19 February 2015 | 14 Comments
The answer is usually–but not always–no. No, you should not hire someone else to run your crowdfunding campaign for you.
It’s not a matter of ethics or my personal philosophy or anything like that. Rather, I believe that crowdfunding projects have the greatest chance of success if the crowdfunder is the same person as the creator.
I realized this a few years ago after Euphoria overfunded on Kickstarter. People started asking me to run their campaigns for them. I was flattered by the offer, but something held me back from doing so.
It took me a while to figure out what that something was. Then it hit me: Crowdfunding is largely about shared passion. The creator has a passion for the thing they’re trying to create, and their backers share that passion with them.
The most effective crowdfunding campaigns take that passion and escalate it during the project through backer engagement, polls, social media, etc.
You, the creator, are the most passionate person about your creation. Because of that, you are the best prospect to share that passion through crowdfunding.
You can’t hire passion.
You can hire help if you need it, especially if your project exceeds your wildest expectations. You can form partnerships so all the pressure isn’t on you. And you can seek volunteers among your biggest fans to represent you in times and places you cannot appear.
For the vast majority of projects, hiring someone to run the project while you sit back and do your thing is a mistake. I think it significantly decreases your chances of successfully funding or overfunding.
You might wonder how this relates to companies that use crowdfunding for products designed by others. Take Between Two Cities, our upcoming Kickstarter project. It’s designed by Ben Rosset and Matthew O’Malley…neither of those names are “Jamey Stegmaier.”
The thing is, Ben and Matthew didn’t hire me to run a crowdfunding project. Rather, I hired them. I signed the rights to their brilliant game because I felt as passionate about it as I feel about my own designs. It’s a game I wish I had designed.
That’s why I’ve spent the last 5 months developing the game with Ben and Matthew, balancing every little aspect of it and making sure every decision point in the game is interesting, fun, and intuitive. I’m personally invested in the project, and Stonemaier is financially invested in it.
On February 25, I’ll turn to Kickstarter to see if others share my passion for Between Two Cities. And sure, Ben and Matthew will be active in the comments, but I’ll be there too, as I really look forward to talking with people about the game and the various ideas they have for expansions (and for one element we’ve been saving for backer input).
Crowdfunding is a lot of work, but if you choose to go that route, I think you’ll find an immense amount of joy and satisfaction in it. Your chances of success will be the highest if you run the project and are very actively involved in it instead of hiring someone else.