Kickstarter – setting the goal

February 4, 2013

For years I’ve had friends give Kickstarter projects a try and I was always very skeptical… until my little Kickstarter project drew in over $100k in donations!

See original project over here:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1812253609/doug-tennapel-sketchbook-archives

Since that project initially launched, I’ve been doing a lot of research on other Kickstarter projects, and there’s one piece of advice I can give that’s actually pretty self-evident. Don’t ask for too much money at the start.

In general, when setting the amount of money you want to get from Kickstarter, don’t ask for the amount of money you need, ask for the amount of money you wouldn’t walk away from.

I’ll use my own project as an example. I wanted to print a hard bound sketchbook and figured it would cost me around $40,000 to make the book… but I didn’t think I would get that amount, as donors would be discouraged after a week if it didn’t get over $18,000. The question is, if I could only raise $18k of that $40,000 I needed, would I not make the book? No! I was going to make the book no matter what, so $18k would be really helpful. If I got less than $18k, however, my losses would be so great that I would probably need to walk away from the project. I was willing to lose about $22k of my own money if the book got made, so that’s how I came up with the bottom line amount to ask for on Kickstarter.

There is a misconception about Kickstarter that it’s somehow supposed to pay for every single aspect of a project, and if you raise enough, then good for you. But most people are going to make a project anyways, so putting the burden on Kickstarter donors to pay for the whole taco might be asking too much.

5 Responses to “Kickstarter – setting the goal”

  1. isaac Says:

    That’s smart Doug! And congrats on your kickstarter success! I’ve been eyeballing the site for a while and it’s helpful to hear some good advice.


  2. Well said! If people had to rely on more standard money raising methods (bank finance for example) they wouldn’t get 100%, why should they expect to get 100% from kickstarter?

  3. Elliot Says:

    Im glad this was soo successful for you! Guess kickstarter is just a good reference of a persons fanbase. Yours apparently is quite extensive and wiling to put cash behind you. I imagine it has a lot to due to the immense amount of amazing things you have created.

  4. Bryan Says:

    You were willing to lose $22,000 of your own savings? Geez, your doing well, congrats


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