Saturday, August 3, 2013


© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

I woke up this morning, as I have every morning for the last three weeks, hoping to see a Kickstarter pledge posted from somewhere east of here.  With just a little more than seven days left in my challenging Kickstarter campaign (to raise enough capital to produce my new big band CD of Pepper Adams compositions), nothing came in overnight.  With 94% of the campaign funded, I sit and wait; my celebration postponed yet another day?

Gary Smulyan, Neil Tesser, and others have told me that this is to be expected.  The normal rhythm for crowdfunding is that they successfully conclude in the last week of the campaign.  I had emailed Tesser several weeks ago to ask him if he would post an email to his readers in Chicago.  My CD features an all-Illinois based band, so it made sense to get local fans informed, with the hope that some might pledge their support.  He told me to wait.  In his experience, things always happen in the last week.  Smulyan said much the same thing to me a few days ago.

So I wait.  I wasn't too surprised when I looked at my Kickstarter page this morning--while trying to focus after a reasonably good night's sleep--because Saturdays in the summer haven't been good days for receiving pledges.  Sundays have been better.  Based on my experience, I'd deduce that no one should even bother with Kickstarter in the summer.  People are just too distracted.  Steve Cerra told me that a few weeks ago.

Noal Cohen was the first to articulate what I was starting to believe: that success on Kickstarter is predicated on an extensive social media network.  Kickstarter, you could say, is a young person's game.  I'm neither young, nor flush with "friends."  Neither are many of my colleagues, and some of Pepper's generation barely use a computer.  I'm a baby boomer, someone who grew up with LPs, the Beatles and the blues, not a laptop and gangsta rap.  For me, my first foray into Kickstarter was an intense game of catch-up.  I now understand Facebook and Twitter much better, but I wait.  7 more days.

94% in school was a pretty good grade. It was something you could be proud of, knowing that you did a good job.  94% at Kickstarter has the same resonance, because, like a 94 grade, it means a lot of work has paid off.  But anything less than 100% in Kickstarter is a failing grade, because you lose all the money.  So I wait.

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