To be misunderstood in your own lifetime doesn’t make you a failure
November 20, 2014 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Kickended is an archive of kickstarter projects that got 0 backers over the life of their campaigns. The Grauniad discusses it with the creator, Silvio Lorusso.

Note: the homepage redirects to a random project.
posted by Lemurrhea (26 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Nixstarter.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:30 AM on November 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Chocoltized Quotes barely missed getting on this.

I mean it barely chocolated getting on this.
posted by tittergrrl at 9:32 AM on November 20, 2014 [6 favorites]


I started to post this but couldn't hold back my snark on how self-evidently awful some of the projects were. This is a much better take. Thanks for this.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:33 AM on November 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


I loved looking through these when a friend sent the link last week. The unifying thread of all the projects I saw was that the actual finished product was very unclear.
posted by trunk muffins at 9:34 AM on November 20, 2014


As someone planning on launching a Kickstarter soon, my biggest fear is total failure-- missing my goal by so much that it might as well be zero. The market saying, "You're so bad at this you don't know how bad you are."

It's not the failing in itself that scares me, it's the idea of a Kickstarter page that says "Attention doubters: You were right."

I better add the "$1: Thanks mom!" reward tier to make sure I don't end up here.
posted by justkevin at 9:36 AM on November 20, 2014 [9 favorites]


tittergrrl: "Chocoltized Quotes barely missed getting on this. I mean it barely chocolated getting on this."

"Your kickstarter's not getting chocolate. I'm sorry."

"The chocolate has metastasized to your bone marrow. I'm sorry."

"Darren, I don't chocolate you any more. There's another man in my chocolate now. I'm sorry."
posted by boo_radley at 9:50 AM on November 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


To be misunderstood in your lifetime doesn't necessarily mean you're a misunderstood genius either. Could just be that you're an idiot/a-hole/egomaniac.
posted by ChuckRamone at 9:52 AM on November 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


From some cursory Googling, it looks like this dude has gone on to make at least two more badass custom upright basses. I wonder if his failure is part of the Kickstarter shift away from 'Help Me Do X' to 'Help Me Put X In Your Hands.'
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:57 AM on November 20, 2014


It's not the failing in itself that scares me, it's the idea of a Kickstarter page that says "Attention doubters: You were right."

I think that the previously-featured-on-MeFi "How To Win The Lottery" is something to take to heart.

Speaking as someone who just successfully ran a Kickstarter after having failed my first attempt earlier this year (at only ~30% funded), I get what you're saying. It's pretty stressful and scary to put that much of yourself out there, knowing that the reaction could just be: "no". But, for me at least, failure to launch wasn't nearly as bad as feeling like I'd never make it to the launchpad to begin with.

You can always learn from your mistakes, and try again.
posted by tocts at 10:23 AM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


The first result I got was a band looking to record their "highly anticipated" next album.

It does seem to mostly be creative works, as I load random campaigns, I get books, movies, albums.

And their goals are usually pretty modest. It strikes me as the opposite problem of Drop-Kicker, which is full of things that people want but are unrealistic.
posted by RobotHero at 10:43 AM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I gave up at the "Help me fund filming my quest to harass Tyler Perry into buying my script". His plan was apparently to film himself tracking down Tyler Perry unsolicited and drop a script on him, and then submit the results to film festivals and "shop" it to studios. Good luck, kid.

There were also a couple of bands trying to finance CD releases who didn't link to any music or anything, and also, if we're unknown we pretty much gotta give this stuff away these days, folks. And an author whose spelling and grammar in the write-up were so bad I'm not sure what he was trying to get across.

I'm sure there's some good ideas in there, but damn. Some of this is kinda depressing.
posted by Hoopo at 10:46 AM on November 20, 2014


As someone planning on launching a Kickstarter soon, my biggest fear is total failure-- missing my goal by so much that it might as well be zero. The market saying, "You're so bad at this you don't know how bad you are."

It seems to me that a lot of these duds are failures of marketing or proof of execution. The market is not determining the value or talents of these endeavors, the market is judging the professionalism and competency of the presentation.
posted by Think_Long at 10:47 AM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't know why the hell people didn't go for this one. I mean for a $25 pledge you get a trip to Italy!
posted by Naberius at 11:07 AM on November 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


robocop is bleeding: "From some cursory Googling, it looks like this dude has gone on to make at least two more badass custom upright basses. I wonder if his failure is part of the Kickstarter shift away from 'Help Me Do X' to 'Help Me Put X In Your Hands.'"

Sort of a big ol single source etsy, huh?
posted by boo_radley at 11:15 AM on November 20, 2014


Naberius: "I don't know why the hell people didn't go for this one. I mean for a $25 pledge you get a trip to Italy!"

Cheap flights! Cheap flights! Oh, for 50p!
posted by boo_radley at 11:18 AM on November 20, 2014


I know someone who tried a kickstarter which I think got about 25% funded. Their main problem was that all of the "perks" for funding levels were awful, and essentially involved having them take you out for dinner. If you added up all of the perks you could see that they were going to go out to dinner with their funding people at least 40 times. Thing is, their campaign had a huge natural tie in for interesting physical artifacts which could have been perks and probably would have got them funded, but they were too myopic to recognize their company was probably not the enticement they thought it was.
posted by maxwelton at 11:35 AM on November 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


I owe this post a debt of gratitude for directing me to this page, which led me to this video--which has afforded me insight into what it must be like to occupy the mind of an insane serial murderer of women. Thank you.
posted by The Minotaur at 11:48 AM on November 20, 2014


Ok can we just talk about this one for a second?

I am going to select whom I feel to be the most creative minds in the world and bring them together to interact in a spiritual ritual of summoning the most beautiful experience in different atmospheres of my choice. Everyone in this group will make art and collide their art with everyone else's art in a frenzy of imaginative worlds coming together.

...

I am an expert on Nietzsche and have studied the dream state of 'individuation' as coined by the Dionysian culture. I was the first person in my generation to red "the red book' by Carl Jung. I do not want to go further into my studies, but I can assure I have gone deep into the archives of what has been written down.

....

The art resulting from this experiment will have very deep meaning involving the coming together of world history and beyond time.
posted by Librarypt at 12:06 PM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lie Bot, I found the saddest thing
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:11 PM on November 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


That seems to be one of the recurring themes of the Kickstarters I found. One was a book about the early church -- and for 25 dollars, you got a thank you note, and an electronic copy of the book. That seems a bit steep for some guy's academic type treatise? (Though his previous two tiers just involved the thank you note. To get a physical one was $50, which came with the note AND a phone call.)

I think especially for digital distribution type things, you can end up being cheaper on those -- and then populate the other tiers with some sort of swag and/or more digital stuff. (Physical rewards can be for higher -- IMHO, the $50 real copy of the dude's book is OK -- just because they require money to make. Digital stuff -- just time. Which IS worth money, sure, but... eh, you know what I'm getting at. I figure it's easier to sell 100 $10 copies of a digital book than 10 $100 copies.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 12:22 PM on November 20, 2014


Their main problem was that all of the "perks" for funding levels were awful, and essentially involved having them take you out for dinner.

In fairness to that person, there's an awful lot of people on the internet who will tell you how to succeed at Kickstarter, and about 99% of what gets discussed is a giant steaming pile of survivorship bias. A campaign succeeds with some weird/wacky type of reward or a specific approach to fulfillment, and suddenly it's the received wisdom that if you want to succeed, you need to do the same thing.

My own thinking is more or less in line with the aforementioned "How To Win The Lottery". Good promotion and a good looking campaign help, but after a certain point, it's really out of your control.
posted by tocts at 12:27 PM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's so weird to me when kickstarters have the "have dinner with me" or "phone-call from me" perk when they are not themselves famous or well-known.
posted by Think_Long at 12:47 PM on November 20, 2014


Ok can we just talk about this one for a second?

Imagine how much funding he could have had if one of his reward tiers was a sample of whatever the hell he was smoking.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:36 PM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


This one goes from funny to sad to totally creepy to I don't even know what, but I'm glad it wasn't funded.
posted by rollbiz at 7:41 PM on November 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ok can we just talk about this one for a second?

I'd have donated $10 for 'a deep picture from my diary' if I'd have seen it when it was up. Does that make me a bad person?
posted by Ned G at 4:07 AM on November 21, 2014


I wonder if "seed money" affects the amount your Kickstarter gets. Give a friend or two enough money to pledge the lower levels of your project, so it seems to have at least some support.

(I also wonder how many campaigns do a "self-fund" if they are at 90-95% funding and the deadline approaches - cover the remaining bit yourself with a loan, then pay back the loan once your full funding goes through)
posted by ymgve at 9:12 AM on November 21, 2014


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