The Secret is Out

There’s this concept online called crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is, in basic language, a group of people that buy into an another individual/company idea. I mean buy as in money and buy as in you like what they are selling. I actually can’t tell you how I got involved but believe me it had to be something I saw online that made me say “WoW’. I was working then though money was tight but what I saw made me say “ I gotta have this” the problem was my spouse who wasn’t my spouse but we were dating and living together. I knew the spending money on a watch was not going to fly. Yes, the first geeky item I pledged to was a watch. This watch connected to your phone and you got notifications. This was before smart watches were the rage. What I did was I first talked up the watch by saying how it could keep me from missing messages on my commute from New York to New Jersey. Well, that didn’t work so I did what I knew was fail proof; it was an early birthday present to myself. While I was wheeling and dealing with my spouse on this watch I went to my new found website of geek items and saw another watch. This time not only could I get notifications but talk into it. Dick Tracy here I come. Now, I’m talking about two watch well I only have one birthday so how could I get her to see things from my point of view. Nope, it wasn’t going to happen so I did the unthinkable and just kept my big mouth shut. The website that had grabbed my attention and had me not mentioning it was Kickstarter.

Kickstarter was started Apr 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler. The Kickstarter headquarters is located in New York City. Kickstarter is very user friendly site for the project owner and backer. Kickstarter responds to questions and problems about their site very quickly and you can respond to the project owner by clicking on the comments section or emailing him/her through the website. The comments area is also a place to interact, not only with the project owner, but with other backers during the course of the project.
Kickstarter has a global community of people from more than 220 countries and territories. Roughly 35% of successfully funded projects now come from outside the United States, as do 45% of backers. Together, these backers and creators use Kickstarter to reach across borders and shape culture into what they want it to be, rather than accepting it for what it is. And as ideas from different cultures collide with one another, they inspire new conversations, creative approaches, and cross-cultural connections.

Kickstarter Project Manager
I will discuss the technology area of Kickstarter; however, there are many types of project that you can back, such as films, music and books. The Kickstarter site enables people to discover and back as many projects as they believe will become a reality. When a person or groups of people decide to start a project on Kickstarter they must first build a project page, which includes a video with description explaining their project. The next step for the project owners is to provide information about their budget and a timeline from beginning to end of the project. The project owners then must decide what kind of rewards they will be offering such as a choice of item color or engraving the item with the project name and year. The rewards are given when the project funding reaches certain milestones. Project owners have to keep in mind that they pay for all offered rewards to backers. When project owners think about the funds necessary to bring their project to fruition they must consider everything because Kickstarter will not let their project become a reality if the funding goal is not met. A very important part of the project is promotion. A project needs active promotion because a project no one knows about will never get funded. Kickstarter’s fee is 5% with an additional 3 to 5% for processing payments. If they don’t meet their funding goal they owe nothing.

Kickstarter Backers
There are different tier amounts that a backer can pledge. When a backer pledges early there is usually a perk from the project owner as a way of thanking a backer for coming aboard early. The different pledge tiers not only tell you the item but an estimated month and year to receive the item. The shipping information will also be listed in each tier box along with any accessories that might be given. The project owner, once he/she has met the project funding level, will give their backers updates as the project develops through each stage. Backers like to know they’ve made a wise decision in backing a project and hate it when shipping has to be pushed back time after time. My experience with Kickstarter is that projects are always pushed back for different reasons. The project owners try to give realistic shipping estimates but a project of this magnitude is new to many of them and they are not prepared for the problems that arise. You the backer have to be aware that there are scam artist that will go through the motions of creating a project but once funding is met and they receive their money you never hear from them again. There is really no recourse for backers when a project owner takes the money and doesn’t fulfil his part of the deal. Kickstarter backing is partially about being first to get an item that no one might know about or even envisioned. As I stated not all projects make it to the backers. Example of this was a watch that I pledged for my daughter it was supposed to be the thinnest watch out in 2013. The company wasn’t able to make the watch because they encountered to many hurdles they weren’t prepared for. I recently received this letter informing us they after liquidating all their assets there was no money to give to backers.

Some might think this is throwing away money because these projects aren’t cheap and if a project fails you can’t get your money back. I think of it like this its no risker than the lottery or going to the casino. You never know when you’ll hit the jackpot. There is a certain rush you get as the months go by waiting for your reward to make it from project manger vision to you. The next blog I’ll talk about my other secret website and tie it all together to Unique Things.

Author: Unique Things

Retired with dogs is not at all what you would expect. I retired from DoD about 18 months ago. My spouse and I married a year ago and just had our first anniversary. We have two dogs that have honk they are not dogs but rulers of us. Read my blogs to see why I sometimes wish I was still working.

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