My feed reader lit up in the past day with an interesting bit of primary research on some numbers that Kickstarter doesn’t make particularly easy to find: the percentage of successful vs. failed projects on the popular crowd-funding service.
Jeanne Pi from AppsBlogger.com commissioned a scraper script to try to get at that number herself.
Here’s what she found:
- Successful Kickstarter Projects: 50.0%
- Failed Kickstarter Projects: 41.3%
So, what was the headline? “Kickstarter failures revealed! What can you learn from Kickstarter failures?” The blog post that sent me to Jeanne’s research had the headline “Over 40 Percent Of All Kickstarter Projects Fail.” CNN had a similar approach: “Survey: About 41% of Kickstarter projects fail.”
But what about this, instead: “Half of all Kickstarter projects are successful”? That’s true, too. But missing in action.
Is it a bigger story that 41% of projects launched on Kickstarter don’t make their goal, or that half do? Given that these are largely projects that, in aggregate, would not have gotten funded without Kickstarter, I’d argue that the positive results are the real news here and the negative spins are just evidence of the knee-jerk reaction of all of us to lead with bad news, even when it presents a distorted view of the larger truth.