Saturday, July 14, 2012

Whereupon I Beat The Dead Horse - Taking a Sucker's Bet

I had hours to kill last night, sitting in my illegally parked car outside a Manhattan Hospital, as the rest of my family took care of events (details such as they are are in my Google+ postings).

So, what did I do?

Did I brainstorm ideas for tonight's ACKS game? No, that makes way too much sense.

Did I brainstorm new magic items for my current project? Nope

I thought about Raggi's Indiegogo Project(s) again, and what I consider to be a failure to properly execute.

There are a number of adventures that Raggi has people writing and dooig art for that I'd be interested in, but at $20 bucks a pop across multiple projects, it gets cost prohibitive quite quickly. There aren't even stretch goal to get excited about. Instead, the goal, if you will, is to get multiple projects funded so that those that pledge higher amounts potentially get more adventures in return.

Here's some of the problems (my comments are highlighted)

          From LotFP Blog
A note about the bundle deals:
Pembrooktonshire Gardening Society members get discounts on the bundles. Bigger discounts than the cost to become a member, actually. Want to become a member, or just see the usual benefits? Look here for info. (alright, adding a layer of confusion to the process is never a good start)
I really think the bundle deals are what will get projects funded. (at $160 a pop, I would guess so too) It would take 600 people going in for the PDF or 300 for the Print+PDF to get an adventure funded (with 19 projects running concurrently, that is a huge amount to ask for - how many copies of LotFP did James sell as pre-orders?) ... but only 34 if they go for the full Faithful deal (at $160 a pop it's expensive as hell- and its a gamble at that)(or just 12 if going for the Collecting Faithful hardcovers+slipcase deal). But it is a bit of money and a bit risky the way the campaigns are set up (why make supporting a publisher a risk? that makes no fucking sense whatsoever), so I offer this as an incentive: 
If you contribute to a project at the $160 level or greater and that project becomes the only one to fund, you will get a 100€ coupon code for the LotFP store (current exchange rate, that is worth $122.24 - so that $20 adventure just cost you $38.76). If that project and only one other funds, you get a 50€ coupon code (this sucks even more - as that code is just worth $61.12 - those two adventures, which might include one you would never have bought on its own, cost you $98.88 - that's one hell of a loss). These codes will be good through the end of 2014.
Strategy? (why should there ever need to be a "strategy" when it comes to crowdfunding?)
Those wanting the full bundle ($160+ levels) (full bundle ONLY breaks even if 8 projects fully fund - otherwise it is a guaranteed loss of money - not the way to keep customers or gain future ones) should put their money on one of the top three as-yet unfunded adventures and put their money down on one of those. Get adventures funded. Getting half of them funded is better than getting them all half-funded, yes? Once something's funded, don't put any more full bundle contributions on it, get the next one done. And they'll start to add up. (why put anything other than $20 on the project or two you might have an interest in? why the heck should you gamble? Indiegogo is extremely difficult to deal with when it comes to changing pledge levels, so anyone looking to pledge $160 is going to wait until the very end before they drop ANY money - why risk your money?)

Someone commented on G+ that only Raggi is taking a risk on his Grand Adventure Scheme. Wrong, anyone putting down $160 on any of these projects is taking a huge gamble.

If three projects fund, and you are in at the $160 level, it's costing you $53.33 an adventure, four projects is $40 an adventure - twice what you would have paid pledging to individual projects ($20 each in print). Anything less than eight and you lose. Simple as that. At this point, I'd be surprised if more that four fully fund.

It's not that the offerings are bad. There's a bunch of stuff I'd love to see get published. There's just too many at once and the pricing scheme is a horror.

Crowdfunding works best when you have stretch goals - everybody loves a carrot or two. It should NEVER be a gamble where the customer can lose value on the money they commit to get a product out the door.

Alright, time to make glue form this horse. Later ;)

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