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Happy Accident: Zero Hour

by Ryan Ward October 11, 2016 2 min read

Vanacci in the workshop

It went pretty well straight out of the gate. We hit our £1,000 target in the first fifteen minutes. We knew we were onto something now. All the pre-build is pretty much conjecture, especially for a totally new product and we wouldn’t expect everybody who signed up to actually back us.

But a lot did. A lot.

This was our fourth campaign. We definitely didn’t know what we were doing way back in September 2014 but now we are seasoned Kickstarter veterans. We’d seen failure in a previous enterprise in the summer of 2014 so we were apprehensive about going back to Kickstarter. But back in 2014, if it didn’t work, we would have no jobs at all. It had to work.

Now in 2016, we can gear up to a Kickstarter campaign in a matter of weeks if need be, mobilising quickly and efficiently (I make it sound like warfare and it is a battle in many respects), hopefully to victory.

One of the first things to deal with is messages. On balance, I find we get more messages than comments. Before anything else, thank people. Send each backer a message saying thank you. They’ve taken a risk with you and deserve at least a thank you from the outset. Even though Kickstarter isn’t a store, it’s still an exchange of currency for goods or services down the line. Your backers are your life’s blood and deserve to be thanked for their commitment.

This is the what you want your relationship with backers to look like

Messages and comments are where most questions will come from. One of your biggest tests will be your willingness to bend and possibly change for your backers. Can you make a larger version or can it be made of this material and so on. If you’re getting a lot of these requests, and the change is feasible, it’s worth looking into. This is the validation of the idea, not necessarily the validation of the product or service.

We had a detailed FAQ section and posted updates covering various topics and comments in response but ultimately, people will most likely come straight to you. All the copy, images and materiel in the world won’t replace the confidence gained from a direct response.


Most of the time.

So all within the first day, we’d received over £8,000 in pledges from around the world and been inundated with questions, comments and messages of support. To say it had gone well is an understatement but Day One is not indicative of the whole campaign. You want to keep that momentum going across the entirety of the project, and that’s something that is difficult to do, especially as continued momentum means continued content creation, continued interaction and continued commitment to your backers.

Ryan Ward
Ryan Ward

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