PART II: Get Shorty – Moving Forward with a Crowdfunding Platform
IndieGoGo was the clear choice for our Crowdfunding campaign. I chose flexible funding so that we would get to keep whatever funds we raised. And I was prepared to build whatever app we could afford based on the raise.
Interestingly, last year – well before this situation was even developing – I had been thinking about shorty crowdfunding campaigns of 4-5 days. I had noticed that in all my crowdfunding efforts, the vast majority of the funds came in either at the beginning or at the ending. Despite considerable promotional efforts during the long middle of the campaigns, there was muted response from our constituencies and seemed to have a very low bang for the buck.
I came to believe that their is something special about the timing in which people contribute to a crowdfunding campaign. In other words, when people contribute, it gives them an emotional payoff.
At the beginning, contributors feel like they are an early adopter, one of the first to enable if not “jump-start” something they’d like to see in the world.
The ending of the campaign is the most active time for a number of reasons. Contributors jump into be part of the success and they can viscerally see how their individual contribution – no matter how small – and their sharing helps the campaign reach its goal. It’s a new exciting part of their generally mundane lives. And besides many people tend to do things at the last minute anyway. Last minute contributions seem to be the crowdfunding equivalent to being fashionably late for a party.
Shorties are great because they are all beginning and ending – when it’s not beginning, it’s ending.
I set our campaign to 5 days. We would promote the first two days as the beginning of the campaign and the last three days as the ending of the campaign. No wasted middle time. But I didn’t know if it would work. After all, the large investment in promotion in the middle of longer campaigns could be the best set-up for the big finish. They say it often takes people many times seeing something for them to make a move. I was betting that the emotional payoff of contributing at the end was enough to prompt a contribution in of itself.
Nevertheless, regardless of what happened, I was planning to use IndieGoGo’s one-time extension, which would effectively give us a second ending. So my five day campaign was really a 7 day campaign comprised of a two-day launch, a three-day ending, followed by a second ending of two days. The intention was also to reach our goal so that we could activate IndieGoGo’s InDemand feature and continue taking in funds from latecomers.
Part III: Shorty Crowdfunding in Action
Dave Room, CEO. Dave’s most important identifier is Melia’s Papa. His tween-age daughter Melia is his motivation and inspiration. Since receiving a B.S. and M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University, Room has worked on the innovative edge of a number of emergent fields including yield management, life cycle costing, environmental performance measurement, intranet development, ecommerce software and renewable energy. In the process, he had leadership roles in several tech startups and a non profit he co-founded called Bay Localize. With the intention to uplift tens of millions of children worldwide, Room co-founded BALANCE Edutainment, co-authored Pacha’s Pajamas: A Story Written By Nature and executive produced the nine-award winning companion album. Dave is a SoulCollage® Facilitator and a Green For All fellow. Check out his life learnings and musings at MeliasPapa.com. Twitter: @meliaspapa.