In the past, I’ve covered plenty of puzzly Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns that I thought might interest my fellow puzzlers and PuzzleNationers.
Today, I’m not so much recommending a campaign — since it’s pretty much closed right now — but I do want to share the story of that campaign, because I think they’ve learned from the mistakes of other campaigns and they’re doing things right.
So let’s talk about the Codex Silenda project.
Codex Silenda: The Book of Puzzles is a series of mechanical puzzles, each of which unlocks the next “page” until you get to the final puzzle, which reveals a prize. It’s an awesome concept, and all of the photos of the 5-page Codex look gorgeous.
Now, there are several noteworthy things about this particular Kickstarter campaign. The first is that the puzzle project funded in a day, and within two days, every tier that allowed you to receive a complete Codex was filled up. By day three, even the tier that stated you’d receive the Codex disassembled and you’ve have to put it together yourself was filled up.
So in 72 hours, if you wanted the Codex for yourself, you had to settle for the lower tier allowing you to receive a single page of the Codex of your choosing, or you had to set yourself for a long wait until the Kickstarter campaign had been fulfilled and the team had moved on to accepting orders once more.
That brings me to the second noteworthy thing about this campaign: their patience and forethought.
Many Kickstarter campaigns that turn out to be more successful than expected become victims of their success, accepting more and more backing from supporters, adding loads of stretch goals to fulfill, and basically getting caught up in the excitement of being a well-funded runaway success.
[Image courtesy of expertrain.com.]
Unfortunately, those campaigns are often overwhelmed once they finally realize the monumental task ahead of them: producing the product for LOADS of supporters, becoming stressed by delays, missteps, and the ever-looming deadline they promised during the campaign. I’ve seen it time and time again, even with well-staffed, supremely organized campaigns. Things happen.
But the Codex team nipped that possibility in the bud early, declaring that they would NOT be adding additional tiers. Although this would mean losing out on more funding AND potentially disappointing interested customers, they wanted to fully commit to the supporters they already had and not overtax their team.
It’s an act of patience and restraint that will serve them well, even if it did leave latecomers to the campaign like me a little disheartened.
And that brings me to the third noteworthy aspect of this campaign: planning for the future.
[Image courtesy of tibco.com.]
Now that they had secured funding and already turned their eyes toward production, they offered an olive branch to all the interested supporters who had found them after that amazing 72-hour launch to success. You see, one of the few stretch goals they had built into the campaign were 6th and 7th pages to add to the Codex, which would be exclusive to the Kickstarter campaign.
That means that the Codex produced for customers after the campaign would only be 5 pages, and latecomers would miss out. The team thought that was unfair, so they’ve offered a unique solution: an upgrade voucher.
By adding a bit more to your donation for one of the non-Codex tiers, you would receive a voucher proving you were a Kickstarter supporter. That way, when the Kickstarter campaign is complete, all those orders are filled, and the team begins accepting orders from customers, that voucher entitles you to a Codex with the Kickstarter-exclusive 6th and 7th pages.
Now that is smart marketing and customer service.
I look forward to seeing where the Codex Silenda team goes from here, and how the campaign proceeds once they move into formal production and eventually, product delivery. With forethought and planning like this, I think they’ll be a big success.
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