Tag: indiegogo

Indie GoGo


Success rate?

What are negative consequences/threats to the business?

How will the business grow?

Indiegogo is an innovative crowdfunding platform in that anyone can raise money for anything they like. The most important thing that Stan told us about Indiegogo is that it is a platform for a company to raise awareness of their product/concept, get consumer feedback, and find investors and contributors. This makes it possible for inexperienced or accidental entrepreneurs to create a business and get valuable feedback. An example he gave us was one for an electric bike. The creator hadn’t considered crowdfunding at all. When he introduced his bike to the community, the response was amazing. He raised millions of dollars. This proves that Indiegogo is a valuable tool for companies, especially start ups. The site lets the creator of the product talk to their investors in such a flexible way that allows them to get feedback that they need. One thing Stan pointed out that was very important is that your customers may use your product in a way that it wasn’t quite intended. Based on this and other similar feedback regarding product modifications, the company has an advantage over others on the market who may use focus groups or random user testing. These results can greatly improve the popularity of a product.

Another thing Stan told us was that investment partners and companies may shoot down your idea for being too radical. The case of the Muse headband was especially intriguing. No one wanted to invest in this radical telepathically poured beer idea. When the creator put this idea on Indiegogo, they gained interest and investments and more importantly, respect for their product. With numbers and figures to back up their product, they returned to the same investors and received the partnerships they needed. Stan had answered that the success rate of posters on Indiegogo varied. The frequency of undelivered goals is low, and yet the amount of delayed goals is high.

IndieGogo and Kickstarter. (Crowdfunding)

Q1: What trends in crowd funding have you noticed developing over the 21st century? How has the crowd funding changed from the point of its origin?

Q2: What has been the most outrageous campaign you have encountered, and how the situation has been resolved?

Q3: Does other financing platforms such as Patreon, somehow interfere with the funding coming through Indiegogo? And has Indiegogo considered other systems of funding in addition to the current one.


Summary: On the Tuesday of March 10th we were visited by Steve Tam from IndieGoGo, who has given us a lecture about trends and modern tendencies in crowd funding. During his talk about his experience he mentioned working at Kickstarter, a crowd funding platform that opposes IndieGoGo in the field. Following up on that he drew a connection between IndieGoGo and Kickstarter, compared their financial capabilities and funding strategies, from which he concluded that while Kickstarter has a much larger base of people and larger amount of money flowing through, IndieGoGo is more flexible due to customizable project funding periods and lack of requirement for the finalized product before launch of the campaign. Then he talked about product development and “How the customer should not be defined in the board room” since it is almost impossible to precisely identify the target audience, since people from different ages and other categories have shown to have interest in many various things. Then was a topic about branding and the difference between a brand and a logo. Particularly how the brand sticks with the company and crosses the boundaries of physical products attracting more attention due to the people’s interest in popular items. And finally the lecture was finished with an insightful conversation. One of the questions was about the possibility of crowd funding replacing the material (regular) ways of funding, to which Steve responded with an open-ended answer: That it will most likely stay as it is crowd funding for the internet, while traditional ways remain as they are.

Reflection: Prior to this lecture, the only funding platform I had experience with was Patreon which lets people support the creators of their favorite content with a sort of monthly salary, Therefore a closer look at IndieGoGo proved to be quite resourceful. As I have noticed many similarities between these platforms: Such as perks, given for a certain amount of funding, milestones set by the authors and such. Particularly interesting in Steve’s lecture was the idea of exclusiveness, which the backer (financial supporter) gets when he funds a certain product or project. I have experienced that myself and able to relate to this trend. As for the other trends discussed by Steve that I found interesting was the idea of urgency, set by the campaigns due date, people really are willing to spend money when they see the other people investing and the timer running out. Looking at the trend of crowd funding there is this marvelous campaign on Kickstarter, a space simulator PC game called Star Citizen. The project rocketed beyond imaginable collecting $2,500,000 instead of prompted $500,000. This is a perfect example of a successful campaign and a productive relationship between the consumers and the creators, since the game has been continuously in development receiving all kinds of positive feedback from people.



Indiegogo and Hot Pop Factory

  1. How successful is the average Indiegogo campaign
  2. What are some examples of very successful campaigns?
  3. What were some of the key elements that you found in those campaigns to be integral to their success?

On Tuesday, Steve came into OCAD to discuss indiegogo. He discussed and presented a series steps and tips one should take when creating his own business. He in particular discussed strategies involving the audience, building a brand, identifying and strengthening your brands “champions” and dethroning the gatekeepers. He also emphasised a few other key points. He made it quite clear that a polished product is very important to the success of a business. In addition to this, he made a few points involving urgency and membership. He reiterated the importance of creating a sense of membership – something to keep them coming back. Creating a sense of urgency through exclusivity and deals can play a huge role in the early success of your campaign or product. Perhaps his most important point was the fact that alienating certain audiences is ok. If you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing nobody.

I found Steve’s advice and speech to be incredibly helpful in terms of business start-ups. I have always been interested in business and how companies grow into very successful businesses.  In particular there were a few key points that really spoke to me. His one line “If they aren’t going to buy it for it’s main feature, they won’t buy it for its main feature” was probably the line that stuck most with me. I find it incredibly relevant in regards to today’s technology market. Phone companies nowadays just focus on jamming their phones with as many accessories and bloat ware as possible. However, I find it incredibly unintuitive. If the phones focused on one or two key features and fleshed them out as much as possible I believe that would be a much better approach.

  1. What were some challenges of getting started
  2. How did you establish your brand in the beginning
  3. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages to 3d Printing

After Indiegogo, we went to Hot Pop Factory on Spadina. We were introduced to the two very nice founders, who discussed their business as well as the rise of maker culture. In particular, they were very positive about the influence that 3d printing and services such as laser cutting has had on their work ethic as well as the industry. They also believed that the rise of laser cutting, 3d printing services and other similar services will create a drastic change in the industry, bring a stronger emphasis on the user. In particular, they believed that these new technologies will bring a new level of customization and personalization that has never been seen before. They also mentioned how these new technologies allowed them to be incredibly agile when it comes to prototyping and testing. They now longer have to wait long or for other studios to create their prototypes. They can do all of it now thanks to 3d printing and laser cutting.

I found this visit to be very insightful into the world of 3d printing and the maker culture. I’ve always been fascinated by the explosion of 3d printing and 3d related products and now I’m beginning to understand why it’s such a huge deal. The idea of personalizing and customizing your own product through 3d printing really struck a chord with me. I’ve always embraced personalization and I believe this could potentially be the natural progression of the industry. Also the efficiency and ease of prototyping seems incredibly useful to me. The ability to reiterate and revise easily sounds like an incredible boon.

Indiegogo – March 10


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?


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”).



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.



(Steve Tam. Image from: http://100ac.re/steve-tam/)


  • How do you ensure that the campaigns on Indiegogo are legitimate and not a scam project to get money?
  • Does Indiegogo connect individuals for specific projects or do teams apply together?
  • Is Indiegogo a good company to start kickstarter campaigns? A group of us have various projects and ideas in mind like building iOS apps or cross platforming applications, and are in need of some funding to progress the research. Would Indiegogo support projects like that? Would Indiegogo help with the campaigning



A speaker from Indiegogo, named Steve Tam, came to speak with our class about crowd funding. He was sharing experiences and tips as to what and what not to do when one starts a crowd funding campaign. He expressed six essential steps: 1) Don’t define the audience to the board room, 2) Forget the focus group, 3) Create exclusivities such as memberships, 4) Finding your niche and not worrying if people understand the concept or not, 5) Create the sense of urgency, and 6) Dethrone the gate keeper. He explained that ideas couldn’t grow when it is set in stone for a specific audience. When starting a crowd-funding project, it is important to expect the unexpected, meaning that audiences outside the target range may be interested in the project. Creating membership deals can make people feel the need to join to be part of a certain community, which can tie into the sense of urgency, where people are given a “limited edition” version of the product and have a set time to buy the product. Opening up to communities or trying to make people understand the product, however, can alter the original idea. It is essential for crowd funding projects to create something that fits the creators’ original thoughts. Lastly, dethroning the gate keeper refers to having the ability to say no to businesses, banks, lawyers, etc. when they make suggestions or statements about the project. It is possible for them to be wrong, and it would take some stepping up to prove “the gate keepers” of their mistake.


Personal Response and Reflections:

In Steve Tam’s presentation on how to make a successful crowd-funding business, I thought of possible flaws that may contradict to his statements. Although I agree with majority of his methods, I disagree with his comment about ignoring if people understand the product or not. Assuming majority of the audience does not understand the point or usage of an item/product, the item would not sell. It would be a more effective method by creating an idea that is within the creator’s thoughts, as well as making it clear and understandable to the public. With clear communication of what the product is intended to be, the creator may get more support from the community. Steve Tam also specified special procedures in order to start a crowd-funding campaign. In order to start an Indiegogo kick-starter, one can just apply an idea, write a proposal and business plan, and submit it. However, Steve Tam stated that anything related to health couldn’t be funded through Indiegogo. Many applications and projects are based around health, to either better daily lives or help keep track of needed values. If it is not because of a legal issue, I would like to see more health applications be publicized, as it would help the world a little more.


(no questions prepared beforehand)

Today a speaker from Indiegogo came to speak to us. He spoke much about the relationship between designer and user and how it relates to crowd funding. He addressed how crowd funding allows for a more involved development process, providing possible users/consumers a way to give feedback early in the design process. This allows for the designer to continuously improve their product and tailor it to the needs of the consumer. He also addressed the concept of getting users to feel like having/using your product is something special and/or creating a sense of urgency in regards to participating in the special experience. By invoking a sense of exclusivity and/or urgency, consumers will flock to one’s product because of their own desires instead of following trends. The first people to usually flock to something new, the speaker referred to as “champions”. Through crowd funding, it is easier to reach out to champions because of the early involvement of consumers in development.

I felt as though this talk was quite insightful. I certainly learned about many new approaches to attracting consumers. Prior to this talk I was unaware of the benefits of crowd funding aside from not having to reimburse investors. Given what I have learned I am certainly more comfortable with the idea of crowd funding now and I am keen on using it at some point in the future. The idea of a “champion” is also one that I will certainly reference when designing future products and I am intent on incorporating the ‘urgency’ concept into future marketing plans. Considering what I have learned about crowd funding and its apparent impact on the design industry, I feel that crowd funding may become a standard part of the design process in the near future.


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