5 Interesting Strategies in 5 Minutes

1 July 2019 | 5 Comments

Here’s the latest collection of business-related strategies and observations I’ve noticed. Some are related to Kickstarter and board games; others have no direct connection to those categories.

Magic the Gathering Previews

Whenever there is a new Magic set, Wizards of the Coast reveals a few preview cards every day. For the last few years, they’ve started sending digital images of preview cards to a variety of Magic-related content creators and linking to those previews on the official Magic site.

I think this is a brilliant marketing and community-building tool, as it engages hundreds of content creators and their audiences (and it helps Magic fans discover new content creators). It’s a win-win-win situation for Magic, fans, and creators.

Hakua Shorts Last-Chance Offer

I thought this was a clever upsell tactic that I haven’t seen before. I bought a pair of running shorts from a company called Hakua. I completed the purchase, and then a few days later, I received an e-mail with the following message:

I can’t quite describe it, but I feel like I would be more inclined to accept an offer like this than an offer made at checkout. Perhaps it’s the urgency behind it? I think the one thing they could do better is to assure the customer that adding something won’t delay the existing order.

Stephen Curry Goodbye

The NBA finals were a few weeks ago, and I read something after the Golden State Warriors lost at home–their last game ever at that stadium–that seemed like an impressive display of leadership and compassion. This is from ESPN, but the original link to the article no longer works:

“[Stephen] Curry spent extra time packing up his locker before leaving. Then he stopped to say goodbye to every security guard, usher and custodian who worked there. Many of them won’t be working in the new arena in San Francisco next year.”

That’s the type of leader I aspire to be, especially in the most difficult moments (like after losing the most important game of the year).

Daggers Student Discount

A creator of a game called Daggers Highschool contacted me about an interesting strategy he attempted (but it didn’t work). The game was $49, but he also offered a discounted version ($42) to students. Oddly, no one backed at the student level.

Here’s what Jorge told me about it: “I think it possibly came across as too desperate, and that the students who were interested in my game were not as price sensitive as I thought.”

Novus Campaign Relaunch

After his initial project failed to fund, Wes Woodbury took time to lower his production costs (and the funding goal), add new content without increasing costs, and helping others. As a result, the Novus relaunch successfully funded within a few days of the relaunch. Wes discusses the details in a recent Funding the Dream podcast.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on these innovations and how they might apply to other companies, products, and projects!

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Leave a Comment

5 Comments on “5 Interesting Strategies in 5 Minutes

  1. Wes deserves every accolade mentioned. He gained ‘champions’ for Novus through his selflessness and also his technical expertise with Tabletop Simulator. I met Wes through my Kickstarter Collaborators Club FB page and then he reached out and offered to create a Tabletop Simulator playthrough of Empty Space for us, wanting nothing in return. With the time difference between the UK and US I know Wes was up to all hours of the night working hard and then messenging me the next morning too. When I say Wes got nothing in return, what he did get was yet another person to champion Novus, share posts, retweet tweets, get Novus on banners etc. etc. His hard work certainly paid off and he has got the outcome he deserves!

  2. Thanks for mentioning my relaunch efforts Jamie and Richard, it has been a journey of learning and adjustments trying to understand how best to approach self publication through Kickstarter! And Jason, you are right about Reddit (and many other social media avenues) as a way to share the game while getting feedback. For Reddit in particular I recieved many harsh criticisms on early card and box designs, and it truly helped me understand what drastic changes would be needed to appeal to a broader audience.
    The crowdfunding journey is not yet over, with 9 more days in the Novus campaign, then ensuring a timely completion of art and production afterwards. I look forward to that part of the game making process just as much as the origin designing! And I will most certainly be looking back at notes and comments from both Funding the Dream and Stonemaiers Kickstarter posts!

  3. Wes Woodbury, who relaunched his Novus campaign demonstrated several interesting strategies that caught my attention. In the beginning, during his initial campaign, he reached out for advice, even though he had done almost all that you would normally do before a KS campaign. But he openly solicited feedback on how he failed.

    This open and humble approach to be willing to subject yourself to criticism, and then follow the advice you received demonstrated a principal for many Kickstarter creators. Listen, learn, and implement what you learn.

    Wes has put in a tremendous amount of work and was still willing to learn and be taught by others. It was one of the key reasons I had him on the podcast, Funding the Dream, because his example of learning, growing, and then giving back to the community is something we can all learn from.

    1. I think part of what helped Wes’s Novus campaign is his use of Reddit. I missed his first launch, but became of his project through his looking for feedback through the r/tabletopgamedesign subreddit. I believe because he wasn’t just pushing his game in people’s faces but actually collaborating with the community, it effectively worked as a marketing technique as well as good for getting feedback.

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