Monday, November 3, 2014

Diary of a Kickstarter Project -or how my project has gone ballistic in under 72 hours

I've had a kickstarter project in the back of my mind for awhile now. I would like to get a few new tools, most notably a drum sander. I've made my cutting boards for years using a relatively unsafe procedure, running them through the planer taking very light cuts. This has worked, but it is hard on the planer, and also tears out the trailing edge of the board blank.

Money is always tight, but I decided that I would try my luck and start the campaign. I wrote up a modest campaign, with $1000 for my goal. That would get me my drum sander from Grizzly. It would also allow me to buy wood for the project and cover shipping costs. My labor is not a factor, and my goal was for as close to neutral net as I could manage. I get my tool, the wood is all paid for and rewards shipped to the backers with little or no cash out of pocket once the sawdust settled.

My reward tiers range from $2 as a thank you for your support opener keychain, through a set of end grain coasters, a cheese board, on up to $150 for a 24x30x2.5" 'show' board. for the exact details

Well I finally jumped through all of the hoops, I had my project written up, photos, story, rewards, and the back-end financials lined up. I just had to make the video. Ugh. Really folks? I 'Have to' go on camera? Yes I know that kickstarter campaigns with videos are more successful...  Ok, All right I'll do it.
Folks, I'm a 20 year professional portrait photographer. My line in the studio was always that I was on the correct end of the camera. I have to be in Front of the lens?  I bit the bullet, threw the Nikon on my tripod and made this wonderful creation:

Once I had that, I attached it to the text and photos and put the project up. That was Noon on Friday.

I shared it on my twitter account, and my personal and Artisan Boards facebook pages.

by about 1pm I had my first pledge (Thanks Barb!) as I was taking a snapshot of my first backer, the page updated and I had my second...

My friends were sharing the project left and right on twitter and on facebook. My extended family on got in the act as well.

By dinner time I was 25% funded. By 11:30 the next morning I was 66%. Things slowed down a tad on Saturday and I wound up at about 91%.

Sunday morning found the project close to fully funded... and by 12:31pm  I was fully funded. Just about exactly 48 hours from launch.

That means no matter what else happens, I can at Least get my new tool, make a lot of sawdust and have happily rewarded backers. I set my fulfillment goal for the end of December. My personal goal is to get them done and shipped for the holiday season.

Sunday evening brought steady updates, and as I write this I'm at 164% funding. Of that, I owe about 10% to kickstarter and amazon for their part in hosting and handling the financials. Still and all, that's better than a sharp stick in the eye!

I was online last night adjusting quantities on a couple of rewards (I had set one too low, and a friend's mom wanted that design, I adjusted the quantity so she and a few others could have one as well.)
and I was looking into one particular species of wood I mentioned in my project. Uh oh... my favorite hardwood dealer doesn't list it on their site.

Oh crap.  They Used to carry it... can I even get it at all? WhatAmIGoingToDO!?!?????

toss, turn... up at 7:30 (I work nights, this is way too early and bright out for me to be awake and worrying.
check their website... wait, what's this, they're having an online Auction this weekend?Auuuugh! what if they're closing?!?!?!

Called the yard, they do have Lyptus available, auction? Oh about every 10 years or so, they have an auction to clear out the stuff that piles up...


OK, I'll be up to get some lyptus and other supplies 'soon'.

Now to go figure out which drum sander to get, what's my budget again?

Oh, and I almost forgot, I have 27 more days left on my funding window... stay tuned, this ride is just leaving the station. Keep your hands and feet inside the car, the lift hill is getting awfully steep and the crest is way the heck UP there!

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