October 28, 2011

Crowdfunding and You

Usually a single person’s buying preferences mean little in the grand sweep of a product roll-out. This doesn’t stop us from ascribing our desires to large numbers of other people when we wish an item was priced differently or had some other suite of features.

Crowdfunding changes all that. It allows a single person, by financing a goodly chunk of a project’s expenses, to become a significant portion of its market. Though no one thinks of it in this way, that’s one of the movement’s primary appeals: it ushers you into a realm of statistical significance. For once, your anecdotal data about your own purchasing history is relevant!

Simon Rogers and I are currently mulling the various perks we might offer as we crowdfund Hillfolk, the first DramaSystem game. With that in mind, I thought I’d pick the brains of those of you who have contributed to crowd-funded projects.

My assumption is that most people who contribute do so because they want a copy of the product being offered, and want to feel that they’re helping to bring it into existence. According to this thoroughly uncontroversial theory, the most compelling perk would obviously be the book itself, in both a modest and a premium version. Being credited in the book and elsewhere as a funder, I am also assuming, is another key incentive.

Aside from these central pillars of crowdfunding, are there other perks you’ve found particularly enticing? Conversely, what perks arouse your indifference? Are there perks that once inspired you to pledge, but have since paled in your estimation?

I’m not going to shoot you with my comment gun if you’ve put up a project for crowdfunding and have insights to share about the process. However, I am hoping for discussion primarily led by pledgers, past and future.

1 comment:

  1. I have pledged and continue to pledge for a variety of projects, mostly books, RPGs, and machine tools (truly). All such projects permit me to evoke otherwise non-existent things, as you assumed. E.g., I'd pledge for KoDP on Android.

    I find credit uncompelling and "premium" versions irrelevant. Neither motivate me to pledge.

    In the case of books or games, I want a high-quality electronic copy as soon as possible. A hard copy only matters to me for its resale value. In the case of machine tools, I want a set of plans, a pre-order slot, and a discount on the final product.