It occurred to me today that there is a definite similarity between having a child and having a Kickstarter. I mused aloud about this silly parallel with my friend, and we both were soon collapsing in laughter. So for your enjoyment, here are the top five reasons why having a Kickstarter is like having a kid!
It's a LOT of fun coming up with the idea for a Kickstarter, just as it is a lot of fun to "practice" making a baby. I come up with new ideas for Kickstarters pretty often, but when a kickstarter idea actually becomes real, it's a long difficult, but ultimately rewarding journey. This doesn't deter me in the least from coming up with new ideas for more, but I'm much more careful after having one, about whether I'll decide to risk letting another one… take root.
1. It's more fun to think about having a Kickstarter than it is to actually "give birth" to one.
2. Your kid is a lot cuter to you than it is to other people.Yes, I'm one of those parents who will pull out the pictures and regale you with stories of my son's first bath far more often than I'd like to admit. And turns out, that tendency follows you into the world of having a Kickstarter! Everyone loves their Kickstarter, and we can go on for hours about the process of shooting and editing the video, or choosing the reward tiers. These stories might seem important and interesting to me, but I've learned to reign myself in a little as I see peoples eyes begin to glaze over.
When you have a new Kickstarter it is encouraged for you to put out a rough draft and solicit advice on ways to improve it. That is actually hugely helpful, and I highly recommend doing it. However, the advice doesn't stop. Ever. Just like when I visit family sometimes I will be told I need to feed my son "more bread" to "put some meat on his bones" (even though he is allergic to gluten), I am still given daily hints and tips about how to market my kickstarter more effectively. Much of this advice is great, but I have to make choices, and sometimes I'm stuck with the result of my choice and I can't change it. And sometimes the advice I'm given would work much better if I was a big company with a big budget.
3. Everyone has an opinion on how you should be running your Kickstarter. Everyone.
My child is a lot of work. Picky, and allergic to tons of things. Intelligent, but unenthused about home-work or house-work. Social, but limited in communication skill by autism. I sometimes feel like the majority of my interactions with him are a bit of a struggle. But then he'll just do one thing right, comfort a classmate, ace a test, or say "I love you" just when I need it most. I melt and everything is fine again. That is similar to how when your kickstarter goes a day or two with hardly any momentum, it's excruciating. Not to mention all the behind the scenes emailing and marketing you have to do. But then suddenly a big backer will pledge, or a blogger will say yes to an interview, and suddenly everything is wonderful again!
4. Every time your kid does something good, you forgive her for all she's put you through.
You're never really sure if your Kickstarter is going to go out into the world and become a huge success, or if it will end up living in your basement embarrassing you, and costing you money for the rest of your life. But you love it either way.
5. Uncertainty about the future becomes commonplace.
Yeah, like with your kid. :^)
Anyway, I hope you all have enjoyed my self-indulgent ramblings. I'd love to hear in the comments about how you think having a kid and a kickstarter are similar. And please, take a moment to pop over to my kid… er… kickstarter and become a backer. Every single contribution, no matter how small, is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.