Is Kickstarter Begging?
What an amazing month September has been and it's about to end with a down-to-the-wire campaign on kickstarter that we are crossing our fingers and holding our breath will get funded.
It started with a mad dash preparation for the Veg Food Fest where we had an amazing weekend. Sales were good, but the exposure was great and the introductions to happy customers and future clients were simply amazing. The Toronto Sun even wrote about us!
Thinking that we could capitalize on the momentum and the exposure, we launched our Kickstarter campaign to run for the month of September. There hasn't been one day that's gone by during which I haven't wondered: "is asking people to contribute to the campaign the same as begging?" If I take away the veil of the Kickstarter platform, my email and social outreach to my network, my friends, family and supporters, basically asks, "Can I please have some of your money so that I can grow my company?"
Flip the coin, and adding back the Kickstarter platform adds a degree of legitimacy to my request for funds because many really cool products and companies have been launched using it and I'm honored to have that opportunity. Similarly, and perhaps more notably, begging implies not offering an exchange, whereas I'm offering various degrees of reciprocity. In keeping with the saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch, I made sure to offer greater value in return for the dollar sized contribution. For example a $25 show of support would receive back a $36 box of cookies; a $100 contribution would get all three products plus some awesome swag, a value of $150+ etc., and it goes all the way up to $10,000.
However, I still can't help but think that I'm approaching people that I would otherwise never in a million years ask for money with my hat in hand. And what I realize is that it's coming down to a battle between my pride and my drive [ambition?]. My pride on my left shoulder says in a glaring voice, "you need other peoples' money like you need a hole in your foot." This pride emanates from being raised to be independent and stubborn. However, I wrote in an earlier post that advice I'd give my child is that you can do anything you set your mind to. My pride focuses on the early part of that statement, "I can do anything..." and my ambition that sits on my right shoulder reflects the latter part of that statement, "set your mind to." Pride be damned, if there's something that has to happen (like raise funds to buy a flow-wrapping machine), get creative and get it done.
I think what it comes down to is the degree to which you believe in what you're doing. More so than anything else I have ever done, I believe that Bald Baker's products are truly delicious and that the world at large, not just diabetics, can benefit from them. If getting them to the market means using a strategic and very forward-looking platform... even if it means begging, I'll do it because it has to happen.
"Your support goes farther than you know. It boosts confidence, generates motivation and inspires us to keep breaking new ground. Bald Baker may seem like a simple dessert company, but it is so much more than that. After a summer of events, festivals, markets and introductions, we have become a company that has actually redefined how people indulge. We have enabled those that have abstained from life's simple joys to do so comfortably and happily. The sheer number of people who have thanked us - vegans, vegetarians, dieters, diabetics, old, young, mothers, fathers and just about everybody in between - has been an extreme, if not unexpected pleasure and it's why we do what we do. With your help, we can keep moving onward and upward."