my game for me.  Luckily I picked up on this early and immediately started to garner the support of family and friends.  I wrote about my experience, how it was my lifelong passion then contacted every person I knew or was related to asking for support.  My wife jumped in to help support the cause and before we knew it, both of us were campaigning for the dream.  Support came in various quantities and I kept up the pressure treating my campaign like a second job where I was running for office!

It worked though!  Little by little the money started to flow in and within a week we were able to not only achieve our modest goal, but surpass it!  I imagine there is a bit of luck in the process, but I composed a detailed story of how I believed this dream was mine to come true and I posted it to my Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/966472475/particle-shield-conquer-the-elements-game/posts/1317187 ).  I don't know if this was one of the key points of making my campaign genuine, but shortly after, I was selected as a Staff Pick.  Of course I broadcasted this new accomplishment and a few days later found my campaign was a featured project sitting on the front page for Games!  By no means do I have the most popular campaign but I believe the Kickstarter staff like to see projects that are genuine, heartfelt and honest pursuit in creative endeavors.  If that isn't the case, I would say that I happened to get incredibly lucky =)  I've also used the Campus corner to help provide motivation and support to other Kickstarter creators.  Can't say if that attributed to the selection, but they do encourage community! 

Maybe it is a combination of everything above, but to get back to the point it certainly has been an experience!  The elation that comes with successful project funding is an amazing feeling though and I hope you all have had or have the pleasure of experiencing it!

5 comments

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Ricardo Sanchez
Creator
8
Answered on

I know the feeling. I launched my first ever kickstarter campaign about 10 days ago and have only 3 backers today (one of them is my wife). My project is a book about my immigration story titled "The Undocumented Engineer" I've been wanting to write for years, and so this year I finally had the courage to start it. Someone suggested I did a kickstarter campaign and the pitch was so convincing that I ended up doing it. I thought I was prepared for it but something isn't working. Perhaps is just not a good fit or I just haven't reach out to the right audience. I've done many things to spread the word and get backers, but all of it has been unsuccessful at this point. One thing I know I will get from this experience is that you are never fully prepared. However, getting a sizable list of people ready to back you before you hit the launch button is probably my number one recommendation at this point.

Good luck!

Ricardo.

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Jason Young
Creator
48
Last edited on

omigodwhatif...I had an idea and did nothing with it. 

Personally, that pit in my stomach when I started my project is getting deeper and deeper. And even if no one sees my project, I have stood up, tried, dreamed, and didn't give up just because I was afraid.  

Some people might not understand your goals and dreams, but if you do and keep working at it, anything is possible.

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John Vanek
Creator
10
Answered on

Doug,

Just today I had my project approved and am looking to launch Thursday. I've been working on the book I want to fund, and the Kickstarter campaign, since last fall. You are not alone. Best wishes for your project's success.

John

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John Vanek
Creator
10
Last edited on

It's fun re-visiting this thread, reliving the excitement, stress, joy, stress, joy, and ultimately the joy of success. That was last August (2015). Since then I've worked at a level I didn't expect to bring my book project (The Essential Abolitionist: What you need to know about human trafficking & modern slavery) to fruition. After printing the book and mailing about 400 copies to about 160 Backers and others, the book went on sale at Amazon this past week. And I learned another lesson (the learning never ends).

I was really hoping that putting 400 books out in the world would lead to maybe 20-30 reviews being posted on Amazon right away. Of course, my book is THE most important book - to me at least ;)  Of course, my Backers do  have a life beyond promoting my book. At the moment I have 8 very good reviews, and I'm back pinging on Backers, friends, and colleagues to post reviews just as I was pinging on them last August to back my project.

So the ups and downs, the uncertainty, will fluctuate for a long time to come. My Kickstarter success helped validate me as a writer (to myself, at least), but now I just have different circumstances from which to experience stress, and joy.

And if any creators read this, please send me info on your project; I'll do what I can to promote it and back it! (And if you are interested in the response to human trafficking check out my book.) I feel like I'm a member of a club - those who have experienced the ups and downs of Kickstarter projects!

7 comments

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Reggie McKeiver
Creator
3
Answered on

I understand that feeling completely, but reading thru some of the answers here its refreshing to know that if it doesn't succeed. You can rethink your approach and try again!

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Jason Young
Creator
48
Answered on

To everyone who is feeling alone, and abandoned, there is great news.  After reading these posts and not personally receiving the attention, this is an answer, if you wish to help, please contact me.

Coming November 1, 2015, I will launch a new campaign to fill the gap.

Concept: A crowdfunding site that helps people who have creative ideas make their dreams come true.  This site is different from Kickstarter as it has an open forum, where people who have certain talents and skill are able to participate in another's project, offering services for credit and reward when successful.

When a campaign is launched, members from around the world will review, comment and offer advice on how to make your idea become reality. Don't have graphics, here. Don't have good copy, here let's clean this up.  Need contacts in a specific area, these experts will tell you why it won't work, what obstacle I might have missed and validate or promote.

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Jeremy M. Goldstein
Creator
3
Answered on

I'm having this feeling right now.  My first project - HOT AIR the movie - barely made its lofty goal of $65,000 with only minutes to go, and that took my film partner and I working our tails off for the full 30+ days it was up.

Now, I'm about to launch (today!) The Traveling Producer with a far less lofty goal of $4,250 and my nerves are a wreck. 

I'm glad to find this thread. It has the feeling of a real support group. Thankful for that!

Wish me luck!

Best,

Jeremy

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Michael Thompson
6-time creator
2
Answered on

I had heard about the site from a friend and at first my reaction to making a project on it was, "Nah that isn't for me" and "I can't do that, no one would be interested." So after a few weeks, the same person brought it up again in our conversation, so I checked it online. 

Lo and behold, I'm now in my 5th project now and it STILL makes me jittery when I launch and plan for my projects. 
The over-thinking and self-doubt (which are not too healthy) will always be there but you should always believe in yourself and just do it! Not doing anything out of fear is already failure in itself, so always TRY and do your best! The first pledge is always a big push to your project and finally reaching that goal is not the finish line! It's just the beginning of great things to come!


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Doug Kramer
Creator
2
Answered on

These are such helpful stories! Thank you for taking time to share. Sitting with my morning coffee, launching tomorrow. This is fuel. Thanks for stepping in.

Doug

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Doug Kramer
Creator
2
Answered on

Morning! I launched on Friday late afternoon. It was a thrill to watch! Thanks for your encouragement!

Doug

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Kashif Zaman
2-time creator
1
Answered on

Just started my kickstarter project not feeling the great deal of confidence on it however this post has given me a little hope, It's the second time starting this project and trying to drive it forward with the best of my abilities but not to sure where promote it besides from sharing it around, but at least this post have given me a little hope and maybe the community will help me

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Prash Saka
4-time creator
24
Answered on

If I am allowed to be blunt, I'd say that, if this is your first one, imagine that this is someone else's campaign and not yours when it comes to setting expectations. Of course, when working to make it successful, continue to think that this is your baby.

It's kinda like lottery, though on a much smaller scale. In any case, good luck.

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Jr Hollingsworth
2-time creator
1
Answered on

I have a campaign in review at the moment for a 5 volume set of illustrated children's books based on my twins. They are well put together and will help parents to make chore time fun time. Thus teaching them to perform daily chores and learn things one page at a time. I am truly hoping to get this fully backed as i would like to release all five within the next year and a half. I have that pit in my belly as well and hope all goes well. I hope yours goes sparkling for you and your dream becomes a reality.

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Abigail Mazer
Creator
1
Answered on

Doug. Thanks for posting this question. I launched a project last week and have definitely been feeling the same way. I have never experienced so many ups and downs in such a short period. It is really refreshing to read about other people's experiences, and know that there are people out there that I don't have to explain Kickstarter to. Best of luck.

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Hard Swimmin' Fish
Creator
1
Answered on

I just launched my project less than a week ago and have probably reviewed every move I've made over the course of the previous few months in my mind a hundred times. I've lost sleep over the excitement and stress and continue to tweak the language of the project as new ideas fall into place. At the end of day, loving what you're creating is success in itself. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback and donations and feel good talking with people about the project because I'm truly excited by the process. I've learned a ton and stretched myself in ways I didn't know I had in me. Think about what you've gained for yourself even before launch. In some ways getting funded will be icing on an already satisfying cake. 

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Jessica Crichton
Creator
2
Last edited on

I'm So glad I found this board and this thread! i'm seriously nervous, but also really want to do the best Kickstarter I can do. I'm loving my work, but whether other people will love it is really the nerve-wrack. So far I only have 3 backers, but I do have hope that will change. I just really want to know what I may be doing right or wrong.

I wish I had something helpful to add here, but I'm brand new to all of this and just feel lost at the moment, so thank you for starting this thread. <3

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Mel and Andrew Sutton
Creator
2
Answered on

We are in the same boat - we have tested our product and already had quite a few sales but now looking to fund development- we just launched yesterday ! Good Luck!

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Mike B. Scribbles
0
Answered on

I'm getting ready to do my first kickstarter campaign in November - a research trip and a book. I've backed 70 projects. I'm half expecting all my audience to turn into trolls and rip me in half. I hope I have the strength of character to not cry and run away. I am partly strengthened by these comments that Kickstarter is a bit like Guinness, you might not like it the first time, but take it slow and learn from the experience.

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Wolfgang Benfattoum
Creator
0
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Hi all...I actually came here to find somewhere a button to contact kickstarter as I have a few specific questions before I hit the submit to review button. Finding this forum now and browsing a few threads makes me feel that I am not alone.

But at the moment I have no time to look further as my project is missing a view small things which will be done in 2 days and ready.

I am using this time to show the preview link to all my friends and FB contacts. SO it is still very personal and hope to get input of what they think should stay and what taken out.

Anyway, no matter the outcome,,,it's the KICK you get from it all....the unexpected...think of Kickstarter not as just a starter for the project, rather a kick hitting you DOING things.

Don't worry what people think. But all the feedback you get from it is THE MOST IMPORTANT information you will ever get. That's what will make your project succeed. That information applied correctly.

And that feeling in the stomach is your gauge of your motivation. Learn how to read it.

Good luck.

Am excited for all of us.

Wolf

P.S: My favourite motto is JUST DO IT.

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Sybil Amber
2-time creator
11
Answered on

Yes, I was completely unsure of what people would think and say about my idea. Initially, I learned about crwodfunding, marketing emails, writing short texts and blog posts, but I did not feel settled with it. So I began to collect hints and advice here on the campus and in the net on how to be more precise and inspire my audience. Of course, I thought, a docutainment - documentary and infotainment film production - has to be witty, entertaining and informative. The whole project is new, and topics are sensitive, as are actors. Business, efficient sharing of what is "in" the film - the story, the action, the pictures, the visuals - and a little brainstorming each day help to grasp these feelings of diffuse emotions. Systematizing is important - the advertising, the website, the flicks, the own physical preparation, casting pics, ... whatever comes to mind. Today, I feel I cannot wait to take this cam and start filming. - The aim is to create a unique docutain to let the people know about life and new notions and experiences. 

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Smash The Dash
2-time creator
0
Answered on

I'm in that same boat right now.. Just launched my first project and the feelings in my mind and stomach are all over the place.

What if this and what if that are things that keep popping up but I know that the only thing I can control is putting out a good product with good rewards and then working my butt off to spread the word and have faith that people will support me and help me to reach my goal.

I think the feeling of "omigodwhatif" is just something that comes with being a creative entrepreneur and putting it all on the line and going for your dreams.

So that being said, I hope your project does well, and lets go out and make it happen!

Cheers,

Josh

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Stefan Loble
4-time creator
0
Answered on

During our first Kickstarter campaign - back in 2012 when Kickstarter was young - I made this video on what it felt like when our campaign took off, and how I went back and forth between optimism and terror before it did. See: https://youtu.be/pdxWBGIoB4s

We're about to launch our third campaign, and are making major improvements into how we approach the effort, mainly by securing press in advance. Of course, we still don't know what level of funding the project will do. But I think the best way to achieve a level of comfort before launch is to build a community you know is interested in your stuff (like really interested, beyond friends and family) to take a % out of the guess work.

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Donna White
Creator
0
Answered on

Hi! I am absolutely feeling like please Lord, put some backers on my side!  I know my invention is good and will benefit so many consumers, but I am having a problem getting funds...any suggestions?

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Laurence Flood
2-time creator
5
Answered on

Thanks Renee that was very encouraging to me as I've just started my first campaign. Some excellent advice.

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Rafael Payá Ciudad
Creator
0
Answered on

I think that if you don´t have this feeling, you´re simply crazy!

I´m on my first project too and i have this "idon´tkonwwhat" since 3 month before the launch of it here on kickstarter.

Campaign launched 2 days ago and still with it on my...

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Charlotte
0
Answered on

We are almost a week in and it's a rollercoaster ride of emotions. We believe in our children's book and we have 60 confirmed backers that do too, but we are nowhere near our target yet. The good thing is that it flexes your brain in trying to find creative ways of marketing and campaigning. Glad to see yours worked out!

Best wishes,

Charlotte and Ardi

The Little Mouse's Tail.

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Terry Leon
2-time creator
0
Answered on

Doug, 

I think no matter how great or "who would buy that?" idea. We all go through the same fears, self-doubts, and anxiety lol. However, at the end of a day. This leap you're taking it's for yourself. So, go for it! I had one project not be funded (you can never do enough awareness!!). I canceled and gave it another shot. I hope this time around I have learned from my previous mistakes. Lastly, when you get your first backer (not family and friends) you will think at that moment....it was all worth it =) Wish me good luck! 

Best,

Terry 

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Desi Mims
2-time creator
0
Answered on

I'm on day 2 of my project and freaking out about the what-ifs even though I'm already at 35% just because it's been so much slower today than the pretty awesome opening day. I've barely slept since launch, and unless I get this project in front of some serious press attention, I don't know if I'll be sleeping this month.

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