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Kickstarter: 'Stretch goals muddy the waters'

Kickstarter: 'Stretch goals muddy the waters'

August 13, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

August 13, 2013 | By Kris Ligman
More: Crowdfunding, Alternative Funding, Business/Marketing

As alluded to during our alternative funding week, Kickstarter has produced a special blog post to address stretch goals -- optional funding targets often laid out in addition to the original project proposal. Do they help or harm your crowdfunding? Kickstarter's Yancey Strickler says it's all in how they're implemented.

"All-or-nothing funding is simple and clear: a project has a single goal, and backers support the project in its pursuit of that goal. Stretch goals muddy the waters," the blog post advises readers. "For a typical stretch goal a creator will promise to release their game in additional formats or add extra functions if certain funding goals are hit. But expanding a project's scope can change the creative vision and put the whole project at risk. We've seen stretch goals leave some projects overwhelmed, over-budget, and behind schedule."

"Many Kickstarter projects end up significantly overfunded," notes the Kickstarter post, which goes on to say that developers can integrate the extra funds in a number of ways that make sense for the project: improvements to the final product's quality, or simply aiding in the development team's spending cash. "Stretch goals, on the other hand, trade long-term risk for a short-term gain," cautions Kickstarter.

The post also offers some broad ideas for alternatives to stretch goals. "Make an unforgettable experience for [your] backers. Use updates to share the creative process as it happens. Make a connection that goes beyond funding."

Certainly, various projects have continued to see considerable momentum even after the conclusion of a Kickstarter campaign -- Star Citizen comes immediately to mind, which has raised far more by engaging an active forum of supporters than it has through crowdfunding websites.

"Money gets spent, but a strong community will last forever," Kickstarter advises. "Tread carefully."

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