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Kickstarter Explained

October 21, 2014

The clock is counting down and we’ll be launching our Kickstarter campaign in a few hours. In the lead up to launch, we’ve had a lot of interest, and we’re hoping for a strong opening. Many of the people we’ve been in contact with have never explored crowdfunding before, and aren’t quite sure how it works. If you’re one of these people, here is some explanation that might help.

What is “crowdfunding”?

Crowdfunding is an old concept that has seen an explosion in popularity in recent years, largely due to a few really successful websites that make it easy. People who need funds to tackle some sort of project ask the general public to make lots of modest contributions, rather than looking for investors or going to a bank for a loan. In exchange for contributing money, supporters usually get some sort of “reward” that comes out of the project. So if you’ve supported the production of a live play, you might get tickets; if you’ve helped a band record an album, you get an advance copy, or tickets to a show, or a t-shirt; if you’ve supported the creation of some sort of product (like furniture), you get one of those products. There are also campaigns for social causes, charities, or even raising money for individual’s medical bills – anything anyone can dream up that might get support from others.

Crowdfunding is great for entrepreneurs and artists who can’t get people in suits to back them financially. It’s also a good at testing whether anyone actually wants the thing you’re about to make.

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is the largest and most successful crowdfunding website. Since launching in 2009, over $1.3 Billion has been contributed to campaigns. Kickstarter has chosen to restrict their platform to “creative projects”, so you won’t find any social causes or medical bills – for those, the most popular site is Indiegogo, and there are several other crowdfunding sites with various specializations.

How do I support a project on Kickstarter?

Step 1 – First, you need to create an account. To do so, click here.

Step 2 – You need to find the project you want to support. Kickstarter has lots of ways to browse and search in different categories, regions, and so on. If you’re reading this, you might be interested in supporting Massuni. If so, click here – and thanks!

Step 3 – Once you find a project you want to support, browse through the Rewards that are being offered . On Kickstarter and Indiegogo, they are listed in a column along the right side of the page. Keep scrolling down to see all the choices that are available. Also – details about the Rewards are often given in the main project description – be sure to scroll down through the whole page and read everything.

Step 4 – Once you find the Reward you like, click on it, and you will be taken through a few steps that are very similar to an online shopping checkout system. Just follow the instructions, provide your payment info (usually credit card and PayPal), and that’s it – you’ve helped make the project a reality!

Step 5 – Wait for updates from the project creator. If they’re on top of things, you should get email once in awhile with news about the project’s progress.

How to choose Rewards for Massuni’s Kickstarter project

Massuni is a bit trickier than most crowdfunding projects. Instead of choosing from two or three variations of the product, every supporter gets to design their own unique furniture – that’s the whole point! In order to do this within the Kickstarter platform, we’ve created a set of “starter models”, ranging in value from $180 to $1500. If you like any of these items, simply pledge for that amount. But if you really don’t know what you want, or are uncomfortable estimating, there are two easy choices: Go for the Design Consultation Reward Tier of $25, and we’ll help you figure it out after the campaign. Or, select the $180 Reward Tier, which is pretty much the lowest price of any furniture we make, then pay the balance once you’ve created your custom furniture.

IMPORTANT: After the Kickstarter campaign has ended and we’ve finished our development, Backers will be given first access to the website. You can then go and design your exact item, and submit your order. If the final charge is higher than you pledged, we will bill you for the difference. If the final charge is less than you pledged, you will retain a credit that you can use in the future, or transfer to a friend.

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