For the first time ever, the Kickstarter failure numbers are revealed.*
I recently came across Dan Misener’s article, Kickstarter hides failure, where he talked about how Kickstarter makes it difficult for you to see/find failed projects. They intentionally prevent failed campaigns from being indexed by the search engines (through “noindex” robot meta tags).
Dan’s article got quite a bit of attention. And in his follow-up post, he posed some interesting questions that led me to do some investigations of my own. Questions like:
- What is the percentage of successful vs. failed projects?
- Of all the money pledged, how much actually went to successful projects?
- Which categories have a higher percentage of success?
- Which categories get the most funding?
- Which categories have the most project submissions and therefore more competitive (for funding dollars)?
- What kind of projects are people more interested in backing?
- Is there an optimal campaign duration?
- Do you have a better chance at a successful campaign starting with a lower or higher funding goal (regardless of how much you actually need)? And what is that number?
As an entrepreneur who’s looking at Kickstarter as a potential source of funding, I’m very interested in these numbers and the insights they provide. Insights that can only be gleaned by comparing projects that were successfully funded and those that failed to meet their funding goal.
To get these questions answered, I had a scraper script written (not by me) that was able to scrape all the projects as of June 2, 2012, including those that failed to achieve their funding goal. I was able to scrape a total of 45,815 projects.
With these numbers in hand, I was able to create the infographic below which provides insights that were previously unavailable. Now you get to see the whole picture, not just the picture of success.
Like Dan, I believe there’s value in understanding failure…and in this case, failure to get fully-funded in a Kickstarter campaign.
*Update #1: After this post was published, Kickstarter started posting some of the stats on unsuccessfully funded projects. I just want to re-emphasize that the numbers in the infographic are based only on the 45,815 projects I was able to scrape as of June 2, 2012. I don’t claim to have scraped 100% of the data, but it was a significant enough amount to be able to draw useful inferences from them.
*Update #2: Check out my follow-up post on Kickstarter: The Untold Story Behind Kickstarter Stats. I collaborated with Professor Mollick from Wharton to obtain more numbers and better analyses.