Three tips on how to run a successful Kickstarter by a team that smashed it

After compiling everything it needed for a Kickstarter campaign, the Ninja Blocks team decided to completely scrap all they’d done, rather than publish a campaign they didn’t believe in.


It turned out to be the right decision. The startup campaign for its Ninja Sphere product, turned out to be the most successful campaign on Kickstarter Australia, raising $702,937, well above its $115,000 goal. In doing so, it became Australia’s second most successful Kickstarter campaign ever.


Here are some tips from Ninja Blocks chief executive officer Daniel Friedman on how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign that he gave at Australia’s main startup event, Sydstart.


1. Be shareable


“We’d built a prototype, went and filmed a Kickstarter video. Then we got in an illustrator, did everything we needed to do for a Kickstarter. Before we pushed the button we looked at it, we took a step back and looked at everything we had, and then we threw everything away.


The video was an infomercial and we told people here is a product that you should buy and we think was worth the money. But there was nothing that was shareable, that grabbed people, that was a hook, and on Kickstarter that’s essentially a death sentence.


2. Understand the platform


So we did an introspective and tried to figure out what we screwed up. We didn’t understand our audience and didn’t understand our motivations for going to Kickstarter.


Our audience wants to be part of the future. All of them do. That’s the point of crowdfunding essentially, that’s why a lot of people want to do it. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves.


They’re willing to back geeky things. But we’ve made a TV (commercial) that could have been shown on QCV I think, a television shopping and commercial shopping network, and had completely misunderstood what Kickstarter was for.


3. Get it right and don’t be afraid to be a geek


So we went back into it. We literally found completely new videographers, completely new illustrators, redid our content, we re­understood what this product wanted to do and how to accomplish it on Kickstarter.


So we wanted to show it as a vision of the future, and invite our backers on a journey of figuring that out.


They’re willing to go on a journey with us, and they’re willing to back pretty nerdy things. So with that we weren’t afraid to reshoot the thing and really bring out the design of the device, that’s a goal thing in and of itself.


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