Kickstart Like Ernest Hemingway

Well, not exactly. Although I do recommend a daiquiri or a mojito during the process. Whatever your tipple happens to be. What I mean is, keep it short. To the point. Direct. This applies to the whole thing.


Keep your project simple. Cut all the crap that you don’t need to include. Now do it again. Test your product. Cut more. For Cursed!, we did this a few times, and then more. It started as a card deck, player mats, rule booklet, big fancy box. Now, it’s a 108-card deck. That’s all it needs. It’s the essence of the game. This being our first release, we were merciless. Be it a board game, an album, a movie, or something else, your project can be leaner. Take it to the gym. Burn those calories. Make it lean.


How many times have you read to the bottom of a Kickstarter (or IndieGoGo, or what have you) page? For me, it’s rare. Why include a fancy graphic showing rewards? They’re already there. It’s nice knowing who’s making the thing, but I usually don’t need it. Tell me what the project is, why you need my money. That’s all I need. That’s about all we’re giving. There will be updates, with more, but I want people who scan the page to get all the information. And likely, they will.


The latest casualty of my merciless spirit. We finish shooting tonight. I’ve changed it six times, and will again. Each change makes it leaner. Simpler. We’re not Kickstarting a movie project here, we don’t need to be too clever. Some sense of who we are, what the project is. I hope to bring it in under 90 seconds. 120 tops. Over two minutes is deadly. I’ve read hundreds of Kickstarter pages, backed 35 projects, and watched maybe four videos in their entirety. One of those was because it was a friend’s project and he wanted my feedback. The others, because they were short. And I watched the whole CLANG! video because it was cool, but it was before I even joined Kickstarter and I only watched it after the project was over. Because it was cool and had Neal Stephenson in it. Your video doesn’t have Neal Stephenson in it. So pretend Hemingway wrote it, and make it shorter.


These should also be short.

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