Mission Statement

There comes a point in every project that wants to be successful where you decide to stop “winging it” and try to codify what you’re doing.  Be it the business plan that every small business is supposed to come up with, the outline for whatever book you’re writing, or even the storyboard for a film you want to set it all down in writing of some kind so you can figure out where you want to go and why.  This is my document about what I’m doing with Kickstarter Conversations and why.  

Who are you doing this for?

I’m honest with myself, I know I do this for me in a lot of ways.  I’ve got an ego and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I want to be the one folks think of when they think “Kickstarter project.”  I want folks who have questions about crowdfunding to think of me.  When a podcast or a youtube video is made that mentions Kickstarter I want it to trigger the word “conversations” right afterwards in their mind.  

Feeding my ego is only a bit of the puzzle though, because the people who directly benefit from my activities should be the creators themselves.  Those who put themselves and their products out there deserve all the attention and help they can get because they’re doing what most of us can and will not do.  They’re going for it!  That simple act of taking a step into a new area, the art of bringing something from nothing, the joy of creation, all of that is beyond many of us in our normal lives that it should be celebrated, shared, and enjoyed by everyone.  The creator is what makes this world great and I want them to know they’re apreciated.

Finally I do this for my family.  What father doesn’t want to be a great role model for his children?  What husband doesn’t want to be successful in his chosen endeavors in the eyes of his wife? I take time out of my family life to do this with the full knowledge that I must succeed to make their sacrifice of a part of me worth it.  All of the phone calls, web conferences, emails, and writing that I do when I could be playing with them must be worth it in the end.  So I can’t screw it up now can I?

What are you doing?  

The title “Kickstarter Conversations” should fully bring to mind what I’m doing, and as such I have to provide the content that fits that concept.  I will talk about Kickstarter and crowdfunding not only with creators, but with the audience directly.  As successful as Kickstarter has become it is nowhere near as well known as it could be.  They are always bringing in new people who honestly don’t know what they’ve discovered and I want to help talk to them and others about the joys and perils of Kickstarter.

Interviews will continue to be a mainstay of Kickstarter Conversations.  Allowing creators to talk about and defend their own projects in their own voice is a key part of the Kickstarter experience.  I wish to be a tough but fair interviewer, while I may slip into softball territory now and then I don’t want folks thinking I let any obvious problems of a Kickstarter get past me.  An integrity in the questions asked as well as allowing the interviewee answer however they like is a key part of my interview strategy.  I wish to avoid misrepresenting those who talk to me as much as possible so that there is a pool of trust concerning my work.  

The next kind of article is the Kickstarter Review article.  These are a highly critical style of article based solely on the Kickstarter’s actual campaign.  Since campaigns are public requests for money I think there’s a valid need for honest reviews of those campaigns.  Reviews will cover everything from the quality of what is being offered to the polish of the campaign itself.  These are probably the “meanest” things I can do as they will point out what creators probably already know they’ve failed at.  Which brings up the why I do it, to force creators to do better!  

This leads into the idea of doing videos and articles on Kickstarter practices and pitfalls.These articles and videos will discuss what is going on in the Kickstarter community, what seems to be working and what’s not.  How to properly prepare for every phase of a Kickstarter and what folks can do to not make a poorly reviewed or received campaign.  This is the final key part of the conversation that I want people to come to Kickstarter Conversations for, the “inside scoop” as it were into what makes Kickstarter work and fail.  

Where are you going with this?  

The glib answer is, “wherever it takes me.”  Honestly though that is a fair answer.  

If I could just snap my fingers Kickstarter Conversations would be the Kotaku or Ars Technica of the Kickstarter World.  A central place where folks would discuss every aspect of crowdfunding from product design, to campaign preparation, to fulfillment and everything in between.  We would be the place everyone thinks of first and foremost when it comes to Kickstarter.  

I’m nowhere near there, but then again how did any other site become what they are but to keep trying?  

Why should we believe or care about your work?  

I want people to not only believe in my work, but in the work of the Kickstarter creators.  To do that I need to set-up a list of standards for my work that people know about and can believe in.  So here goes:

1.  I will do everything I can to ensure the creators get to speak “in their own voice” and without inserting myself into their projects.  
2.  When I am critical of a project I will explain why I am critical.  Just hearing “your project sucks” doesn’t help, but “your project is missing these elements that make up a successful Kickstarter” does.  
3.  I will hold Kickstarter creators accountable.  Just because you have a pretty video and a cool sounding project that I’m interested in doesn’t mean they should get a pass on unrealistic deadlines, bad editing, and poor communication.
4.   My work should add to the Kickstarter Community and not detract from it.  
5.   Money is a central part of the crowdfunding ideal. As such this is all serious business and should be treated as a business.  

In the end...

It all comes down to the community.  The conversations should always include and think of what works for the community.  Educating, expanding, and illuminating the audience are how Kickstarter Conversations will become the site I want it to be.