Kickstarter's Journey Part 2: Reasons


As a general rule, I say don't do anything for the sole purpose of making money or because it's easy.  Doing something for both reasons is exponentially worse.  There are a few reasons for that.

Reason #1
The thirst for money is blinding.  If you don't believe me, get on kickstarter.com, find projects that are ending soon, and look at the ones that have failed to make any money.  There you will see people who are basically offering a turd for money.  They poorly present a half-baked plan, throw it out there, and expect to get a project funded they are not capable of completing.  Their profit margin is beyond unreasonable, and it's about taking advantage of the consumer. 
See an example here.  $300,000 goal, huh?  Retails at $75-$150, huh?  I could make your game out of a broken copy of battleship for five dollars. 

Reason #2
The ease of making something is an illusion.  It's not easy.  Even with the infinite tools at hand, it still takes a lot of hard work.  I've been working on my project for two hours everyday for almost a year and a half.  And I've felt like blowing my brains out for most of it.  It's scary.  It's sacrifice.  And it's difficult. 
Through my whole experience, I've never felt it was easy.  It has felt rewarding at times.  And when it does, you have to hold onto that feeling because it is fleeting and comes few and far between. 
See an example here.  She used the lowest quality video footage possible, and the video cuts out halfway, AND SHE POSTS IT ANYWAY!  If you half build it, they won't come.

Reason #3
I'm not saying people don't make a business model off these two motivations, but every time they do, they run the risk of losing returning customers.  Hollywood has been doing this for years. 
Take Liam Neeson.  One day people are going to realize they have already seen everything he has to offer and stop watching.  Fool me Taken once, shame on you.  Fool me Taken twice, shame on me.  Fool me Taken thrice, shame on humanity.
So if you want to be a flash in the pan, by all means.  Go for it.  However, if you want to make something others will love (not just like or tolerate), take the hard road.

In the end, I making a game because I play a lot of games.  I came up with an idea that was not already out there, and decided to give it a try.  When friends and family responded well, I moved forward with it.

As Neil Gaiman says, "Make good art."  That's always the right reason.

Find more entries here.