Ghosts 'N Goblins Kickstarter

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 13 - The Sport Psychology Behind Kickstarter

Day 13

Northridge Knights. Our school chant? NoooooooooooorthRiiiiiiiiiiiiidge! (While flipping an "N" gang symbol)
My sophomore year in high school was also the opening of Northridge High school. It was brand new. This is incredible because schools last for generations. You can't buy a new school, it's all luck. I was at the right place at the right time in 1992, and it was incredible. My locker and the bathrooms had never been used. They just finished laying down carpet and painting the walls. Even better, no seniors! The seniors didn't get moved to the new school because they wanted to graduate at their school. Initially, I was depressed I wasn't going to the old high school, Layton High. Many of my friends and people who I looked up to went there, and I wanted to be a Layton Lancer. This new school split the gang. Looking back, it's amazing how you can feel a sense of ownership and loyalty to a school in just a few years.  Utah's schools were/are frequently over-crowed, but not this year because... no seniors! We had the run of the place. Like a toddler running through a house before the furniture is moved in, we felt like kings in our massive new castle. Not only that, the sophomores and juniors bonded in a way I have never heard of. It was almost like one class, one school for the first year. We were the pioneers of the school, and we could turn it into whatever we wanted. 

The Marathon

The cross-country team was brand new, like everything else, and was looking for members. My best friends got recruited, and were pushing to get me to join. I played "all star" soccer in elementary and was decent, so I could run, right? The first meet was the next day, but they were so desperate that "Oh come on! Just run the race. You can start training next week." So, I ran my first meet with no training. I made it to the end and I came in dead last, but it didn't bother me because it was my first day. My friends were cool, and just laughed about it. I couldn't walk for almost a week after. Legs like a jelly fish. 

Training was brutal, sometimes jogging 9 miles up a steady incline towards the Wasatch Mountains. Half way through, I didn't remember the beginning, and I thought I would never see the end. But, what kept me going was being surrounded by friends. Talking or being silent, everyone pushed each other to make it, one step at a time, simply because it was a group effort. Together, we decided on a goal, and none of my friends would face the humiliation that was getting a car ride from the coach. She used to drive right along side of us, cheering us on. This used to bother me, because I thought the coach should be running right there with us. I still think this. 

The Kickstarter campaign is currently sitting at 8%, with about two weeks left. I don't know if we will reach our goal, but I feel like I'm in cross-country again. Two weeks doesn't matter. The next step matters. Every hour, we jog a few more steps. Not only has the retro-gaming community been incredibly supportive, friends and family are starting to talk about the campaign. People are writing me and are mad we aren't doing better because our campaign is "way better than that other one who easily funded because of a rich uncle." People think Kickstarter expert Richard Bliss is wrong (see Podcast below) because this “campaign just needs some more press and it will fund instantly.”  I love this passion because it's a team effort. I feel like we are all running together, focusing on one step at a time, and eventually we will reach the end. Will I be replaying my sophmore year over again and come in dead last? Maybe. But when you're running with a team, it's not a matter of if you will win, it's a matter of when you will win. Eventually, the team keeps pushing to get everyone into shape, and eventually, everyone hits their goal.      

Highlights of the day:

7:00am. Had a nice conversation with global Kickstarter Expert Richard Bliss and he also let me know our interview is up on his Podcast as he discusses what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong.

1:00pm. Even though I told my wife not to, she posted a shout-out about the campaign on her Facebook page. What's strange about this, is people I wrote individually, who ignored me (the joys of asking a friend for 10 bucks!), responded to her post, and pledged. There's an incredible psychological element to Kickstarter that's just starting to unfold. For example, people don't want to be associated with a loser, so they will cancel their pledge before the campaign ends, even though it would auto-cancel anyway. People will jump onto a successful campaign once it funds so they can be associated with a winner. Fair weather sports fans! I think this mentality is ridiculous because it's not logical, but I do find it interesting. Kickstarter has a lot more in common with sports than I ever would have imagined. Winners, losers, count down clocks, fans. When I got into this, I viewed Kickstarter like I view Paypal, a tool. But, it's much more than that. Are you a psychologist?  Study and write a book on the Psychology Of Kickstarter. Or maybe, The Sport Psychology Behind Kickstarter. You would own the market as I see a few blog posts on the subject, but no book. I study a lot about business and marketing, and the key is always the same: Be the first to fill a void. I will be the first one to buy (or pledge?) your book! The biggest surprise about this whole process is just how fascinating it is. Kickstarter is constantly evolving, and I feel like I'm watching the next great invention grow in front of me. 

Technical Challenges Of The Day:

9:20am. Learned that Facebook keeps a local copy (cache) of your Kickstarter video. So, if you update your primary video, like I did (to put the pledge instructions at the end), it breaks the video link people use on Facebook. The good news is, this is only a problem for people watching the video on their laptop/desktop on Facebook. Which, most people don't do. For mobile, it actually re-routes to the Kickstarter page and doesn't use the embedded video. I reached out to Kickstarter about this, but it's a Facebook problem. Kickstarter suggests not updating the main project video, and post updates with a new video. I thought having a dedicated domain name to the project ( would prevent this issue. It doesn't. Lesson learned! Also, if someone shares the campaign link on Facebook through Kickstarter itself, then a friend clicks on it, it actually prompts the person to install the Kickstarter app on their phone. This is a bad thing as you don't want someone to think they need to install an app before they can pledge.  I suggest having a dedicated URL for your campaign, and giving that to everyone. Also, when the campaign is over, you can point it to a blog about the progress on the project. So, people aren't going to an old campaign.



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