Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Different Way of Looking at Kickstarters

I was reading Mongoose's state of the union year end report, and the owner of the company mentioned that he has started handling a lot of work through freelance writers.  He selects people who love the product they are writing for and who have proven themselves as writers.  This way he can get the best talent available without having to pay them enough to quit their day jobs.  The result is that he gets excellent work product, but the drawback is that it's sometimes late, because of life and full time jobs and everything else associated with hiring freelancers.  But he hires the best, so he know that the product will be delivered.

It struck me that when we back a Kickstarter we are in effect acting as a company owner, hiring freelancers to produce a product for us.  I know all that garbage people say about patronage, and it might not come to pass, blah blah.  The truth is that 99% of us use Kickstarters as a pre-order of what is promised in the promotional materials.  It's just how we view it, right or wrong.  That's why we get pissed when something we pre-order never gets delivered.

The issues of Kickstarter late delivery come about because unlike Mongoose, we very often hire our Kickstarter freelancers without any consideration as to a proven track record.  Most of the time we have no clue who these people are.  For all we know they may be failed freelancers, not hire-able by any reputable company. 

I backed just a couple Kickstarters anyhow, so it's not a big deal to me.  But for you guys who back an ass-ton of them, you may want to research the freelancers you're hiring to develop your company's product.  People like Monte Cook and James Raggi will always deliver, of that I have no doubt.  But how about the other freelancers you hired?