Finally! Our Funding Process Has Begu... wait. What?
Things I didn't think I'd be saying on day 1 of launching the Ghost Kickstarter campaign:
"It has been 12 hours since launch. We are 120% funded."
And yet, there I was - last night - saying those somewhat absurd words to my computer screen. I can't truly express how grateful I am to everyone who has supported this project so far. I know, most Kickstarter updates from project creators say the same thing... but I'm now beginning to understand why. It truly is a humbling experience.
Partners & Themes
I'm incredibly proud to announce that both WooThemes and Envato have joined the official Ghost Partner List. Please allow me 20 seconds to tell you why that's something you should be seriously excited about:
WooThemes are the single biggest WordPress themes company in the world. They have a reputation not just for making some of the best themes in the world, but also an incredible focus on design and quality. Best of all, they aren't just giving us money - they're converting a whole buch of Woo-Themes to Ghost-Themes.
Envato are the company behind many biggest things in the world when it comes to blogging and publishing. The Tutsplus Network, ThemeForest, CodeCanyon, Rockable Press... it's practically impossible that you haven't already run into their products. We will be working with Envato to establish a vibrant and healthy ecosystem around Ghost to reach as many end users as possible.
Stretch Goals & What's Next
A lot of people have been asking about stretch goals - so it's time to talk about the real, big picture vision for Ghost. The one that I'm really passionate about.
Here's the thing. I don't want to say something like "if we hit £100,000" everyone gets a t-shirt. Those things are lame. You didn't come here for a damn t-shirt - and I think, after raising £30,000 in 1 day, £100,000 isn't pushing the boundaries for a stretch goal. Stretch goals should... be a stretch.
There is the potential for this to turn into a very real, very tangible open source publishing movement that doesn't just affect small blogs. A movement of people who care about writing, publishing, journalism, and sustainable software. You already know that we won't be making any profit, if we make more money - we'll use 100% of it to make Ghost better.
So here's a stretch goal. One single, incredibly ambitious, stretch. It won't be easy, but I don't think it's out of the question.
If we hit £250,000 Ghost will be upgraded to the next level
First - Every single backer will receive 1 year free on our hosted service.
You'll have the full Ghost software with all bells, whistles, themes, plugins, and some extras that you wouldn't normally get if you hosted it elsewhere - things like automatic updates without needing to do anything, automatic backups, and really great support. You'll get this in addition to any amount of time already included for free on your current reward level.
Second - We will launch the Open Ghost Marketplace within the next 12 months
If we hit this level, we can fast track one of our longer term plans to upgrade the Ghost community website to enterprise level. Offering - in effect - an open source App Store to serve as the home for all Ghost themes, plugins and products. This will give all our users an incredibly easy place to go to find themes, plugins and products built on top of Ghost - and our developers an amazing place to release and market their products.
Third - We will build an Open Source Digital Magazine curating stories written with Ghost
This is where we commit to eating our own dog food. We're saying Ghost is going to be great for blogging? Let's create one of the world's best blogs. Think Medium - but completely decentralised. The code for the actual site will also be made public, allowing everyone to see, use, replicate, improve, and hack what we use to power it.
We'll do all of this, while remaining open source and non-profit.
It won't cost you anything extra, but only you can make this happen.
Stretch goals, by and large, are about just how many people are willing to back a project. You've already backed us - you've done your part (thank you!). Now it's a case of how many people we can get to notice Ghost. If you want all of the above to happen - we need you to share Ghost with your friends, family members and colleagues and encourage them to get involved.
Seth Godin has backed Ghost. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has backed Ghost. Our advisory board has grown to include Darren Rowse - ProBlogger himself - in addition to Frederick Townes (Founding CTO of Mashable), Adii Pienaar (Founder/CEO of WooThemes) and Vitaly Friedman (CEO of Smashing Magazine). We have people running the biggest blogs in the world helping us make Ghost a reality.
This has never happened before.
And it's in your hands.