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What Does the Veronica Mars Kickstarter Signify for Startups?
By: Ryan Stoldt
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Since the launch of the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter campaign and its incredible success, a lot of talk has gone around the digital world about how crowd-sourced funding is changing the way businesses will run in the future. While some TV junkies should maybe get their hopes up for repeat performances of the Veronica Mars backing (Firefly fans…), many startups are now looking to Kickstarter as a way of getting an initial investment for their organization. There is a lot to consider before jumping into a project.
Kickstarter launched in 2009. Since then, it has successfully funded over 37,000 projects and raised over $400 million. This is an extremely impressive number to most people, but one of the largest catches to Kickstarter is its all-or-nothing deal. If a campaign does not reach its desired goal, they receive none of the money pledged to their project. Because of this, Kickstarter projects only have a 44% success rate. For most start-ups, that is not good.
For the startups that truly believe they have a unique enough idea to land within the 44%, a couple of considerations need to occur.
First, who is your audience? According to Buzzfeed, 77% of the backers on Kickstarter are male. Additionally, the success seen in the Veronica Mars funding and others is happening because people are joining the site to specifically support an organization. Organizations are not regularly on the site fighting over funding by backers.
Secondly, why should people care? Many of the successful Kickstarter accounts have a large following before their campaigns even start. Therefore, they’re able to rely on their previous successes to ensure success in the campaign. Because of that, startups need to be very wary about what they’re going to provide to backers through the campaign. For example, Kickstarter is becoming a common source of funding for bands wanting to release new albums. Bands with large followings are offering rare demos, hand-written lyric sheets, and free albums after the album is released. For backers, this is great. They get to support a project they care about and receive additional benefits for helping to fund the project.
Finally, before a startup begins a gigantic campaign to reach backers, they need to make sure the project can be delivered. Every backer is ultimately an investor. While they may not see a return in profit for their initial investment, they still want to be happy with the outcome. If they aren’t, the brand’s reputation and support are on the line. And, as seen from many of the failed Kickstarters, support is everything.

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About the Author
Ryan Stoldt is a digital strategist with a B.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Wichita State University. Find him online here
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