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Dave Blazek

Well said, Mike. And a great gag from Wiley to boot.

Brian Fies

I notice I've been responding to a lot of your posts lately. Hope you don't mind.

I've funded some Kickstarters, but for a slightly different reason than yours. I fund people more than projects; that is, I'll support the work of a friend even if I wouldn't necessarily buy their book (or whatever) if I saw it in a store. I know some creative types who are wonderful people doing work I don't really care for whom I'll toss $25 because I'd like to help them succeed (I also support creative types whose work I'm crazy about, and if any of my supportees read this I'm sure you're in the latter group).

I can also foresee a Kickstarter backlash looming. First, it feels to me like the market's a bit saturated, like an Amway territory that's been tapped out. Second, some Kickstarter campaigns will fail to deliver, tainting them all. It's all new and exciting now, but soon deadlines will pass, promises will be broken, and supporters disappointed. As I think about it, NONE of the Kickstarter projects I've backed has yet produced a single tangible result, and some of them go way back. Personally, I regard them as charitable donations that may or may not pay off, but someone who's actually expecting to get something for their $25 or $50 is gonna be mad.

It's interesting. I've sat a table with cartoonists where one enthused that Kickstarter was his new business model, a second sitting next to him said he could never beg for money like that, and a third was completely mystified why anyone would ever start a Kickstarter campaign or fund one. It's a brave new world. Folks are just trying to figure out what works.

Mike Peterson

Brian, I only have one Kickstarter project still out there that I wonder about, and it's so ambitious and well-funded that I think it will eventually happen. The others aren't overdue yet.

But you're right about the potential for burnout, and my point about passing around the same $20 bill is also pertinent in terms of making Kickstarter your "new business model."

It's not a business model. It's seed money.

I'm fine with the idea of using Kickstarter to allow you to take your career a new direction, as opposed to simply raising enough money to complete a specific project.

But you can't come back to the trough again for that kind of funding. If you get a year's support, well, you've got a year to figure out how to make your new cunning plan self-sustaining.

Oh, and comment as often as you like -- it's how I know someone is out there. (Those of you in the more expensive seats, just rattle your jewelry.)

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