What is crowdfunding? And why did we at PF choose to do a crowdfunding campaign?
Recently we launched the Momentum Planner App as a project on Kickstarter. It would be almost impossible, if you follow any of our channels to not have heard about it, but likely some people in our audience don’t yet know what crowdfunding or Kickstarter is, or how it works.
We wanted to do our part to get you in the know on how all the funding magic happens, so you’ll be in a position to start backing our and other amazing projects.
Turning the Beloved Momentum Planner into an App
For those who are longtime friends of Productive Flourishing, or who use the Momentum Planner, you in all likelihood already know about the plan to take our planner, and turn it into a piece of software. But some of you may there are also people in the community’s reach, but who have never used the Momentum Planner before, and so therefore might have a hard time conceptualizing the app version.
Here let’s explain a little more about why we decided to take the hard copy of the Momentum Planner, and turn it into a mobile app.
If you’re not already familiar with the Momentum Planning Method, probably at some point you’ve used some kind of planner in the past (whether it’s the Panda Planner, Franklin Covey, or one similar). Our departure from the old model of planners is simple enough: with the app, rather than having to write everything down, and turn around and write it on the next day, and so on, the Momentum app holds the memory of all that information for you.
You may look at your action list for a particular day and say, “Oh, I know, I’m not going to get this done,” in which case, the app easily allows for moving tasks two days from now, or however many days you decide.
Momentum, the app version of the Momentum Planner, is about using the best of technology to help you plan in a way that works best for you. Our tagline is “Meet Momentum, the planner app that puts your goals, projects, and schedules into one place.” You can see the basic features of the app here.
Currently, we are in the early design stages, but right now we already have a few visual designs, mock-ups, and animations where you can move things around. When the Kickstarter campaign ends on February 3, our backers will be the folks we reach out to in April during the Beta test, where we start showing the product and asking for feedback: “Do you like this? Do you like that? What would you change?”
That’s just one of the ways we’re working together with our community to build Momentum. Getting financial support through crowdfunding is another.
Now let’s go back to crowdfunding. This is essentially a 21st-century way to make ideas happen. When someone has a product, service, or other idea they want to see into the world, the creator uses crowdfunding to engage their community to help them build that thing. It’s about co-creation, in the sense that you’re allowing others to participate in the building and funding of this thing you want to do. So instead of going out to traditional investors, you’re asking your community, ”Hey, can you toss us a few bucks here to help build this thing and in exchange will give you these rewards (and this opportunity for input)?”
When first planning the app, our team discussed this. Do we go after some sort of venture capital? Are we looking to find mainstream routes of funding? Or do we just go to our audience and say, “Let’s build this product together.” And we found that the major difference between going after investors vs. crowdfunding is, with investors, you have to build a product that essentially pleases them, right?
An outside investor is motivated by selling the product–their aim is for it to be adopted by a billion people, and to make hundreds of millions of dollars. Sure, theoretically, we would want that too. But what we actually want more is to build a great product that our community actually wants, and that we’re invested in (literally and metaphorically).
By opting for crowdfunding, we’re essentially looking to get a group of about 1,000 diverse individuals — you among them — and get feedback from these folks in real time as we build the product.
We chose to launch a Kickstarter campaign because we wanted to co-create with our audience, and there’s a big difference between, “We’re building this thing, hope you like it,” and “We’re building this thing, help us with it, and we’ll listen to your input.” Having skin in the game is a big part of it. The feedback that customers give is different than the feedback that a reader or general audience member gives.
Kickstarter’s website describes the work they do as making “ideas into reality.” The concept is to bring together creators and anyone with a vision — from every walk of life and imaginable sector — with communities that, together, are capable of financing those visions and making them into real-world, tangible products.
Kickstarter happens to be one of the most widely-known, trusted, and oldest crowdfunding sites. Our team is already familiar with it, and we know how it works. It also has a large audience of people who intentionally go looking for new products to back and support.
The Kickstarter Campaign So Far
On Friday, January 7, 2022, 24 hours after we launched, our Kickstarter funding levels reached $13,814, surpassing our $10,000 goal with 145 backers. But if our goal is $10,000 then how is it possible to wind up with more money than our goal? To break this down, we originally chose a modest $10,000 goal since we felt pretty confident that was a goal we could hit — our minimum or minimum goal if you will.
We were hoping to get to a point where we could achieve above and beyond our initial aim — which brings us to the concept of the stretch goal in Kickstarter campaigns.
A stretch goal on Kickstarter is based on the idea that, while you want to be modest when forecasting how much funding you’ll get — there’s a chance you get lucky and receive more than you even dreamed. On that off chance, you come up with cool additional benchmarks for the campaign — which can make possible incredibly useful additions for the app or other additional rewards for backers, when funding allows.
For a lot of funders looking for projects to back on Kickstarter, campaigns that have already been funded at their initial goal level are a safe bet, because it means that project is definitely going to be created. Kickstarter projects are all or nothing, meaning that if your campaign isn’t funded, at least at the most minimal goal level, no one pays anything (and the creator isn’t on the hook to create something that didn’t fund.).
So we’re at an advantage from the perspective that Kickstarter tends to promote projects that are already funded at their initial goal level. Since the campaign goes on over the course of 30 days, and we hit our $10,000 goal in the first 24 hours, the next question is: where to go from here?
What happens if I click “Back this project”?
When you click “back this project” you’ll be prompted to choose a backer level, meaning at what level or amount do you want to support the project. Once you’ve chosen how much you want to offer, you will remain informed about the project, potentially have a say in certain decisions (for instance, in the design), and also receive a reward as described by the project in exchange for your support.
What are the Kickstarter backer levels?
We’ve got a number of levels: $5, $20, $50, $75, $100, $180, $270, $1,000 and $5,000. Some people aren’t initially sure what level to choose, on the basis of their personal finances, and take a couple of days to think about what level to back the campaign. This is also normal.
Many campaigns have a $5 level to start, like a tip jar. If you back it at the $5 level, you want to help out , but you’re not really looking for a reward. For our campaign, $5 will give you access to all backer updates, and you’ll get your name on the Momentum website, as a thank you for supporting the campaign.
Then working our way up, we’ve got rewards for backers at each level. Some of the rewards relate to Momentum app access, e.g., for 2, 6, or 12 months, 4 years, or a lifetime. Others include the Productivity Bundle, which is a set of four physical products that would be shipped to you. If you back it at the $1,000 level you gain access to a one-year membership in the Academy, a community for conscious leaders, designed to grow your business, and find improvements in productivity that help you experience more ease in your day-to-day.
At the $5,000 level, in addition to all that’s been mentioned so far, you get personal access to Charlie Gilkey, founder of Productive Flourishing, to facilitate Momentum Accelerator Consultations for you. Right now backing the campaign at this level via Kickstarter is probably the only way you have a chance to get a consultation with him, as a new client, in the near future (because of how full his schedule is).
Do the backer reward levels build on each other?
The reward levels do build on each other. If you start backing at $20 you’ll receive the digital Momentum Planner (PDF) in addition to limited backer access. If you bump up to $50 you also will get the physical planner, with longer term access to the Momentum app, when it is available in June 2022. You would also get the Momentum Kickstarter Kit, which means the digital Momentum Planner, packaged with additional productivity-related courses. The next level gives you more access, for longer, as well as all the previous rewards.
Which backer reward level should I choose?
As a backer, you can consider, “what’s in my budget,” and then “what’s the right reward level for me?” If you’ve been in the Productive Flourishing ecosystem for a while, you might have a planner, as an example, but not a signed copy of Charlie Gilkey’s book Start Finishing. On that basis, the $100 level could be the one that appeals.
We’ve been informing people who want to back but aren’t sure what to do to choose the $75 level. That level offers a year’s access to Momentum when it launches in June, as well as early access to the Beta (starting in April). You’re essentially getting 15-16 months for the price of the year. And you’re receiving 25% of that first year’s access, and a 25% lifetime discount every year thereafter. It takes a year with a planner to be effective for many people, so it’s a pragmatic decision.
If you are a business owner or an executive, we have a limited number of slots for coaching from Charlie Gilkey, co-founder of Productive Flourishing. Given how valuable and coveted these consultation coaching sessions can be, this ($5,000) level may make a lot of sense for you. It will mean Charlie will actually sit down with you (and your team) for half a day, walk through the logistical and operational challenges your team is facing, and work with you on how they can best be solved.
If you’re a leader, business owner, freelancer or a solopreneur, the PF Academy is essentially the group coaching version of that. We have multiple co-working and coaching sessions every week. Currently, there are 100+ members, including solopreneurs, small business owners, managers, and nonprofit directors. It’s a wide variety of people doing interesting, important, and heart-centered work. Access to the Academy comes in at the $1,200 level. (Academy regular one-year memberships are $999, and you get a bunch of other rewards for your $1,200 pledge.)
That’s ultimately a super great deal to get access to Charlie and Angela directly, other members of the PF team, and an amazing community of helpful, supportive individuals. It’s a genuine way to achieve accountability, and get your most important projects done.
If I back the campaign at, for example, the $20 level, can I then increase my backer level later? Or do I have to stay at that level?
You’ve got time until the campaign ends to decide if you want to increase your backing level. Say you back at the $20 level, and then decide “Wow, you know, I really like what I’m seeing as far as this Momentum stuff. My two months is probably not enough, I would really like to get six months, or maybe I’m going to bump to $75 and do a year.”
It’s an easy fix on the Kickstarter site.
Go to the Momentum app page (when you’re logged in). If you want to change your pledge level, you can change it to whatever new pledge level you’d like — as many times as you want while the campaign is live. You’re never charged on Kickstarter for backing a campaign, and you will not be charged for whatever your pledge level is until the campaign closes (in our case, February 3rd).
You always have until the campaign ends. Until then you have carte blanche to decide what level of backing you want to do.
What if I want to support, but don’t need any of the rewards?
If you don’t necessarily want or need any of the rewards, at the very top of the page, there is an option to back without a reward. Then you can enter whatever dollar amount is appropriate, and back at that level. You still get the backer updates that way and, and still participate and help support us. And that’s great, too.
How do I stay informed if I back the campaign?
When you back at any level of the campaign, you get access to all updates. Some updates will be public to everyone who is on Kickstarter, and then there will be backer-only updates. As soon as you pledge to the campaign, you start receiving those backer-only updates to keep you aware of what’s coming. Mostly that’s going to be talking about those stretch goals which are forthcoming. We have some fun ideas in terms of stretch goals where backers vote on what feature they want to be developed next.
Stay tuned for more, and don’t forget to head on over to Kickstarter, and try out backing the campaign.