The kickstarter launched well and obtained a lot of enquiry, but as the days counted down it seemed to
lose steam. I continued to reference it in various social media venues geared toward synthesizer enthusiasts,
and while a fair accounting of people backed the project, I learned a unpleasant lesson: sometimes failure is
an option. The kickstarter ended well short of its first goal, which means no funding would occur. I always
knew that was a possibility, but I thought I had a good handle on the metrics and logistics of the project so it
was a bit of a wake-up call to see this:
I learned a number of things here. The first is that just because the initial project effort did not fund
does not mean it can never obtain a successful funding goal. I also learned that, as in retail business, an
interested prospect is not necessarily a paying prospect. I tried to offer enough reward tiers where everyone can
get something, but high-end synthesizer design is a sort of all-in venture. I’d love to offer a $200 assembled
option, but that would have to be its own crowdfunding effort as designing something for the that price range is
challenging and does not fit the scope of this project. The parts, while not terribly expensive, do not get
cheaper just because you decide to use less of them.
When it was apparent the funding goal would not be met, I took advantage of the ability to edit the project in
order to place a reference to the next effort. Note: you cannot do this after the deadline passes! It is then
suggested to write in any external references when you can, that way it is much easier to redirect people to the
new funding site. You can still send out updates from an old funding effort, which keeps those who backed you initially in the loop.
I re-tooled the project and re-launched it at a much more realistic goal of half the previous amount. As of this
writing, the funding effort is at 83% with a week to go:
I have plans to open a much more robust web site once the project funds. Those who missed the boat can still sign
up with the understanding that the manufacturing windows are fixed, only so many units can be made in a given
time frame and of course the kickstarter units must be delivered first. Another update after this latest effort concludes.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
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