How to predict your Kickstarter success. Here is some interesting facts.
I was left with a decent sized dataset of 168,979 projects.
Overall, 56% of completed projects (i.e. those that have finished and weren’t cancelled or suspended) were successful.
- Unsurprisingly, successful projects tend to have smaller (and therefore more realistic) goals — the median amount sought by successful projects is about half that of failed projects (medians are used due to high positive skew of funding and goal amounts).
- The differences in the median amount pledged per project are more surprising. The median amount pledged per successful project is notably higher than the median amount requested, suggesting that projects that meet their goal tend to go on to gain even more funding, and become ‘over-funded’.
- On a related note, the difference between failed and successful companies is much larger in terms of amount pledged and the number of backers, compared to goal amount. Probably once potential backers see that a project looks like it will be successful, they are much more likely to jump on the bandwagon and fund it.
- Successful projects have slightly shorter campaign lengths, but take slightly longer to launch (measured from the time the project was first created on the site).
- Roughly 20% of successful projects were highlighted on the site as staff picks. It does not seem unreasonable to suggest a causative relationship here, i.e. that projects that are chosen as staff picks are much more likely to go on to be successful, and that only a few staff picks go on to fail.
Possibly the factors that might cause a project to fail are more likely to be beyond the scope of the data, e.g. poor marketing, insufficient updates, or not replying to messages from potential backers.
Recommendations for project creators considering Kickstarter
Some of the factors that had a positive effect on success rate and/or the amount of money received are:
- Smaller project goals
- Being chosen as a staff pick (a measure of quality)
- Comics, dance and games projects
- Projects from Hong Kong
- Shorter campaigns
- Taking longer between creation and launch
- Film & video and music projects (popular categories on the site, and fairly successful)
- Launching on a Tuesday (although this is also the most common day to launch a project, so beware the competition)
- Launching in October
- Launching between 12pm and 2pm UTC (this is of course related to the country a project is launched from, but remember that backers can come from all over the world)
Factors which had a negative effect on success rate and/or the amount of money received are:
- Large goals
- Food and journalism projects
- Projects from Italy
- Longer campaigns
- Launching on a weekend
- Launching in July or December
- Launching between 6pm and 4am UTC