Don't Even Think About Kickstarter Until You Have A Minimum Viable Product

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]


    Honest transparent communication is critical. As other articles have pointed out in the past, the vetting of projects on KS is skint, and "Staff picks" aren't exact;y what they appear.
    I've been lucky enough to back some solid projects, and even forgave delays because of good comms.
    Caveat Emptor.

      I want so much to back sKarp, but their videos and proof of concepts raise more questions. Not least of which is "if it's a revolutionary razor, why do they all have beards (they have answered this, and explained the videos)
      There was also a great, cheap motor(bike) blackbox system, that as soon as it was funded sort of disappeared. Plenty of great successes on there, but also a few notable failures to be wary of.

      Last edited 12/10/15 12:45 pm

    Agreed. Plus you can get so much out of the MVP - will people be interested? How useful are the solutions? Can you trust the company that's building the MVP? (you learn a LOT about their methodology and work ethic if you're outsourcing) You don't only get the minimum product that can be the backbone of the project, you get the experience and knowledge.... etc:

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