Kickstarter, with its “all or nothing” funding scheme, reduces risks for
both creators and backers. For a project like “Lunatics!”, this makes it a
lot safer bet. This protects early backers financially — if we don’t make it,
you’ve lost nothing. And the money doesn’t come out until the end when
we know the campaign has succeeded (or doesn’t because it hasn’t). We
really need “inside” support from those of you already following “Lunatics!”
if we’re going to encourage the “outside” support from new people we communicate with.
Normally, when somebody asks you for money for a project, you have to
think about whether they’re going to raise enough money or not. If they
don’t raise enough, then the money you put in will simply be wasted —
without the rest of it, they won’t be able to deliver on the project.
So, people are not just evaluating whether the money is worthwhile
alongside the money of many other people, but also what the odds are
that those other people will also join in — it’s a gamble. And as the
project gets bigger, it’s a bigger gamble.
One of the things that Kickstarter does is to eliminate at least the
financial side of that gamble — if the goal isn’t raised, then you pay
nothing, so there’s no waste.
This is also good from the creators’ point of view — because we
won’t be in the situation of having promised something expensive and
complex to deliver, with insufficient funds to achieve it. If there’s
simply not enough interest in “Lunatics!” to back it, then we will be
able to close shop in good conscience. We can shut down the site,
announce that we’ve failed, and go on with our lives. We at least won’t
have debts we can’t pay back.
That’s also why Kickstarter funds don’t come out of the backers’ bank
accounts until the campaign is over — when we know whether the
campaign succeeded or not.
Why we need early support from insiders like you
I’m posting this, because Kickstarter is still pretty new, and people
still have a tendency to want to “pick a winner” and thus get scared
off of projects that have not gotten a whole lot of momentum yet. And
that can mean that a project with a relatively high goal like our “Lunatics!” Production Kickstarter
has a hard time building that momentum — everyone is waiting for
everyone else to act. Kickstarter is designed to help break that ice by
making it lower risk to be an early adopter.
In some ways, our goal of $42,000 to finish “Lunatics!” is awfully high. I just saw a
crowd-funding pundit cautioning against setting goals that are “just too
darned high”, claiming that it’s a big mistake not to fund at
least 30% of your campaign “from friends and family”. Well, that’s nice
in theory. But $42,000 is really what this is going to cost (or rather
$25,000 is, plus the fulfillment and overhead costs for a Kickstarter), we
REALLY cannot make it for less than that. If we don’t raise that money, I’m
going to have to make the hard decision of shutting down the project and
calling it a failure.
And unfortunately, I don’t know a lot of wealthy people, so it’s not
feasible to raise $12,600 (30% of $42,000) just from family and close
friends. We personally put about $3500 into “Lunatics!” production costs
over the last year, directly out of pocket. And there’s not any more
where that came from — truth be told, we couldn’t afford to spend that
So, if we’re going to get there, our “friends and family” backers have to be you
— the people who follow the “Lunatics!” project already. Personally I’m thinking that if we could raise just
10% — $4200 — from insiders like you who are already following our
project and have some interest in seeing it succeed, then we would be
able to raise the other 90% from “outside” backers who are just
discovering the project.
And, hey, if I’m wrong about that, you won’t even have to pay it.
I’m posting this here, because it’s mostly from the people already
following “Lunatics!” that we’re going to have to get our early support,
if this project is ever going to happen. People who are just
discovering us are naturally going to be more cautious and
less-involved. They’re just not going to risk it unless they see that
someone else has already gone before them (even though the financial
risk is actually nil — because they’re just not going to think it
through like that).
So, I’m asking you all: Please; if you want this project to
succeed; if you want to see a free-culture paradigm for film and video
production; if you want to see artists getting paid directly for
releasing work onto the web for free; if you want to see real
science-fiction about space and lunar settlement; if you want a more
honest depiction of space pioneers; if you want to see this vision
realized; then please support us now when it really counts.
We really need that leverage now in order to make it.