20 ways to screw your Kickstarter game project

mistakes 3

One of the greatest things about being a successful entrepreneur is the humility to learn from my mistakes.  I hereby offer my fellow Kickstarter dreamers this wisdom:





20 ways to screw your Kickstarter game project

  1. Do set your fundraising goal to what you WANT to build your game, not what you NEED.
  2. Don’t line up any friends or family in advance to support your Kickstarter at launch.
  3. Do keep your Kickstarter secret until the day you launch to ‘surprise’ everyone!
  4. Do hire a Community Manager with no experience in video games and no personal passion for your project.
  5. Do your Kickstarter launch days after E3 so the media is sure to ignore you.
  6. Do have your Web marketing guy leave you hanging the day before your Kickstarter launch.
  7. Do have a critical family crisis the day of your Kickstarter launch.
  8. Do wait until a week after your Kickstarter is launched to get our press release out.
  9. Do take days to get back to interested media to schedule interviews.
  10. Do offend at least one special interest group.
  11. Do require a committee to sign off on every FAQ, press interaction, or comment you write.
  12. Don’t learn to use Twitter, it’s only for kids and celebrities!
  13. Don’t do your marketing or media plan until after launch.
  14. Don’t get your team and most avid fans talking about your project in the social media.
  15. Don’t think about how to widen your game’s audience until after launch.
  16. Don’t send out an update until at least a week after you launch, you are way too busy!
  17. Don’t do a Reddit AMA or otherwise reach out to the social networks to answer questions.
  18. Don’t reach out to your LinkedIn or address book to ask industry colleagues for help.
  19. Don’t contact local press and media, your project is boring.
  20. Do schedule yourself to be out of town for the final days of your Kickstarter.

That said, we did do several things well, so, in balance, I will offer 10 of those as well:

  1. Do communicate your passion and personal desire to build your game.
  2. Do create a professional, engaging, and compelling video.
  3. Do reach out to the fan community in advance.
  4. Do research and contribute to many other Kickstarters before you do your own.
  5. Do send out fan wallpaper and other goodies to get people excited about your project.
  6. Do respond to comments and posts on your Kickstarter page at least daily.
  7. Do come up with some exclusive and creative rewards for your VIPs.
  8. Do plan in advance with the media to have a respected blogger ‘break’ your announcement.
  9. Do get a celebrity or industry lead (Trip, in our case) to endorse your project.
  10. Do not give up if your first Kickstarter does not succeed!

This is not the end, only a lesson to be learned.  We look forward to applying our wisdom to another Kickstarter very soon!

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