Kickstarter Failed, But Everybody Wins

There’s less than 12 hours to go on the 20-day Kickstarter project for Project Swapfig, and despite all the hard work, time and energy spent on the presentation and spreading the word, it’s only managed to reach 56% of the target. I think it’s about time I called it a day.

I’ve been thinking about this moment for quite a while, wondering what I’d be saying at this point… but between the advertising and the continued work on Project Swapfig, I’m guess I’m too exhausted. Too exhausted to be excited about the new Friends sets, rumoured to be out as soon as in May, and even for the upcoming sightings of S10 Collectible Minifigures.

No doubt we’ll start seeing numerous naysayers and “experts-for-a-post” popping up all over, just dying to give their uninvited insight into why this Kickstarter project didn’t reach its target. They always do.

I’ll be covering my suspicions in a future series of posts, along with my experiences with running the Kickstarter project. But probably the most politically correct speculation I have is that, unlike projects such as Pigs vs. Cows and CONTACT 1 – both having done spectacularly well and now focusing on stretch goals – Project Swapfig itself isn’t a tangible product. Something like this may have worked better during the dotcom boom, but now I guess most people have more faith in something they can hold in their hands. I don’t blame them; so would I!

However, it’s important to remember the positives. Yes, there won’t be any initial funding to give Project Swapfig a decent start, but the Kickstarter project has generated something that money can’t buy: interest from other people. (I’m not interested in the kind of interest money can buy.) It’s likely that most people hadn’t heard of it before the crowdfunding started, and now anybody who’s anybody in the online LEGO community knows about it – thanks to a lot of help from other AFOLs.

Over 100 user accounts were created on the demo site; that’s already significant minifigure trading action. Imagine how many more will use the site as more figures get added and more people start talking about it.

55% may still mean failure (Kickstarter is all-or-nothing funding), but for a relative nobody it’s a huge achievement. I’m extremely glad the project had any backing at all, and I’m pleased that there wasn’t a single day when there were no pledges (though there were two cancellations and one reduction).

So everybody “wins” from the Kickstarter project not reaching its target:

  • the naysayers win because there won’t be any funding, which was their intention;
  • the people who supported the project (either by backing or spreading the word) win because the site will be launched anyway;
  • I win because I’ve gained a whole bunch of humbling experience. Who knows how I would have acted if the project had exceeded the target?

In closing, again I want to say a huge thank you to everybody who got behind this project and showed their support: especially Brickset, Brick Fanatics, Beyond the Brick, The Brothers Brick and all the other sites that featured it.

From here on in, all roads lead to Project Swapfig’s official launch on May 1st, at