Want to get funded on Kickstarter? Mention cats

If you’re trying to get a business funded on Kickstarter, using the words “cats”, “Christina”, and “December”, could help improve your chances of being funded, according to a new study.

A report on CBC by Pete Evans details the research paper written by Tanushree Mitra and Eric Gilbert from the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The paper did an extensive analysis of 45,000 completed Kickstarter projects, about half successfully funded, to see what tactics led to funding and what led to failure. Kickstarter of course is a site where entrepreneurs or individuals can ask consumers for advance funding of a project – be it a new piece of technology hardware or an independently-made movie – in return for various perks.

In general, researchers found that negativity and lack of confidence expressed in project profiles led to missed funding goals. For example, phrases “not been able to” and “hope to get” both have strong negative correlations.

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Researchers found the phrase “pledgers will” to be positively correlated with funding.

To achieve funding success, researchers found that promising a great perk in return for money is effective. Phrases such as “also receive two” and “good karma” were positive, as were phrases such as “given the chance” and “option is.”

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Researchers found the phrase “even a dollar” to be negatively associated with funding.

The researchers seemed to be perplexed over finding the words Christina and cats to be strong predictors of funding success. Although they explained away Christina as possibly referring to celebrity musician Christina Aguilera, it couldn’t explain the cats factor.

“We had no clear explanation for the occurrence of cats – except for the commonly accepted wisdom that the Internet loves them,” the researchers write in their paper.

Overall, when removing other motivating factors to fund a project, researchers found the language used to drive funding accounted for 58.56 per cent of the variance between being funded or not. So if you want to be successful on that crowdfunding project, take your time to write a clean, convincing pitch.

Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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