Friday, October 24, 2014

Launching a Kickstarter

Have you ever launched a Kickstarter? Odds are that you haven't, but if you have then you understand when I say that it's one of the most stressful events in the world.

When I woke up this morning I was expecting to launch a Kickstarter, having spent all night setting the page up and giving moral support to Jeff and Steve as they finished the video. We decided to push back the launch until Monday because, if there's one thing more stressful than launching a Kickstarter, it's running one. So, we decided to take this weekend as our last restful respite of the year. The Kickstarter will be running up until around Black Friday, at which point our holiday season begins, so I'm not expecting to sleep again until January.

Anyway, let me tell you about Kickstarters.

If you've ever wanted to have everything about yourself analyzed (your creativity, your looks, your motives, your integrity), then I highly recommend launching a high-profile Kickstarter. Everyone in the world will turn their eyes on you for about 30 seconds before either selecting a reward or going away, and in those 30 seconds they will develop opinions. The great thing is that, assuming you don't really screw up (when in doubt, develop a minimalist wallet), 90% of the people will come to the conclusion that you're pretty cool, the bee's knees, and totally swank. About 1% of those people will tell you so, too, which is a real nice ego booster.

The remaining 10% just won't get it, though. They will think you're trying to rip them off, personally, or they'll suspect that you're unreliable "like all those other Kickstarters" and that you'll never deliver on your promises. Most unfortunately, 50% of those people will be vocal about their grievances, which will knock your ego right back down to reasonable levels.

Anyway, all of those numbers are made up, and it mostly applies to what I've seen in other Kickstarters. The backers of our Retrowear Kickstarter were almost entirely awesome and supportive, though it certainly helped that we delivered the goods in a timely manner.

Still, if you're going to launch a Kickstarter you have to be prepared for scrutiny. So, a huge amount of time is spent staring at ourselves in the figurative mirror, turning this way and that in search of imperfections. You never stop finding imperfections, but eventually you can bring their numbers down to reasonable levels.

Another secret about Kickstarters is that you'll never actually launch them unless you set a hard deadline. You're going to miss that hard deadline of course, but for a few days leading up to it you're going to work a little bit harder to get it together for a "launch." After just 9-10 hard deadlines you'll finally be ready for a real launch!

Last night our hard deadline was harder than usual, since Jeff flew to San Jose this morning and is going to be out of the office for the next week. As our video director, we needed him to finalize our videos both for the Kickstarter itself as well as the trailer for the documentary he's working on. That's why Jeff, Steve, and I were at the office until about 8AM this morning.

Now the page is all set up and ready to launch, but we won't be pressing the launch button until Monday. However, my 10 faithful, loyal, good-looking readers, I think you deserve a sneak peek at the project. Just don't spread it around yet. The rest of the public don't get to see it until Monday.

No comments:

Post a Comment