Backing Your Own Kickstarter Project and the Empty Restaurant Problem

Do me a favor, the next time you go to a restaurant keep in mind where they seat you. Actually, this only works if the restaurant isn’t very busy and if you’re not a regular.  If you’re a regular, you basically sit wherever you want.

Okay instead of trying to remember this blog post the next time, just think to the last time you visited a restaurant that wasn’t very busy, where did they seat you?

Most likely by a window seat right? If not exactly at the window, pretty close right. They fill the restaurant from the outside in. Why?

The empty restaurant problem.

What is that you may ask?

You ever walk past a restaurant, look through the window and see no one sitting down, or no one sitting near the windows? Looks like it’s closed right? Or even worse, looks like no one else bothered to go, so why should you?

Have you ever gone to a Kickstarer site and seen zero backers? Or maybe one or two bakers, and a total raised of twenty five bucks?  It looks disheartening right? Like this, or this. And what some people don’t realize is while you can cancel your Kickstarter campaign, you can’t delete it. Once you launch, and it’s public, it will stay public for as long as Kickstarter is around. And for a project that may have failed miserably it can be a constant and painful reminder.

So to avoid this particular problem, I planned on backing my own project from the outset.  Before sending out the first e-mails, or press release, or tweets, or Facebook posts, I was going to put a couple thousand of my own money into the project. I would only get charged if the project is successful, and if it is successful than it’s like I’m paying myself.

Well Visa/MasterCard view this as an illegal cash advance, or to put it another way: money laundering. Who knew?

So how do you avoid the empty restaurant problem?

Well simply you can have someone else you know, who is planning on making a big contribution, be the first backer.

Does this really have an impact though? Are people more inclined to watch your video, read your entire pitch and watch your whole video is they see that others already have?

I’m sure Kickstarter has actual metrics on this as far as how long someone is on the page before they actually back it. How many times they repeatedly visit before backing, and post backing. They do mention that projects which reach 30% funding, have a 90% success rate.

So if you’re trying to raise $100,000 which is the number we’re probably going for, getting to $30k as fast as humanly possible could have the domino effect of having enough backers who will then help spread the word and get you to 100% funding.

I’m looking forward to putting this to the test…soon.

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