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I have a hard time taking opinion pieces like this blog seriously. The verbiage is so strongly connected to his disdain that I can't hear anything through the noise.

If you want to be hypercritical of companies using Kickstarter for the first time, you should try to provide real feedback. Mindless comments such as the following are as unhelpful as tips get:

"Pro tip: if I, who know your business as well as I know the feeding habits of the Springbok Antelope, can come up with more risks than you can, you’re not doing it right"

Here, let's try to write some generic, but probably more helpful feedback:

When first filling out the Risks and Challenges section your first inclination will probably be to prove how there are no risks and no challenges. Instead of taking this path, be open about what you feel the risks are and your plan for minimizing them. Talk about the challenges you currently are facing and how you've solved other challenges in the past. If I'm going to sail out to sea with you on this voyage you'll be more likely to convince me you know how to handle a storm than to tell me there won't be any storms at all.

If you are thinking about doing a kickstarter campaign and you come across this blog it's not going to help you tackle any of the issues that he outlines. At best, it's just the author posturing with, "If your campaign doesn't meet my guidelines then I'll use social signaling to embarrass your company."

I would rather see high quality writing about how to be successful in raising money and delivering on Kickstarter.




You know, I went to Dan's blog expecting to absolutely hate the post, mostly because of the title, but also partly because of the first line of your comment. I'm so glad you wrote it, because I ended up pleasantly surprised.

Maybe my habit of spending 10 minutes a week reading YouTube comments has made my skin thicker than before, but I wouldn't call Dan's tone "disdainful". Exasperated, yes. Impatient, yes. Frank and direct, yes. Disdainful, not that I can see.

Here's the problem with your generic, helpful feedback: my eyes keep slipping past it. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who ends up having to expend more effort trying to read bland and insipid content, so tailored to avoid offending anyone's sensibilities that it shows.


When first filling out the Risks and Challenges section your first inclination will probably be to prove how there are no risks and no challenges. Instead of taking this path, be open about what you feel the risks are and your plan for minimizing them. Talk about the challenges you currently are facing and how you've solved other challenges in the past. If I'm going to sail out to sea with you on this voyage you'll be more likely to convince me you know how to handle a storm than to tell me there won't be any storms at all.

What you suggest is another, different, and also valuable blog post. His choice:

  Pro tip: if I, who know your business as well as I know the
  feeding habits of the Springbok Antelope, can come up with
  more risks than you can, you’re not doing it right.
It's disdainful, sure, and not to my taste, but it's memorable and cuts right to the issue. He's trying to be George Carlin. There's some value overall in a reasoned argument, and some value overall in a certain amount of hip hectoring if the author can piggyback wisdom on entertainment.


I get that's his play. I still want to discourage people from writing this way. George Carlin's cutting humor was profound. It's my humble opinion that unless you intend to write as well as George Carlin, you should be less adversarial in your comments of others.


Author here. I appreciate both your perspectives; not all writing can be for everyone, of course. As it happens I'm in the middle of writing a very long essay in a much more restrained style and decided to kick out this as a fun blog post to take a break. It's nice to see some people are enjoying it. At the same time I understand why you may not, as well.

Truthfully, the whole post is really just two points: think hard about your business, then be honest with what you know. But sometimes writing about antelopes is fun too.


One of the exciting things about building companies now is that everyone has a voice. We appreciate the candid critique.


Dan, we'd love your support. We're sizing for small to extra large on this first run with a couple fits/micro-sizes, including one specifically for the Governator and the tall/lean, which are typically overlooked by apparel companies.


I think the updates you've made to your page are exemplary. I've updated my blog post with a note at the end, and bought some shirts.


I appreciate it. I'm rooting for you guys, even if I have a funny way of showing it. And if it turns out your T-shirts are not for people built like the Governator, please let me know - I will hop on your bandwagon faster than the aforementioned antelope.


How do you get to write as well as George Carlin unless you push, practice and get feedback?


I found his blog to be more entertaining and likely to be read all the way through than what you just wrote.

For me, it struck a decent balance between straight prose and casual, frank humor.

If we wanted everyone's blog to read like the owner's manual for an automobile, I guess you'd have a point... but do we really?


Your "probably more helpful feedback" is far less readable.


>I would rather see high quality writing about how to be successful in raising money and delivering on Kickstarter.

Not every "project" can and should be successful in raising money. The general gist of the example was not "You didn't write about this well enough, so I gave up on you and want to shout about it". Instead, it was "You don't seem to have any idea what you're doing, and here's how I can tell."

If you don't know what the risks, details, or plans are, you can't and don't write about those things. We can tell you don't know about them, and can choose not to support the "project". In this way, your Kickstarter page perfectly represents the project. Why would anyone want to change that?


I would rather see high quality writing about how to be successful in raising money and delivering on Kickstarter.

That type of hyperbole doesn't sell as well as this one does.


Really appreciate your angle/suggestions here. Working on re-writing the Risks/Challenges section now!




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