Kickstarter Potpourri: 4 Things in 4 Minutes

11 February 2019 | 10 Comments

I have a few quick links, videos, and Kickstarter innovations that I’ve been saving up, so I’ve consolidated them on today’s post with some commentary from me.

The Fallon Effect

I’ve heard a theory about the success of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that made me think of Kickstarter creators. The theory attributes the success of the show to “The Fallon Effect,” which is that because Jimmy Fallon looks like he’s having fun, you also feel like you’re having a good time when you’re watching the show.

If he/she is having fun, you’re having fun. My observation here is that I’m drawn to Kickstarter creators who look like they’re having fun (even though in reality they may be tired and deflated). I’m not necessarily suggesting that creators should fake their true emotions, but I think there’s something to be said for letting yourself have a good time when you’re interacting with backers through updates and live video. Your public persona has an impact on how backers feel about the project.

37 Kickstarter Page Elements That Build Trust

A few days ago, ComixLaunch released a long list of elements to consider for a Kickstarter project page to help establish and build trust. I don’t necessarily agree with all of the items they included, but here are a few of my favorites:

  • critic review comments
  • pictures of the entire creative team
  • example of finished artwork
  • shared project timeline (with contingency/buffer)
  • taking the “risks and challenges” section seriously

Can Game Night Save Humanity?

I was recently contacted by Spencer Harris, who was putting together a talk about board games at something called Think Summit 2019. He asked me why board games are booming and why people are drawn to tabletop games, and I shared my perspective with him. A lot of what I shared ended up in the talk, which I’ve embedded below (timestamped for the part of the talk containing my contribution):

Mechanica Handwritten Note

It’s exceptionally rare that I receive a handwritten note in the mail, and when I do, it’s typically from my parents. So you can imagine my surprise when I received a handwritten letter from the creator of a Kickstarter project I backed in 2017–a project for which I had received the reward quite some time ago.

I don’t know how many of these Mary sent out, but I love that she took the time to actually write out a note to some backers of a past project to encourage them to look at her current project, Mechanica. If a local friend hadn’t already backed the game, it would have jumped to the top of my list.

I think this is an interesting strategy to consider for repeat creators, especially if you can identify some influencers among your original backers. I was really touched by the gesture, and the handwritten element of it made the letter personal without being pushy.

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Have you seen, read, or heard anything interesting about Kickstarter or entrepreneurship recently that piqued your interest? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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10 Comments on “Kickstarter Potpourri: 4 Things in 4 Minutes

  1. Another awesome article, I think I agree with everything on there.

    I like the letter idea especially, I have thought about writing a letter to all my backers for my first KS project if it is able to fund, but hadn’t thought about the angle of writing to past backers.

    Also that was a great speach by Spencer! Especially since you can see our Seattle game community at the 21:50 mark (Im just barely in the picture at the bottom left) but we are truly fortunate to have the community we have here in Seattle.

    Any time you want a change of scenery our community would welcome you with open arms

  2. Nice piece here, Jamey. I watched Spencer Harris’ presentation; the points he makes certainly resonate with me, and being in the same place interacting over a game is maybe my wife’s favorite aspect of this hobby.

      1. Jamey, you describe me so well: “an introvert who enjoys the more structured interactions that tabletop games provide”. And, I might add, one who values the friendships that can develop from the initial structured interactions.

  3. First of all Spencer Harris is pretty much the best. And the con in Springfield, MO that he mentioned Moon City Con (Of which I am a founder) will be launching their Kickstarter to fund the 2019 con tommorow, Feb 12th at 12:00pm central! We’re very excited to do it again this year and want to thank you Jamey for supporting is last year with play and win games! I humbly invite everyone to search for Moon City Con on KS tommorow and help us make SW Missouri the next board game hot spot!

  4. This is a question rather than an addition.

    I’ve seen reviews of a number of companies that fulfill Kickstarter backer rewards; but what about companies that handle the entire Kickstarter logistics—video creation, Kickstarter site presentation, etc., with the product creator providing updates and responding to comments.
    Are there any such, or would that run too much against the creator kIckstarter graIn? If so, any reviews?

  5. On the first Kickstarter I launched, I promised a handwritten note to all backers. A word of advice: do not underestimate how long it takes to actually write out a not.
    You want to make the note look and sound nice, and ideally customize it for each person. We only had about 100 backers, but it probably took, at best, 6-10 minutes per note. Which maybe doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s about 10 hours spent writing notes.

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