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To Kickstart or Not to Kickstart

I didn’t want to post twice on Friday…my blogging is sparse and inconsistent enough as it. But that means I’m getting in a little late on commenting on the anti-Kickstarter rant on dontdrinkbeer that took the Twitterverse by storm late last week. Such is life.

So let’s start here and afterward I will keep my comments pleasantly short. First of all, if for no other reason than that the rant is funny and full of some truly excellent cursewording, go read the whole thing. Seriously, you don’t want to miss sentences like this one:

Recently there have been ropes and ropes of precum turned out by “brewers” who promise eternal anal massages for pennies on the dollar and forthcoming ambrosial treats…

And there’s a very cute pangolin statue.

OK. So it’s funny, it’s a rant, and I like both funny things and rant things. So I suppose I should just settle there and say “Enjoy!” I’ll also admit that I think that the “every new business needs a Kickstarter campaign” thing has gotten a little out of hand. Sifting through Kickstarters I might give a crap about is now far more a cognitive load and timesuck than I think it’s worth. It’s like trying to sift through the rap section at Sam Goody’s in the late 90s. I just need one poorly printed ‘zine to find the good stuff.

That being said, it is not at all uncommon for new businesses to seek investors in their new enterprise. And there are lots of models for how you might do that. You could, for example, get a small business loan, which is a kind of investment. The bank gives you money and you, in turn, give them their money back (eventually) plus interest Hopefully the interest is some <100% amount of profit derived from your business. Another model is to get a straightforward investor who will give you money for some pre-determined return on the amount provided. These are normally in the forms of stocks or bonds.

Kickstarter isn’t offering anything different than this old model, except a platform to reach out to a lot more people who will (presumably) give much smaller amounts than either a bank or stock- or bondholder and in return they will get a seasonal six pack at some undetermined date in the future, or a free pack of stickers…or get to name the mash tun or whatever.

There is no necessary link between a person who makes a Kickstarter video and a lack of a business plan, or lack of ability to make beer, or any other of the ranty charges leveled by dontdrinkbeer. “Make a Kickstarter” could easily be part of a genuinely well thought out business plan. I’m sure they know that. I’m sure none of these words needed to be written. But just in case someone was persuaded that a Kickstarter campaign necessarily precluded business acumen, I just wanted to toss my two cents in to support crowdsourcing.

Yay, crowdsourcing!

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Posted in The Drinking Class.