The concept of Kickstarter isn’t new and I’m happy to say that it’s launched thousands of dreams and probably deflated a few as well. As with these sorts of things it got me thinking about what makes stuff fundable in this sort of realm. Especially when it comes to Northern Ireland projects because that’s where I am.
More so what got me thinking was seeing the pitch for the Sugar Supper Club in Newry. A brilliant idea and one that I’d love to see funded but it got me thinking some very fundamental questions.
Where are your potential customers/backers?
For bricks and mortar stores, restaurants and anything that requires footfall then this is the first obvious question. And I wonder if it’s the reason this sort of thing struggles to get funded. Theatre productions fall foul on this point as well. We need to work on the theory that a percentage of the local population will fund and dine.
Newry’s population was as of 2010 27,575 and this becomes important when we start talking percentages of population who will back. I’m starting with 2% as a figure so that’s 515 people would could potentially back this project. This doesn’t count people out of town, people who like to fund projects for their own happiness regardless if they ever go to the end product or now. These things can’t be discounted but with a bricks and mortar project it’s probably unlikely because…..
What type of product is it?
A gadget usually does well, just look at the 3D Doodler Pen or the Pebble Watch. Products do well if they fulfil a need. And with worldwide shipping for the initial project then the audience is wide open compared to a bricks and mortar project, therefore the probability of successful funding is raised.
How much is to be raised?
Too little and it might look like a credible product, too much and many won’t take the risk. I want to get more data on this but I get the sneaking suspicion that projects looking for less than £/$10,000 seem to make the grade in having a good chance of being funded.
The 65/35 Rule
Okay it’s my rule but I think it’s valid. 65% of the funding has to be raised in 35% of the time of the funding period.
So 65% of £12,500 is £8125. The question is can it be raised in ten and a half days. The rest is a long tail and also a psychological ticker on potential backers from that point on. “If they’ve put money against it so quick it must be good”. The first 35% is when the hard hitting marketing has to be done (Facebook, Twitter, begging letters and all that jazz).
And the rest……
After that it’s common sense. Is the project owner in that sector? Do they have a decent track record? Have any other projects been funded and completed.
I’m off to have a look at some data, have a play and come up with a barebones algorithm. In the meantime go and fund the Sugar Supper Club, the food looks lovely.