Kickstarters: The Good and the Bad

Olivia Clifford  |

In the 2012 calendar year, there was a record 2,241,475 people who pledged a grand total of $319,786,629 for 18,109 successfully funded projects. Unfortunately with all the success stories that came out of Kickstarter, there was a significantly larger number of failures. For a Kickstarter to be considered a success depends less on its ability to get funded and more about if the product is delivered.

This holds true with Kickstarters such as E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android by Pebble Technology. Though this is the most funded Kickstarter to date with around 68,929 backers totaling $10,266,845 it is way behind in its delivery of the project and therefore still considered unsuccessful. Kickstarter’s 2012 report showed that only 25 percent of the projects on the website are delivered on time. Through there are many Kickstarters that are deemed unsuccessful due to their delay in productivity mostly fail due to a lack of funding. It’s typical when a Kickstarter fails, they fail big. 90 percent of Kickstarter’s fail because they fail to reach even 30 percent of their financial goal. It's not even usual for individuals who decide to start their own project to receive no backers or money at all. 

The most successful Kickstarters are unsurprisingly those in the hardware, software, gaming and product design fields respectively. Within these fields it’s been found that the most successful projects have not only met their financial aim, but surpassed it making around 10 times their original goal. There are many variables that all these projects have in common, but the one that linked to the most success was the PR that was done for the project.

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It was demonstrated that the more Facebook friends a projects creator has the higher chance they have at success. Its visibility on Facebook as well as being featured on the Kickstarter website were directly linked to the increased success of funding. It was found that projects were 89 percent more likely to get funded when advertised in the featured section of the Kickstarter homepage as opposed to the 30 percent success rate for those projects that weren’t. 

Three of the most notable and humorous Kickstarter flops of the 2012 year were projects that were so underfunded that they barley met 0.5 percent of their overall goal. Movie Moments was a project started by Eric Callisto had the goal to raise $75,000 to capture the hilarious moments of people’s reactions during scary movies. This Kickstarter failed on the basis of lack of funding, simply because there were 0 backers and no funding allocated to at all.

This was a similar story to Encounter TV’s project. Encounter TV began their Kickstarter with a $75,000 goal to be able to build and manufacture new studio equipment that will enable them to reach more teens/young adults with a relevant gospel message that has a supernatural element. This project like the one before it had no backer or funding at the end of its term on the website. 

Though there are many ideas and projects that are posted on the Kickstarter website each day that don’t make it in the long run, there are also many that become undoubtedly successful. OUYA and Obsidian Entertainment’s Kickstarter’s are prime examples of success. OUYA, which generated a project with the intention to raise $950,000 to generate a new type of gaming consul, was extremely successful. They were not only able to reach their goal, but by the time the funding was over they had raised a grand total of $8,596,474. This project that had a total of 63.416 backers had reached its overall funding goal within two months.

Another one of the most successful Kickstarter’s of the 2012-year was Project Eternity by Obsidian Entertainment. Like OUYA, Project Eternity was apart of the video game category in that they were trying to generate a new online fantasy world. They reached their fundraising goal of $1,100,000 in a mere 32 days and finished with a total of $3.968,929 given by 73,986 backers. 


DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


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