How to be successful on Crowd Supply Crowdfunding platform?

Are you are an electronics maker and thinking about launching your idea on a crowdfunding platform?

Recently, I was thinking about launching an open-source board and saw three popular crowdfunding platforms. I am sure you must be aware of Kickstarter and Indiegogo but do you about Crowd Supply?

Crowd Supply is one of the platforms focused on open-source embedded hardware. You will find most of the projects on electronics hardware. On Kickstarter and Indiegogo also hardware projects but them other categories are also there.

One thing stuck in my mind was, what should I do to be successful in my crowdfunding campaign.

How to be successful on crowd supply

I had no idea, even I could not get clear advice online, so I thought, let me try to analyze it myself.

Which crowdfunding platform gets more website traffic?

Firstly, I tried to check how many visitors are there on these three popular platforms to understand the basic idea about the popularity of these platforms.

I used to do this analysis and here are the results on organic website traffic (monthly) on these platforms.

Crowd Supply Website Traffic as on 12-11-2019
How to be successful on Crowd Supply Crowdfunding platform? 1
Indiegogo Website Traffic as on 12-11-2019
How to be successful on Crowd Supply Crowdfunding platform? 2
Kickstarter Website Traffic as on 12-11-2019

If you try to analyze the traffic of these three platforms, you would say Kickstarter and Indiegogo are much better organic reach so we should launch maker board on those platforms.

Don’t get carried away by just seeing the website traffic. Crowd Supply is serving the niche open-source hardware projects, on the other hand on Kickstarter & Indiegogo you will find all sorts of projects. So, you need to think, where is your target audience?

It is very important to pick the right platform (where your target audience is).

It is not just that.

Crowd Supply has the highest success rate compared to other platforms. They also help you in various ways (of-course there is a fee for that) as mentioned below:

  • Setting up the campaign
  • Promotions
  • Shipping fulfillment
  • Allows you to sell on their platform even after the campaign is over

They will allow you to pre-launch your project on their platform so that you get some early feedback and a chance to tweak if required.

There are some of the value adds from Crowd Supply.

What can we learn from the successful projects on Crowd Supply?

Next, I thought let me see what kind of projects are getting launched on crowd supply and if we get to know of any pattern from the successful projects.

To do so, I took a sample of 20 projects who were successful and have raised greater than 30,000 USD which is a reasonably good amount for any hardware project (IMHO).

I started collecting information about these projects like Product/Project name, description, goal achieved, how many updates they have shared, no. of backers, average spend per backer, etc.

Below are the details of those 20 projects:

So, what’s the Pattern?

  • Hardware has something unique (1) and is based on popular platforms (2) like Raspberry Pi SBC or compute Module, RISC-V Open Architecture, SDR (Software Defined Radio), ESP32, FPGA Board, USB Security, Onion Omega Linux Computer, etc.

Key Takeaway

To be successful on Crowd Supply you need the following:

  1. Project / Product (Unique): Right product is the most important thing. You can test your idea by asking feedback on your social media channels or you can even create a project on Hackaday, Hackster and see what kind of response you are getting. Based on the response you can tweak and launch your project idea.
  2. Existing large followers/community: If you are building something useful for an existing large community, chances are high that you will get a good response. Example: Raspberry Pi (SBC, Compute Module), RISC-V, ESP32, Onion Omega 2S Linux Computer, SDR, USB Security, etc.
  3. Build a successful prototype: The product should have reached a successful prototypes stage. This is important to build confidence. People will invest if they are convinced that they will get the board/product. Also, good documentation and use-case examples are very critical.
  4. Promotion: Good online promotion after the campaign launched is a must. Don’t just depend on crowdfunding platform, make all efforts to promote your campaign once it is launched. The more people are aware of your project, more are the chances of a good response. Involve your well-wishers, friends to help promote & share online. Use all social media channels for promotion. Share example use-cases regularly on social media for promotion.
  5. Updates: Share updates with your followers about the progress you are making. This will get them engaged and can also influence more backers.

I hope you got some useful information & tips about crowd funding.

You should also read the following articles for more insights about the Crowd Supply platform:

Let me know your feedback in the comments section below or write to me directly here.

If you are interested to learn about embedded system design, read articles here.

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