What your first crowdfunding fail will teach you… (and it will teach you alot!)

Your first project will usually fail. But failure is a great teacher. So what will you learn?

1.It’s hard. Harder than you first thought, probably harder than you think now, even. And it doesn’t end either. The dust settles and you realize that it’s gone nowhere. Your target was too ambitious, maybe you  misread the interest. You’ll realize that not all the pieces were there, and not all the calculations were correct. Crowdfunding projects need to be 95%+ perfect, you can’t leave anything out. Next time, you’ll be a perfectionist.

2. What people want, and what people say they want are not the same. In fact sometimes they seem to be at opposite ends of a spectrum. A good piece of economics to apply here is to think of money spent as a vote cast. The idea might be good, but maybe the presentation wasn’t sufficiently polished. A good question to ask is, what was missing? What could you have done better? Compare your project to others that have been funded and the quality differences become much clearer. Ideas are only valued when they become actionable, what people put their money on has to be actionable. Backed projects always look like they’re almost ready to be shipped out of the factory, they’re almost complete.

3. Not to take it personally. Business fails can feel like being jilted at the alter, so much of your own pride and identity is contained in the projects. It’s inevitable that there will be a feeling of failure, of disappointment, of time wasted. Write it down or confide in a close friend, get it out your system. As soon as that’s done you can rise again.

4. Make learning about crowdfunding your goal (not money, that will come later). Seen in hindsight things become clearer. My own attempt at crowdfunding a short story called Martian Seashells initially seemed promising. People that read it loved it. Of course, if I had read around I would have learnt that crowdfunding stories is very difficult, I couldn’t find a single example of anyone doing this successfully, either then or after. But I learnt a great deal from the project, so it was 100% successful.

5. People are attracted to enthusiasm. They don’t back the project, they back the project creators. Did you put enough of yourself in there? A good short video is essential for your project (everyone know’s that!), but were you in yours, and did you look passionate? Any nervousness can really kill it, you need to be confident.

6. The most important thing is not to give up, people do that far too easily… Successful crowdfunding is about the journey, not the destination. Successful projects are built out of the wreckage of failure. Think of Google, which was originally an algorithm that couldn’t be sold. The inventors had to implement it themselves. And now it’s a huge corporation. From failure comes success.

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