It is with great melancholy, relief, and exhaustion that I have decided to cease active pursuit of the success of our Kickstarter campaign for Hawk Funn.
At half way through the thirty day run, we are only four percent funded. While it is common that the urgency of the final days often breeds the most pledges, it is unlikely that the pace will quicken fast enough.
Michael and I are extremely proud of the story we've developed. Hawk is a fascinating, rich character. His outdoor life, odd fear, and wild aspirations are an engaging premise. The plot, which we had not divulged, is rife with personal drama and thought-provoking themes. Hawk Funn, the story, will somehow continue. In what form, we are unsure.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all those who supported us with dollars, advice, and cheers.
We had some great successes:
- Our concept of "social fiction" as a form of entertainment was a well received. As we envisioned, social media used in specific ways works as a unique storytelling platform. We were pleased that the audience interacted frequently with the characters, a major component of this art form.
- We received some very good press, including a feature on Mashable which was shared 1.7k times. Thousands of people learned about Hawk Funn.
- Hawk's Facebook page, the main channel of the story, went from nothing to over 650 likes in a few weeks. People wanted this.
What went wrong:
The primary roadblock was the two part complexity of our pitch - the story of Hawk Funn, and the innovation of social fiction. The Kickstarter page was well-crafted from the start, and many friends helped to shape it.
When we saw early after launch that it wasn't quite clicking with people, we tweaked. We got feedback, and tweaked again. And tweaked again. Each time, it became an easier-to-understand pitch, but in hindsight, parts of it became less effective. I believe this is why the traffic from Mashable didn't translate into backers. It's possible too that the rewards simply weren't enticing enough.
Why I threw in the towel:
The data did not project being funded. Simple as that.
But personally, I was working long, hard days, averaging about five hours of sleep a night for the last month. My health was suffering. I wasn't spending enough time with family.
As any entrepreneur knows, the hustle is par for the course. When it's this extreme, it's only temporary. But when the projections of success are so slim, it's fair to question whether to continue the path at all. With much thought, I chose not to.
Giving up on Kickstarter this time doesn't mean giving up on the dream. It's been suggested by many that the world might not be ready for social media storytelling at the scale we envision. Maybe another day with another approach.
What's more inspiring is the creative collaboration between Michael and I in developing Hawk Funn. We truly believe it's a story people will come to love, which makes it worth telling. We will find a way.
After I get some sleep.