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Businesses The Almighty Buck Technology

Has Kickstarter Peaked? 156

Nerval's Lobster writes "Kickstarter has taken off in the past year, raising big money for a wide variety of projects. Look at some of their stats: in June 2012, only seven projects raised more than a million dollars apiece; in the past nine months, another 16 projects have passed that threshold. Since the site began operations in 2009, several of the 38,000 funded projects have broken out as superstars, including the Pebble Watch and a new gaming console. With all this competition, has crowdfunding gotten, well, too crowded? Is Kickstarter peaking? As the dollar amounts have grown, so has the potential for abuse. Hidden amidst all these success stories and multi-million dollar payouts are some sadder tales. The majority of the nearly 50,000 unfunded Kickstarter projects received less than 20 precent of their funding goals, with 11 percent never even getting a single pledge."
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Has Kickstarter Peaked?

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  • by dintech ( 998802 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @06:45AM (#43289755)
    I am one of the backers for the Elite Kickstarter. I think the 'strings attached' bit is probably quite important for an elderly game like Elite. Lets say hypothetically that worst case, someone like EA was the publisher. Everything would be micro-transaction, autolog bullshit with an annoying soundtrack you can't turn off and a 'hey radical' southern-california commentator giving you a mind-meltingly droll tutorial on how to be the hottest, slickest new pilot in the galaxy with pats on the head every 5 minutes. It would need to be themed on a music festival, surf exhibition, frat party or some other 'down-with-the-kids' irrelevance. Of course there has to be a leader board from which some 16 year old ass-hat leaves an audio-message for everyone declaring his teabag is the biggest.

    You would have to deal with the fallout from some EA Exec demanding that every time you destroyed another ship, crashed in to one or came with a few metres of one, you get a 3 second cut scene that pauses the action because "it's more 'Michael Bay' that way". When you finally dock after many, many, wooshing, spinning, exploding menu options, you get the pretty much compulsory option of using real money to get rid of your wanted status or whatever, which is probably the only way to progress since like an Ikea store, there seems to be no way to circumvent what you don't want. Every couple of AU that you travel you'll get.... an achievement! Awesome! You will be able to buy 50 achievements with your real money and then sell them for new ships or some other weird artificial game mechanic, all while enduring commercials from "out trusted partners". This certainty was all but avoided because of Kickstarter. I rest my case.
  • by garyebickford ( 222422 ) <gar37bic@gma i l .com> on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @01:29PM (#43293943)

    non-profit banking associations thaf obviously won't even think about playing on stock exchanges

    Here in the US, they are called Credit Unions. Most CUs are ethical. They work by lending their own members' deposits to members. Some/most (all?) are managed in part by members, at least in the sense of having an annual meeting where whoever shows up can vote. Generally CUs must be tied to a particular group - employees at a business, residents of a certain area, etc.

    I use CUs for all my business where possible.

  • Re:Does it matter? (Score:4, Informative)

    by garyebickford ( 222422 ) <gar37bic@gma i l .com> on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @01:41PM (#43294059)

    My associates at Space Finance Group recently assisted National Space Society in their successful Kickstarter campaign, "Our Future in Space" [].
    Without telling too many 'secrets', there are some fundamental ideas to keep in mind. A good campaign needs publicity, and a network of people who already know about the project and want help out, a great video and KS website page, and a killer set of rewards. There are some websites ( is one) that provide useful data about specific projects, and about how the whole thing works - sorry I forget the others. Basically, your project is going to depend very strongly on how many of your network are motivated to go to Kickstarter, sign up and pledge. And make sure the rewards appear to be 'worth it'. We just looked at an IndieGogo campaign where a $4 trinket was the reward for a $100 pledge. Sorry, nobody's going for that.

    And, assuming you succeed, be aware that KS takes 5%, Amazon takes 8%, and your rewards (if you have good, attractive rewards) are going to cost on the order of 30%. With other miscellaneous expenses, your real return will be close to 50%. (Funny, that's approximately the 'cost of sales' in most businesses.) Plan your project accordingly. Of course, if the reward is the product, then that helps your costs.

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