i agree with this ^. if you're going to launch a project that you hope builds the momentum to fund +$100,000 of your capital needs, it might be worth putting aside $5k or so for strategic PR or hiring a PR person for the launch of your own crowdfunded project.
And Lockitron proved with a product people want and getting people to notice it, you can do really well without Kickstarter (+$2,000,000 to date I believe).
Thanks for this advice, I will be taking it to heart. I know I'm not good at PR, and think that people will really want to get my product if only I was able to tell them about it. I mean, it's a fully programmable, 10W RGB+white LED light with a built in arduino core, microphone for audio responsive mode, and has extensibility to allow for wifi, DMX, or any other communications you want. Not to mention hallucinatorator mode:
which uses the ganzfeld effect to make crazy hallucinations happen.
I don't even care that someone could completely steal my design because it's open hardware and open source; I would happily pay $70 to get one of my own lights!
So then the question is... since I've been working so hard on this that I haven't been working enough real job to have savings to speak of, I wonder if there is a good PR person I could hire that would defer payment until after a project was successful...
Let me know if anyone knows someone who might be interested!
Kickstarter or self-hosted crowdfunding site, getting the attention of people is going to be the difference. With Kickstarter there is at least some sort of community and set of discovery tools that can draw a bit of extra attention to really great or already high profile projects. It seems self-hosted crowdfunding sites would place the burden of funding entirely on the project poster's personal network and PR prowess.
As usual there's pros and cons to either approach. We love Kickstarter, and agree that the community is a strong asset...but we also believe a lot of project owners will benefit from an alternative approach that puts them in more control of their campaign (and provides continued follow-up with their users after the initial campaign runs its course, which is actually a hugely important aspect)