Lessons from the TikTok

by Suw on January 6, 2011

Bryce Roberts takes a look at why the TikTok and LunaTik multitouch watch kits were so phenomenally successful at raising money – $941,718 – on Kickstarter. Bryce boils it down to:

  • Strong personal story
  • Strong product story
  • Attractive rewards
  • Progress reports

He concludes:

I believe we’re moving away from the WalMart-ification of everything. People want a connection to the story of the things in their lives. Investors aren’t excluded. Neither are potential consumers of your physical or digital products. I’m certain the companies that are able to tell their stories in big, compelling ways have an unfair competitive advantage as fundraisers and as scalable businesses.

I can only strongly agree. I’d also add that it helps to have your product, whether that’s a watch or a book, as far down the line as you can before even starting to fundraise. The power of having photographs of prototypes is important to understand. Indeed, I think that the TikTok team would have found their idea much harder to sell without the photos and images, which do a lot of the heavy lifting for them.

From my own experience, I’ll add that it’s important not to start funding drives too early. TikTok have shown the importance of being able to show people what you’re doing, rather than tell them (adhering, possibly accidentally, to the old storytelling adage). If Argleton had been farther down the road before I started my fundraising drive, I would have had a much better story to tell about it, as well as more accurate costs on which to base my reward levels (I underestimated). Furthermore, I would have been able to finish the project up and get the rewards out to supporters much more quickly than I have.

As someone who has at least three more crowdfunding projects in mind for this year, I’m keen to find out more about what makes for a successful drive. I know I have a lot to learn, and i suspect we all do, about this new creative model.

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