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Unlocking the Secrets of Kickstarter Success: Lessons Learned and State-by-State Rankings

Have you ever come across a brilliant business idea or product but lacked the funding to bring it to life? Enter Kickstarter, the online funding platform that has helped thousands of entrepreneurs raise the capital needed to launch their businesses and products.

Since its inception in 2009, Kickstarter has become a vital resource for creative individuals and industries. In this article, we will explore successful Kickstarter campaigns and the factors that contributed to their triumph.

Enthusiastic Funder Fanbase

One of the primary factors that contribute to the success of Kickstarter campaigns is having a passionate and supportive fanbase. The Bragi headphones are an excellent example of this.

Bragi’s campaign aimed to design and deliver a wireless smart in-ear headphone that incorporates Bluetooth connectivity and an activity tracker. The campaign went on to exceed its funding goal by over 2000%, raising more than $3.4 million.

The success of Bragi’s headphones can be attributed to the significant market research done before launch and the grassroots support of its passionate fanbase.

The All-or-Nothing Funding Formula

Kickstarter has a unique all-or-nothing funding formula. This means that if the creator fails to raise the entire funding amount, the funds are not collected, and backers are not charged.

This policy has reduced the risk for backers, and it has been successful in making Kickstarter a viable platform for entrepreneurs. InXile Entertainment is one of the many successful Kickstarter campaigns which made use of the all-or-nothing formula.

They developed role-playing video games and launched a Kickstarter campaign that aimed to raise $900,000 for their latest project. InXile’s campaign went on to exceed its goal by more than 400%, raising over $4 million.

Valuable Customer Communications

Another essential factor that contributes to Kickstarter success is direct creator-to-customer communication. Peak Design is a company that has mastered this technique.

They produce camera-carrying products and have had multiple successful Kickstarter campaigns. Peak Design has engaged with their customers and contributors through well-crafted emails that keep the customers informed of their progress and plans.

This tactic has allowed Peak Design to create a loyal fanbase of contributors who are thrilled to continue supporting their business and their excellent products.

Creative Freedom for Creators

Kickstarter’s approach allows creators to have self-determined projects and exacting backer expectations. This approach is crucial and ensures that the project remains true to the creator’s vision, avoiding outside influences and disruptions.

Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 board game campaign is a great example of this. The campaign succeeded in raising over $12 million, which was nearly four times their original $100,000 target.

Kingdom Death’s campaign was successful because the creator was free to create a cooperative board game aimed at a mature audience with original artwork, and unique gameplay mechanics.

Cost-Effective Way to Launch a Business

Kickstarter provides an affordable fundraising option and grassroots support, making it an excellent platform for launching new businesses. M3D is one of many successful Kickstarter campaigns that employed this tactic.

M3D produces a consumer 3D printer that is both affordable and available for purchase online. M3D raised over $3.4 million, which enabled them to develop and release their printer.

Today, M3D is a thriving business that has kept its supporters in the loop about its latest product offerings and developments. Kickstarter campaigns can be a game-changer for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Successful campaigns are built on a passionate and supportive fanbase, the all-or-nothing funding policy, valuable customer communications, creative freedom for creators, and cost-effective ways to launch a business. Kickstarter has long been a vital resource for innovators and has proven to be a platform that has helped bring countless creative ideas to life through the power of grassroots support.

3) Top Kickstarter Fundraisers

Since its inception in 2009, Kickstarter has been the launchpad for many successful products and businesses. The platform has helped entrepreneurs raise funds from a global community, allowing them to bring innovative ideas to the market, which may have otherwise never made it past the conceptual stage.

In this section, we will explore the top Kickstarter Fundraisers, including what made them successful, their features, company growth, and any potential acquisition or buyout offers they may have received.

Total Funds Raised on Kickstarter

Some of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns to date have raised tens of millions of dollars from their backers. Pebble Time – Awesome Smartwatch raised over $20 million during their campaign to launch their smartwatch product.

The Pebble Time had numerous unique features, including a ten-day battery life, water resistance up to 30 meters, and compatibility with both Android and iOS devices. The success of Pebble Time’s Kickstarter campaign can be attributed to its loyal and passionate fanbase that was eagerly waiting for the smartwatch.

Product Descriptions and Features

Many of the top Kickstarter fundraisers are characterized by their technological advancements, innovation, and unique design. Zano, a micro-drone company, raised over 2.3 million to develop a drone that snaps photos and videos during flights.

The drone was small and lightweight, making it easy to carry around and travel with. The drone included advanced features such as GPS tracking, obstacle avoidance, and hover and follow modes.

Another standout Kickstarter campaign was the Exploding Kittens card game. The game raised over $8.7 million in crowdfunding, thanks to its hilarious cat-themed cards and the community support created around the game.

Company Evolution and Growth

Many of the top Kickstarter-funded companies have had multiple successful campaigns on the platform, leading to growth and evolution. One such example is the Ouya video game console, which raised over $8.5 million to build a new type of gaming console.

The console was highly innovative, featuring an open-source operating system, allowing developers to create new games on the platform. Since its launch, Ouya has had significant growth, with the company creating partnerships with streaming platforms like Twitch and licensing game titles from major developers.

Acquisitions and Buyout Offers

Some Kickstarter-funded projects and businesses have experienced buyout offers or acquisitions from larger companies after a successful campaign. Oculus, a virtual reality headset company, raised over $2.4 million through Kickstarter before a buyout by Facebook for $2 billion.

A similar story involves smartwatch manufacturer, Pebble, which received multiple buyout offers, eventually selling their company to Fitbit. The perceived value of the brand and the proven community support provided by the successful Kickstarter campaigns was a significant factor in both buyouts.

4) Lessons Learned from Kickstarter

Kickstarter can be a unique platform for startups and entrepreneurs to launch their products, but it does come with some challenges and potential pitfalls. Below, we will explore some of the important lessons learned from successful Kickstarter campaigns.

Value of Passionate Customer Base

One of the most valuable aspects to learn from successful Kickstarter campaigns, is the importance of creating a passionate and supportive customer base. The support from early backers and the word-of-mouth advertising generated from excitement and anticipation can be what launches a campaign into success.

These initial supporters will not only aid in funding the project, but also in future marketing and promotional efforts, creating a potentially long-lasting customer relationship.

Importance of Clear Communication

Clarity and transparency of communication with backers is another essential lesson from Kickstarter campaigns. From fulfilling obligations to providing updates and resolving customer issues, good communication is key to establishing trust and maintaining robust customer relations.

Need for Realistic Funding Goals

A realistic fundraising goal is another essential component of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Accurately assessing development and production costs, setting achievable targets, and meeting backer expectations can make the difference between a successful campaign and one that falls short.

Honesty in funding expectations is what creates a sense of authenticity and trust between the campaign creator and the backers.

Benefit of Failure and Learning from Mistakes

Finally, it is essential to consider that not all Kickstarter campaigns will succeed, and that failure is not the end. Creating a dialogue with customers and seeking feedback can provide valuable insight for product improvement and future campaign success.

Using feedback to pivot and adjust the product or approach can also improve future campaigns or new product launches.

5) State-by-State Business Rankings

Starting a new business is an exciting and challenging venture. Choosing the right location for your business can have a significant impact on its success.

State-by-state business rankings can help entrepreneurs to identify optimal locations for their new ventures, such as the best and worst states for new businesses, the advantages and disadvantages of each state, and the business-friendly policies and programs available.

Best and Worst States for New Businesses

According to the 2021 State Business Tax Climate Index by the Tax Foundation, the top five states for new businesses are Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Florida, and Montana. These states offer favorable business environments, with low taxes, low regulatory burdens, and growth potential.

On the other hand, the bottom five states for new businesses are New York, New Jersey, California, Vermont, and Connecticut. These states are less favorable for new businesses due to high taxes, strict regulations, and high cost of living.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each State

Each state has its unique advantages and disadvantages for new businesses. For instance, California, despite being in the bottom five states for new businesses, has access to capital and a highly skilled workforce.

However, business owners face regulatory burdens, high taxes, stiff competition, and a high cost of living. In contrast, Wyoming, which is the top state for new businesses, has low taxes, a low regulatory burden, and minimal competition.

However, small business owners face a lack of venture capital and a relatively small market size. Other states, such as Florida, Montana, Texas, and Nevada, offer significant tax incentives and a relatively low cost of living.

These states have fewer regulatory burdens than California and other states with strict regulations, making them much friendlier to new businesses.

Business-Friendly Policies and Programs

Each state offers various startup resources, incubator programs, and government initiatives to support new businesses. For example, Kansas’s Business Accelerator Program provides a variety of resources ranging from mentorship and coaching programs to pitch prep and investor introductions.

On the other hand, Colorado’s Innovation Accelerator Program provides one-year grants to entrepreneurs in early-stage technology companies, with the goal of supporting new businesses’ growth. Some states also offer tax incentives and regulatory relief to new businesses.

Texas, for example, has a Franchise Tax Deduction available to businesses that earn less than $1 million in revenue per year. This deduction allows business owners to deduct up to $1 million from their taxable income.

Another program, the Small Business Express Program in Connecticut, provides access to capital for entrepreneurs who meet specific criteria. The program offers loans, grants, and incentives to eligible business owners.

In summary, state-by-state business rankings provide valuable information for entrepreneurs looking to launch a new venture. Understanding the best and worst states for business, the advantages and disadvantages of each state, and the business-friendly policies and programs available can help entrepreneurs make informed decisions about their business’s location and potential for growth.

Entrepreneurship is an exciting journey, and the state where you choose to launch your business can have a significant impact on its success. Business rankings offer valuable information on the best and worst places to start a business, helpful incentives, access to capital, skilled workforce, regulatory burden, and more.

As an entrepreneur, taking advantage of every piece of information available can help you make informed decisions about your business location and potential for growth. Remember the key lessons, such as the value of communicating transparently with customers, realistic funding goals, the importance of passionate customer bases, and the benefits of learning from past mistakes for future success.

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