Kickstarter founder: "Tread carefully" with stretch goals

Kickstarter founder:
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

August 14th 2013 at 10:51AM

Yancey Strickler asks those with crowdfunded projects to consider the risks of offering extra incentives to backers

Kickstarter's co-founder Yancey Strickler has urged those with crowdedfunded projects underway to consider the negative impact stretch goals can have.

"All-or-nothing funding is simple and clear: a project has a single goal, and backers support the project in its pursuit of that goal. Stretch goals muddy the waters," stated Strickler in a post on the official Kickstarter blog.

"What if someone got in early and helped a project reach its funding goal, but now the creator is focused on stretch goals?," he asked. "What if someone backs a project for a stretch goal-related reward, and that goal isn’t met? Both are bad experiences for backers."

Stretch goals offer potential backers of a given Kickstarter project extra incentives to put additional money towards the project. For example, a backer of a video game on Kickstarter may be able to pledge more money to receive extra features or merchandise. But in some cases fulfilling the demand for stretch goal items can overwhelm those behind a project, or even see it derailed.

"Many Kickstarter projects end up significantly overfunded, and creators often use those funds to improve the project's end product," said Strickler – who also serves as the outfits head of communications – on the matter.

"More funding might mean higher-quality materials and other improvements that thank backers with a better-made thing. For other creators overfunding means the project turns a profit. Both are great outcomes. Stretch goals, on the other hand, trade long-term risk for a short-term gain. Tread carefully."