Ok, so the title’s a bit of a pun, but I thought it was time I summed up my past fail with the Indiegogo campaign, the progress with the Oggam, and my conclusions so far. Having taken a break from a commission, I kept thinking all the while that maybe I was unwittingly trying to block out the non starter and lie to myself about just not my ability to conduct a task just like it. I hope that all this may help you if perhaps you are planning something similar to an Indiegogo or Kickstarter in the future.
You possibly keep thinking, why the hell is he going on about this “oggam” thing, just give it up man! (As it happens many have said that to me, but I guess I have a captured audience since this blog is hitting around 200 hits a day, some are actually reading it!)
In answer, I would have to say that while I started it as a side project, it has become a target of mine to do it and not let it beat me. when I win and reach my intended goal, I will stop and move on. Sure the first campaign went down the pan, I have to put that down to plenty of factors. After that, I had quite a few people on the net, give me some stick and were rather down on the whole idea. Also, I felt as if they disliked me a fair bit, pretty strange considering I didn’t even know them, nor had I been negative to them in any way to warrant abuse from them? Well, ok, I may have commented about them openly (No names or anything, just in the tense, “Them” or “some people”, if you get my meaning!) But, this was after I got a talking down to.
Not that I really give a shit, I just found it bizarre that these idiots would give me shit about me wanting to make a range of miniatures of pig mutants in 15mm scale! I mean, it’s just ridiculous to think in their heads, I had set out to offend them, or I was just a no mark upstart, trying my luck to jump in to an industry and thought I could get somewhere! Jesus, it’s not like I’m some 16 year old kid or a total noob, i’m a 39 year old man, married with 4 kids, plus I have been doing art as a career for decades! To me this kind of stuff isn’t too different from some of the other art/design/craft jobs I have done over the years,just different.
The Indiegogo project failed for lots of reasons like I said. I think I should list them, so that you all know, that I know all the “why’s”, and to set the record straight before the next stages of my plans. That being said, I will be honest in my own opinion, I am as unbias as I can possibly be, without being too self derogatory or put myself down. It serves no purpose doing that to yourself, nor does it mean one should walk around in a daze, with delusions of grandeur! The middle path is one we should all take.
So, Indiegogo. Why did it go tits up?
1. I was totally unprepared. This one thing I think blighted the project, I should have taken my time and planned meticulously making sure I covered all the bases. The experts are 100% right on this factor.
2. I underestimated what it needed to succeed. Again, I just didn’t think it out enough, I should have done at least some research beforehand. it’s something I will do every time from now on.
3. I thought out loud. I was foolish to think that people would see things like I do, I love to discuss and collaborate, as I work well with others, I also was stupid to think that folks would appreciate my creative process. I will not do that again as it seems that quite a few un-creative types are unable to see beyond what is in front of them. they only see the first layer of knowledge, not the others that lie beneath.
4. I had no professional trust with the target audience. I admit, I could be anyone, there is no reason to think I wouldn’t fuck off with any money I made and piss it against the wall, spend the cash on crack whores and heroin, and do a runner to Brazil with the rest. I wouldn’t of course, but the point is, there is no track record of my achievement in the field. I did feel that on this reason alone, “some” people (Like certain ones I noted before) seemed to have taken this as a personal attack of me wanting to become a player in the miniatures industry, and therefore a rival. Whether they were actually in the industry is another matter, all the industry people I have met or spoken to are really nice and helpful, so I doubt the haters had any real involvement in the industry.
5. I chose very niche target audence. 15mm alone is a niche. 15mm sci-fi is a further niche. Humanoid pigs are another niche. ad infinitum.
6. I didn’t understand how crowdfunding worked. I launched the project without any real understanding of crowd funding. I didn’t know any strategies, market research, anything about stretchgoals etc. Yes, I did do a bit, but no where near enough. See points 1 & 2.
7. I didn’t engage the target audience. I really didn’t plug it enough. I should have done it everyday, to the point of spamming. The target audience should have been bombarded with news to get them on board.
8. I attempted to think out of the box. Another thing that I think annoyed some, was the premise for the Oggam themselves, I might have done much better with an idea that suited a wider target audience. The fact that it was far from the norm, had an adverse effect.
9. Indiegogo is shit. I feel that had I been able to go for Kickstarter, I may have fared better. They have far more users, they are more well known, and drive better traffic through the site. Even the name sounds better. Indiegogo just sounds random, too complicated to explain to people that know nothing about crowdfunding and are simply put off by the name.
While there were reasons for the fail, there were many small victories that make up for it in the long run. I am now better prepared for what lies ahead. So I’ll share the good points that came from my loss.
1. knowledge is power. I know now, what to do. I know now just how to conduct a similar campaign, if I work my ass off, success will be assured. Humans learn from their mistakes.
2. Discovered new skills. I know now that I can sculpt in greenstuff and at the required scale, Ok, so I am still a bit rough around the edges, but I know that I can do it. It’s also allowed me to develop new habits on the way I organize myself. Pretty good for me, as I am usually disordered and chaotic!
3 Same destination, different paths. There is not one way to getting this idea to fruit. There are many journeys, but we all get to the same place in the end.
4. It was a sound idea. I still believe my Oggam are a fantastic idea for a range, while some don’t like them, as I see my ideas brought to life with my sculpts, I know that they are going to be adored and collected by others who share my love of them as a fighting force in wargames. They are no worse than any other sci-fi race manufactured for 15mm, and I know they will look brilliant painted, based and fielded as an army.
5. Gained an invaluable network. My network has been forced to grow, i’m now in contact with hundreds of great friendly people everyday. That in itself, is priceless!
6. One door closes, another door opens. The exposure from the failed campaign has allowed me to open more doors, it has got me lots of art work jobs, possiblities of sales and outlets for selling my wares, and more choices to progress if any of them shut on me in the future!
7. Gained valuable progress. The whole campaign has continued, the background is better fleshed out, more concepts are done, art work and writing, graphics, spreading the word and generally moving forward towards my eventual goal.
8. Belief in my abilities. I have more belief in myself to get it done, as we all doubt ourselves, I for one have a habit of putting myself down. I might have failed this last one, but if nothing else I have found new strength in myself that has empowered me to continuethis project, and well beyond….
So in a bit of a conclusion, it’s not all bad. Perseverence is key to success. The ability to take a knock back and recover to move on stronger than you started. It’s been an adventure so far, and I am prepared for a tough fight ahead, win or loose sheer determination will keep driving me toward improving and playing a better game.
It wasn’t very “Jerry’s final thoughts” like I promised originally, maybe part rant, part analysis, but at last I have had time to put into words my real conclusions on the matter. If you are still reading this, I hope you found a bit of use or sense within, but regardless of what you derived from all of it, at least I have!