As the title of this post suggests, this is a very humbling post (but sometimes I still laugh at what happened. Read on…)
After months+ of preparation for Storyweaver’s first every Kickstarter for High-Space, a typo that occurred during a last-minute, under-the-pump change has left the project with a very odd, and incorrectable end date.
Here’s what happened… we had been aiming for a 29 day Kickstarter duration. All looked good, and I pressed the ‘Launch’ button with a very dramatic flourish… only to find myself presented with a second confirmation page/check-list.
So I ticked all the disclaimers, and clicked the ‘Launch’ button again… only this time to be prompted that there were discrepancies in the Shipping details of several Rewards (later, I wondered what the ‘official’ KS review process actually checked?)
If you have ever set-up a Kickstarter you will know what a clunky interface the Rewards section can be, especially the Shipping costs… and it took an hour to fix everything… so know we were an hour behind schedule and people were already waiting on-line for the launch.
Here’s where things went horribly wrong (okay, it’s not that dramatic.)
I had been using the ‘days to run’ option for setting the end date, because I understood that Kickstarter will end a project exactly when it started (time-of-day) if you simply set the number of days for which it runs.
However, I really wanted a specific end time, and we were an hour behind schedule now! So I took the opportunity to make a last minute change and switched to the ‘scheduled end time option’ where you configure an actual date and time (not just a duration.)
At that moment it did not click with me that when the interface changed from a text box in which to enter a duration, to a date-control field, that the new control defaulted to the date that the previous numeric value was projecting. I thought it was showing the start date, and that I had to pick a new end date.
One more thing went wrong (another human error)… you’d think I’d notice the name of the ending day displayed as being different to what I intended, right? But being a February -even with- 29 days, there was one day of difference, and I was so used to mentally shifting a day in my calculations because I was computing between local (Australian) dates/times and US dates/times, that it all ‘looked right” to me (did I mention I was rushing to meet an expired deadline?)
Some lessons for you…
- Find a way, any way you can, to run the Kickstarter in the currency/location of your key market. Maybe you need to find a ‘sponsor’ there you can trust to handle the cash?
- Check the items that cannot be changed. HERE is the current list. In a nutshell, as of this date, they are:
- Funding goal
- Project deadline
- Kickstarter profile name
- Rewards tiers that have already have a backer
- Get someone else to eyeball the same items, independently.
- Never change non-changeable details while under the pump. See Jamey Stegmaier’s “Lesson #68”
Where to now for the High-Space Kickstarter?
For me this poses an interesting question. Is this an opportunity to do something clever with this mistake? Is their an ounce of lemonade in that one big lemon of a mistake? Time to think hard (but not rush), and then make an official project update…