I am going to focus on cool tech for this blog, again. I need a break from the world around me and tech has always been useful. One of my personal favorite sites, well actually two of my favorite sites, are Indiegogo and Kickstarter. In both cases, I like some things about the two websites, and I don’t like other things. One of the things I like about Kickstarter is the user interface after you’ve backed projects. I don’t like the post backing interact that Indiegogo has.
Why would I bring this up? Well in part to stay away from current events and other disturbing news. But also to point out the interesting difference the two largest crowdfunding systems have taken. There are other crowdfunding sites beyond the two I use, but they are currently the largest.
I’ve recommended some changes to both teams running the sites. So far they haven’t acknowledged them so I thought I would share them here. The first is the ability to like a project versus back a project. There are technology projects I back and then there are artistic projects that I sometimes back but sometimes just don’t have an interest in the topic. I would like, however, to be able to like them. I only share projects that I am personally backing on my Social Media feeds. That is a rule of mine having to do with if I am asking you to accept the risk (no project on either site is ever guaranteed) than I have to have already accepted the same risk.
So suggestion number for KS and IG, have a like button. A like button would allow people to show that they have seen and reviewed the project, liked it, but didn’t back it because it is not a project area they usually invest in or consider.
Second suggestion is having better communication between projects, users and between the managing sites. The reality of crowdfunding is optimism and hope. The fact of risk is that when people risk their money, they get angry. I always tell project creators that reach out to me (and many do) that they need to ignore the Sue Birds. A flock of Sue Birds will always appear the day after the projects first missed the deadline. Just like in the real world, in the world of crowdfunding dreams, people threaten to sue the minute something doesn’t go as planned. I call them Sue Birds. I would love to have the ability to remove the Sue Birds from any forum. Perhaps both KS and IG could implement a Sue Bird filter for the rest of us?
I have several more ideas, but I am keeping those to myself. For the most part, because I am trying to figure out a way to turn one of them into a campaign for future reference. In the past five years, more than 100 campaigns have reached out to me. I feel like I helped all 100, but in some cases, I was more of a conduit to other resources than I was a particular resource to help them. One of the things I have told all the campaigns was to step back and evaluate their TAM. (Total Addressable Market). Everyone, from massive companies to minor players always assumes that if they have created a blue ocean (limited or no competition) that they can control 100% of the market. The reality of laws in many Southeast, northeast, east and central Asian countries, North, Central or Southern American or the European Union or African countries is the reality of monopolies. Most places go after companies that have complete control of the market in their country.
No one gets 100% of the market. No matter how big the company is or how experienced they are in pushing products into the market, they get the smaller number, the total addressable market or TAM. I tell every company I work with at the KS/IG level to step back and fix their market estimate. You see the best you can do is much smaller than your ambition.
That said I have a great idea for a way to solve the problems that many KS and IG projects have. It is a simple method that solves the short and long term projects many crowdfunding projects have.. Hopefully, someone from KS or IG reads this and reaches out to me. I would be happy to share my idea with them. I will volunteer to help the first one that reaches out to me, gain the competitive advantage of being in a crowdfunding Blue Ocean.
Images today from my cellular phone collection