Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why my kickstarter project is going to fail

I have recently launched a kickstarter campaign for my next report "SDN - NFV in wireless networks". I think I might be among the first/only analysts that are using Kickstarter for this kind of project.
I provide highly specialized labor and intellectual property-intensive reports where I strive to paint an independant picture of an ecosystem, drawing out its dependencies, challenging its operating assumptions and understanding its potential and weaknesses.
Kickstarter is well suited for projects that have mass appeal and capture people's' imagination. While I find SDN and NFV in wireless networks fascinating, I don't think that this interest really qualifies as mass market appeal. My children keep telling me that I will fail making NFV in wireless network attractive if I can't draw parallels with NFV and the TM forum's catalyst projects...
More seriously, this is a B2B enterprise, targeted at the relatively small niche of companies commercializing or investigating SDN and NFV in wireless networks. It is not, generally speaking, an audience prone to serendipitously support projects. While the report and other associated deliverables I develop provide tremendous value for these organizations, this is simply not the way they source these reports and it is unlikely that many will support the project by pledging.
Second, Kickstarter is based on the concept of incremental rewards for project backers. This project might be mostly monolithic with a report as its central deliverable and the comparatively high price compared to other kickstarter projects might be detrimental to its target. I deliberated long and hard on the different backing levels, their discounted price vs retail, their value, the limit I want to impose on them...
I am very grateful for the signs of support and pledge received to date, but all in all, this vehicle might not be the best for the financing or launch of this type of reports. Good thing I am not relying on it. This is more an experiment in social engineering than an actual attempt at financing the project. I am fortunate that my previous reports have been doing very well and they generated tremendous support and recommendations.
The reality is that I am writing and delivering this report and associated deliverables even counting on the kickstarter campaign to fail. The report is already largely pre-sold and financed. I will be chairing and keynoting the SDN & NFV USA show and the SDN - NFV in mobile track at the SDN & OpenFlow world congress in October where I will officially launch the report and present some preliminary findings.
Why did I do it then? Well, it is good every now and then to do something new. Something no one has done before. Failure is not a curse, it is sometimes desirable, if you plan to learn from it, it leads to great success.

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