The Domino Project is a new way to think about publishing. Founded by Seth Godin and powered by Amazon, we're trying to change the way books are built, sold and spread. Find out more about our mission here.

Subscribers get free updates, alerts about seriously discounted pre-orders and our eternal gratitude.

Voting for a winner

July 19, 2012
by seth godin

Subscribe to our free email newsletter. We'll update you once or twice a week, and we'll never rent or sell your email address to anyone. Thanks.

The single most fascinating Kickstarter stat is this:

The odds of succeeding with your campaign are ten times higher once you reach about half of your goal.

While this is somewhat self-fulfilling (only popular campaigns get that far anyway), it actually points to an irrational part of human nature: we don’t want to back a loser.

Irrational because it costs nothing to pledge to a campaign that doesn’t meet its goal, any more than it costs anything to vote for a political candidate who loses.

The cost isn’t money–the cost is heartbreak. Once you’ve committed, cognitive dissonance gets louder, and if a campaign ultimately doesn’t work, it hurts.

Two lessons:
1. It’s important to create inevitability around the projects you launch, wherever you launch them.
and
2. One way to appear inevitable is to set a lower minimum threshold for success. Setting a huge number feels bold and even macho, but it’s clear that your fans would prefer to pile on after you’ve reached your goal, not sweat or be begged to be sure you reach it in the first place.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter. We'll update you once or twice a week,
and we'll never rent or sell your email address to anyone. Thanks.