You may have toyed with the idea of launching a Kickstarter for your awesome idea or product, but for whatever reason, haven’t gone through with it yet. If you do have a few nagging concerns, then this tale of crowd-funding failure from software developer Ryan Brink might help address some of them.
Brink mentions a couple of obvious concepts — having a solid plan, proofreading your page (!) and being honest with backers, but it’s his first point that is perhaps the most critical — “Ideally, You Should Already Have a Minimum Viable Product”:
When Habitat launched on Kickstarter, it was not yet a viable product at any level … We had a lot of comments along the lines of Do you have any footage of the actual product working? No. We didn’t. We had bits and pieces of it working, but we hadn’t yet invested the time to bring them together as a product, minimum-viable or not.
It’s easy to put yourself in the shoes of a potential backer — kind of hard to get excited about a product that doesn’t exist.
On the other hand, if you’ve gone to the trouble of pouring your own capital and time to get things off the ground, that is going to build more confidence than a hyperbolic Kickstater pitch with computer-generated images.
Be sure to hit up Six Revisions for Brink’s full piece.
Lessons Learned from an Unsuccessful Kickstarter [Six Revisions]