11 April 2019 | 31 Comments
A few days ago I delivered some difficult news to a creator whose project was struggling to fund: At some point, I said, you might consider the possibility that people simply don’t want the product.
No creator wants to think about that or give up a product on which they’ve spent so much time, effort, and love. Fortunately, Kickstarter allows creators to relaunch projects, as sometimes it’s more about the campaign than the product itself.
Several years ago I wrote a post about rebooting projects after a first-time failure. However, I haven’t ever done a deep-dive analysis into campaigns that failed twice…until today.
Denny Weston is a Kickstarter creator who has tried three times to fund the Kingdoms Lawn Game. He didn’t reach his goal the first two times, but in his third attempt, he has successfully funded. Congrats, Denny!
I asked Denny if he’d like to hunt down some other projects that required 3 campaigns to successfully fund, and he put together the following chart:
Here are some patterns that Denny observed, compiled with some of my thoughts:
- Lower the Funding Goal: All these projects had their lowest funding goal on their third attempt, which increased the probability that they would quickly reach their goal. With its ~$5000 funding goal, the latest Kingdoms Lawn project funded in the first 24 hours, which inspires confidence in other backers who discover the live campaign. Also, lowering the goal often means that you decrease the number of backers you need, which can be particularly helpful when there’s a niche audience for your product.
- Remember Your Roots: A majority of the projects had the most backers on their third attempt. For the third Kingdoms Lawn campaign, Denny partnered with a wooden games company (Et Games) out of London, England to produce and sell the game. Denny informed his previous backers know of a potential partnership and third launch seven months in advance. That engagement showed his original backers that he was still working on a way to bring the game to life for them, and many of them brought their support to the project on launch day.
- Reduce the Price (or Not): For Kingdoms Lawn, Denny identified that the original price was simply too high. Starting with the second campaign, he cut the price almost in half by re-designing the components to fit a friendly consumer budget. However, the majority of the other projects featured above kept the same or similar price point for the product during all three of their campaigns. This is a good indication that the reason for the first two failed attempts had little/or nothing to do with price (this is contrary to what both Denny and Jamey would have thought).
I would say that if your project still doesn’t fund after three iterations, that’s a glaring sign that not enough people want the product. It’s tough to cut your losses and move on, but sometimes that’s the best thing to do. I’m glad that wasn’t the case for Denny’s third attempt at Kingdoms Lawn Game.
Have you seen other projects successfully fund on the third attempt? What did they do differently to make it work that time? When can a creator know that it’s just not going to work out? One other example is in this older guest post.
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