Category Archives: Business

Why the Kickstarter Project “Clang” Should Fail

As of this writing, the Kickstarter project “Clang” has 10 days left to raise another $153,817 to succeed and take everyone’s money. I hope it never gets there.

Malea by Alaskan DudeThe project has a big name backer in prolific author Neal Stephenson who, to his credit, has been very supportive about the ongoing debate within his Kickstarter comments section regarding the scope and feasibility of what he is trying to create: a true-to-form swordfighting game. Also, the ever growing FAQ for the project has attempted to address many of the concerns and questions by visitors, backers, and doubters. The most recent salvo is over the Kinect Disconnect, which is described in video form through this Penny Arcade video. From almost every standpoint, this project is doing everything right. The project has a well-known individual standing behind a high dollar value goal, they are responsive to questions from the public, transparency about limitations based upon the financial scope is prolific, and the project consistently maintains its character in the face of opponents. It’s respectable, intelligent, and upfront… and you still shouldn’t give them your money.
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Until You Ask For Money, You Don’t Know How Serious They Are

The title of this post is from a conversation this week at a Reddit Denver Business Owners meetup/meeting. When I first heard it, I nodded my head in agreement, but today when I was speaking with my accountant about my failed business, Survival Gift Shop, she said, “Did you make any money from it?” The sad answer to that was no.

I’m not terribly proud of this fact, especially since I sunk $700 in product, fees (PayPal and Shopify), and advertising, not even counting my time (because really, what startup actually places a price on their time in the beginning). Results? Not a single person clicked BUY over the 6 month period where it was heavily marketed and even got some organic search traffic. At the very end, I even tried unloading them at cost on ebay and still no takers over two 7 day auctions. Now I grant you, a wise woman who loved the idea and built a Lady’s Personal Survival Kit of her own once exclaimed that it was more of an impulse buy, so the method of delivery was possibly wrong (not the idea), but I didn’t have the capital or the faith to try it again.
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