Delivery Rates on Kickstarter

Ethan R. Mollick
2015 Social Science Research Network  
Using a large survey with 47,188 backers of Kickstarter projects, I examined the factors that led to projects failing to deliver their promised rewards. Among funded projects, a failure to deliver seems relatively rare, accounting for around 9% of all projects, with a possible range of 5% to 14%. There are few indicators at the time of project funding as to which projects might ultimately fail to deliver rewards, though small projects (and to a lesser extent very large projects) are more likely
more » ... ts) are more likely to fail to deliver rewards, as are some project categories. The demographics of project creators (including gender, education level, and family status) did not significantly affect the chance of a project succeeding. Abstract Using a large survey with 47,188 backers of Kickstarter projects, I examined the factors that led to projects failing to deliver their promised rewards. Among funded projects, a failure to deliver seems relatively rare, accounting for around 9% of all projects, with a possible range of 5% to 14%. There are few indicators at the time of project funding as to which projects might ultimately fail to deliver rewards, though small projects (and to a lesser extent very large projects) are more likely to fail to deliver rewards, as are some project categories. The demographics of project creators (including gender, education level, and family status) did not significantly affect the chance of a project succeeding. Disclosures and acknowledgements: Kickstarter collaborated on data gathering, but these results are independent and solely my own work. I was not paid by Kickstarter, and all analyses were conducted independently of Kickstarter. Kickstarter was offered the chance to comment on, but not change, this paper before it was made public. For the backer data, Kickstarter conducted the survey using questions jointly developed with me, but shared all relevant non-private data. For the survey of project creators, the survey was conducted by me alone, and responses were not shared with Kickstarter. All errors and omissions are mine. I would also like to acknowledge the help of Derya and Matt Lane, who assisted me with the research. Funding for the project was provided in part by the Kauffman Foundation.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2699251 fatcat:37l65qqqj5cllilf4rd7ifz32a