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Author’s wishlist for Kickstarter

June 23, 2012
by seth godin

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Having had a ball using Kickstarter, I couldn’t help but notice ways I’d like to improve it. Here are my top tweaks:

  1. Allow backers to get more than one reward. Right now, you need to open two accounts to fund two rewards. This is silly and helps no one.
  2. Allow organizers to load balance after the project launches. If there are 250 things in this reward and 100 in that one and the first is close to selling out, let me move some of them around. Again, it hurts no one and just makes sense.
  3. Allow creators to end a campaign early. If it’s doing really poorly (or doing really well) and you’ve learned your lesson or made your point, what’s the harm in saying, “okay, we’re done here”? In my case, since I limited the rewards, that’s sort of happening automatically.
  4. Allow the organizer to decide which metric will be most prominently displayed. It might be audience members found, profit made, revenue (which is the key number now) or even units to be distributed. People maximize the most popular metrics, so picking what’s focused on matters a lot.
  5. Don’t require that the rewards be listed in ascending financial order. Let the organizer list them in priority order instead, from best first…
  6. Offer a simple way to mark items where international shipping will cost extra, and have it automatically added based on the location of the backer.
  7. Make it easy for an organizer to show one page to a new visitor and a different page to a return visitor. This is easy technically and totally worth it for a platform like this.
  8. [updated a few months later with even more serious concerns] The fact that there’s no way to easily handle overseas shipping charges is an urgent pitfall that anyone who offers this service ought to be aware of (#6). In order to offer everyone a consistent deal on my Kickstarter, I ended up investing $100,000 in unrecouped shipping costs.
  9. The survey process is truly broken. With multiple levels, if someone submits survey data later than you expect, you have to redownload every single level in order to get the latest data. In addition, there’s no cutoff, ever, into the next millenium.
  10. Messaging is untrackable and unverifiable. For larger campaigns, this, combined with #9 can be logistically overwhelming.

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