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Why We Don’t Support the Kickstarter 100% Model (Yet)

Posted in The Story by Nathan

If you read about the origin of IgnitionDeck, then you’ll know that we originally built ID in order to serve our own needs. We had a desire to raise money in an environment that suited us, so we built something that allowed us to do so.

In essence, we wanted to build an alternative to Kickstarter so that we could run our own show, and help others do the same.

Why Do We Need a Kickstarter Alternative?

I think it’s important to state that we at Ignition WP have absolutely nothing against Kickstarter. We think it’s a great product, and have supported many successful (and unsuccessful) projects. The reason we choose not to model the Kickstarter process has nothing to do with its performance, but the way it is used.

We have many friends, peers, and heroes that have attempted to raise money on Kickstarter. They busted their ass, often burning out email lists and social channels in order to reach that coveted 100%.

While some did achieve 100%, many of them did not, which means that at the end of the day they are left with nothing but a burned out group of friends and a goal they didn’t meet.

As you can imagine, this is incredibly disheartening to an entrepreneur.

Backer Oriented

From the backer’s point of view, the 100% threshold is great. It allows them to take a gamble, knowing that many projects won’t take off and their money will be safe. It’s a fun game to play.

But for the entrepreneur, raising money is anything but a game.

Entrepreneurs are the builders, the dreamers, and the inventors. Failing to raise money is often the death knell of their dreams. No one likes to see dreams die, particularly those of us who are working to achieve their own.

Your Way, Right Away

We believe that entrepreneurs should be able to raise money on their terms. We don’t believe they should play by an arbitrary set of rules designed to turn crowdfunding into a game.

We built IgnitionDeck to even the score.

And then something interesting happened…

With the rise of Kickstarter, the crowdfunding model became hip and cool. Business development types, not builders, began to see an opportunity to extract even more of the entrepreneur’s flesh.

A whole new level of crowdfunding platforms began to appear (and more are coming), many with the intention not to help entrepreneurs, but to scrape another 5% from them.

Some even used IgnitionDeck to do so.

We think it’s great that so many people are being creative with IgnitionDeck, and we support that 100%. That doesn’t mean we are any less deliberate about the manner in which we build the core product.

We get a lot of questions about why certain features do not exist in our plugin, such as the 100% funding payment mechanism made famous by Kickstarter.

Our answers to questions like these are usually simple:

1) We haven’t had a chance yet

2) We don’t feel this feature supports the entrepreneur

Number 1 is simple, Number 2 is slightly more complex, but at the end of the day, it’s absolutely necessary to us that each and every new feature arrives with a purpose, one that aligns with our goal of helping entrepreneurs raise money to build great things.

So when people ask us why we don’t support the 100% model, and why payments are processed and delivered immediately upon a pledge, we explain that we aren’t here to help people build crowdfunding sites, we are here to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.

It’s as simple as that.