Indiegogo – March 10

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Steve Tam from Indiegogo came to class on Tuesday to show us a presentation about crowd funding and Indiegogo’s works. His presentation was very enlightening and successfully answered the three questions I had prepared previously:

  • Can a project’s rate of funding success be measured in quality or number of supporters alone?
  • Is there a selective process for projects to have an Indiegogo campaign?
  • What is Indiegogo’s course of action in case of a successfully funded project ends up being a fraud?

Summary

One of the most valuable things about Steve’s presentation was that it wasn’t solely about Indiegogo itself but crowd funding in general and how to work towards a successful funding campaign. Many good examples from Indiegogo were commented and served to illustrate the qualities of what can be considered a good funding campaign. He also highlighted important attitudes to take when crowd funding a project, such as not limiting the project to a focus group, creating a sense of urgency and offering exclusivities (like memberships, for example). It was also explained that many successful campaigns on Indiegogo are due to an already existing large base of supporters of the project, making Indiegogo only a vehicle for payment and accompanying the project’s progress instead of actually convincing new backers, although projects should always aim for getting the highest amount of backers, thus why not using a single focus group for the project (although he also reinforced the importance of giving an identity to the project instead of simply “shooting in all directions”).

 

Impressions

The presentation was very clarifying to me, since I don’t have a big understanding of how crowd funding works but always liked the idea of people being able to support what they want to buy. The idea that some projects use Indiegogo more as of a platform of payment rather than the whole marketing campaign is something that never occurred to me, but certainly explains why some projects – namely already possessing a base of people willing to support it – are backed so successfully while others have a much more hard time and need to invest a lot more in marketing and attractions to new potential backers. This is enough to not put the weight of the success of a project solely on its quality or viability of the idea, or the marketing campaign alone. A combination of factors – and maybe even some unexpected occurrences – is needed to push a project in the right direction. Still, it doesn’t seem easy to predict the success of a new project based on conjecture alone, but it is still very much valid to invest on them.