The Discipline of Kickstarter

Would you rather:

  1. Bring your idea to life in isolation, bootstrapping to completion, only to find out that there is no market for it on launch day?
  2. Go through a two-month long bootcamp that isn't cost prohibitive and come out on the other side knowing whether you have a hit or not?

That's what this post is all about.

Kickstarter forces you to find your audience.

That's not the only thing it forces you to do. I've found that if you are the slightest bit fuzzy on who your most loyal fans are, exactly what they value, where to find them, and how to best communicate to them, that once your Kickstarter campaign is over, you're suddenly crystal clear.

You have a great idea of what to say to other potential investors and you even have a pitch video that you can slightly edit for the same purpose.

These are all normally things that come together over time instead of converging to some crazy point in time called your campaign launch date.

For this reason, at  Wanderlust Productions, we consider Kickstarter to be our market test. If the campaign for the project fails, it means that we got something wrong. It could be any number of factors, but because most Kickstarter projects are so early stage, it usually points to a failure to reach the right people or a bad goal-to-market-size ratio.

Regarding the latter, if your campaign fails, there is a chance that the market of people just isn't large enough to support the idea. The reason that this isn't what I would look at first is because rarely can any project creator say that they fully saturated their core audience with awareness about their Kickstarter project.

More likely is that the Kickstarter project creator simply failed to reach the right people with the right message. Changing messaging is often about focus, emphasis, and presentation. It's harder to change the targeting part of this equation to connect with the right people.

If you have problems discovering who the right people are, I just read a book by Malcolm Gladwell called The Tipping Point, that is extremely helpful on this topic.

There are many ways that a Kickstarter campaign can go wrong. However, the pain and loss experienced from a failed Kickstarter campaign is much, much less than the pain and loss that comes from bringing a finished product to market only to sell absolutely zero.

I will do a deep dive on Marketing in Chapter 05, coming soon! Make sure to sign up to receive updates at the bottom of the page!