Last week, screenwriter and producer Rob Thomas broke records when his Kickstarter campaign to create Veronica Mars the Movie became the crowd funding site’s most successful film project to date, hitting its target of $2m within hours of going live.
Thomas’s campaign – complete with a Youtube skit featuring the TV show’s original actors soliciting pledges – shows no signs of slowing down. At the time of writing, it has racked up nearly $3.7m, and the project still has at least another three weeks to run.
It’s interesting that many of the most successful Kickstarter projects have not been ‘must have’ items, but have involved ‘experiences’ of some kind. This movie looks likely to be the site’s third or fourth most successful project ever, and several of the others in the top ten have been video games. The Pebble watch was an exception, but even that is very much about customisable user experience rather than just a gimmicky gadget – getting people excited about seeing just what a new piece of technology is capable of doing.
I’ll be interested to see whether people get just as excited about WeFunder, which aims to function in a similar way to Kickstarter, but for start-ups rather than one-off projects. As I understand it, at the moment only high-net-worth individuals will be able to invest through it, in keeping with regulations. But, as you may have read today, possible changes in legislation this year could open up a site such as WeFunder to allow the average Joe to invest in start-ups.
Thomas and actress Kristen Bell promised that their Kickstarter movie would get made if they reached the $2m mark – Warner Bros is already on board. Yet the fans keep donating. Maybe they just want the T-shirt. (At this point, *I* want the T-shirt.) Or maybe Thomas knows something every community – or crowd funding project – can learn from.
When you want something from someone, tap into their emotions.
To my mind, crowd funding is like building any community – you need to engage your audience, and hope that they’ll stick around long enough to be invested in what you’re doing and help you to achieve your ultimate goal.
Will a business proposition get people as enthused as they would be about a movie, and could it ever be enough to persuade anyone other than the hard-core investors to part with their money?
I hope for the budding entrepreneurs’ sake it will.
Intellect or emotion – share in a business, or shared experience: which would tempt you to invest your hard-earned cash?