'Failing on Kickstarter is better than succeeding with the wrong amount of money'

'Failing on Kickstarter is better than succeeding with the wrong amount of money'
Matthew Jarvis

By Matthew Jarvis

July 12th 2016 at 3:36PM

Auroch Digital’s Tomas Rawlings warns that ‘not doing your sums right’ can be disastrous for devs – even if their crowdfunding campaign exceeds its target

Simply aiming to hit a financial target on crowdfunding services such as Kickstarter can leave short-sighted developers with a host of other troubles.

That was the key warning from Auroch Digital’s Tomas Rawlings during his talk at the Develop: Brighton conference, where he offered those looking to offer their ideas out for public funding a series of tips designed to make the most of crowdfunding.

Rawlings urged devs to not just learn from successfully-funded projects, but also to identify what went wrong with campaigns that failed to hit their goal.

“What was so bad they couldn’t even convince their friends to give money?” he asked. “Those are the ones you want to look at.”

He also advised those wanting to launch a Kickstarter campaign to back other projects themselves, in order to know what their own supporters would be looking for.

“I strongly recommend being a backer,” he said. “Being on the other side is extremely important. Knowing where you need other people to be is valuable. Find out what works and what doesn’t.”

Even once a campaign has reached its funding target, Rawlings said that the challenges weren’t over – but ensuring the money is there to account for future hiccups is vital.

“You are better off not succeeding than succeeding for the wrong amount of money,” he cautioned, explaining, “There are a whole bunch of costs you might not anticipate,” while making reference to the potential impact of Brexit on Kickstarter campaigns.

“Success in a way, if you’ve not done your sums right, can be a disaster.”

Here are some of Rawlings' other tips:

  • Look at the failed projects as well as winners.
  • Set out two to three months of planning and one month to run it.
  • The lower the asking price, the lower the expectation.
  • You always get less than you ask. Plan for it (and double check figures).
  • Better not to succeed than to promise what can’t deliver.
  • Be ready for the doldrums.
  • Stats, stats and stats: make use of an analytics platform.
  • Have plans within plans.
  • Keep messaging your backers.