With a link and Tweet late last week, Kickstarter announced to the world that it has reached 50,000 successfully funded projects. The milestone comes shortly before Kickstarter attracts its 5 millionth individual backer (they currently have 4,980,377).
If you are looking to the Kickstarter nation to fund your next project, a closer look at the statistics provides useful instruction on what you can realistically expect going in.
At any one time you are competing against some other 4,000 projects that are live on the site.
Many unsophisticated business people stick their project on Kickstarter and do little more than knock on wood and hope they get main page billing. You odds are 1 in 4,000 of getting there.
By comparison the Arizona Cardinals are 200 to 1 to win the Super Bowl. That means you still have to use contacts, social media and even old-school, 20th century networking to get support.
You are much more likely to not garner one single pledge, which happens to 10 percent of Kickstarter projects.
It also helps to be realistic in how much money you hope to raise. Roughly 1 in 1,000 Kickstarter projects become members of the Million Dollar Club in pledges received. Of those 49, 26 are games, nine are technology and seven design.
No other categories have more than three. If you dream is to become the first experimental theater project to earn $1 million, feel free to aim for the stars and believe what your parents told you in grade school that anything is possible. Or you can take Dad’s advice when you head out to the garage for a beer upon your return home after college when he says, “Let’s be realistic…”
Just under 90 percent of successful projects attract $20,000 or less. Momentum also helps, as if you reach 40% of your goal, you are 93 percent likely to go all the way.
The overall success rate of Kickstarter projects is 43 percent. When looking by category, most individual category success rates fall within a 10 percent range on either side of 43 percent, save for fashion on the low end, where only 29 percent of projects are successful, and music (55%), theater (64%) and dance (71%) on the good side.
What types of projects gravitate toward Kickstarter? Film and video projects make up one out of every 4 projects to ever appear on Kickstarter. Music is another 23 percent. On the low end, dance projects are a little over one percent. Out of the 13 categories Kickstarter sorts their projects into, eight of them each make up less than five percent of total projects.
Surprisingly low, given the amount of hype the category receives, is gaming. While making up a little over six percent of all projects appearing on Kickstarter, the Little Category That Could has so far attracted more than 20 percent of all dollars pledged.
As the larger sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo get bigger and bigger, they lose some of the personal connection that initially attracted projects to them. As the industry evolves more niche sites that know their specific industry and who can introduce aspects just for those people should be able to gain a foothold in the marketplace.