A while back I wrote that crowdfunding can be a distraction to startups from working on their products. While I still believe that, one of my clients have shown me that the two can be put together to create a community of people who passionately care about your product and are investing their time and ideas (beyond the $10 or $50 or whatever amount they contribute) in helping you deliver an outstanding experience.
Over the past week or so, together with my partners at TriNimbus (more on that in some other post) I have been busy delivering a crowdfunding platform for Precursor Games, a Hamilton, Ontario based gaming startup. We’ve put almost every AWS service into the stack to ensure we can scale the site and handle millions of views as soon as the campaign starts today at 9am PST/noon EST. I will need to dedicate a post to the architecture at some point as it is worth looking at the opportunities AWS has given us in deploying the solution.
By launching their own site instead of going with Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, the team at Precursor are doing an amazing job in integrating the community they are creating with the crowdfunding and weave them into their team in ways that are not possible with those platforms. Even before the crowdfunding started, the community has been responding in overwhelming numbers to a teaser video released by IGN last Friday and the responses ranged from excitement about being able to contribute to the game to questioning if crowdfunding will bring the authoritative pressure that traditional investment brings on the team to deliver.
I think that crowdfunding will help Precursor stay motivated beyond any pressure Angel or VC investors can put in a traditional setting. It will help them stay true to their goal in letting the community shape the game and they will take pride in their work long before the game goes out. They’re taking one of the principles of the Agile Manifesto quite literally by bringing the customers onto the team – loads of them.
I have already seen parts of the game in development and I am glad that Precursor didn’t stay busy creating a crowdfunding strategy and site by forgetting on their product. The quality in the work done so far is apparent and I know the team can deliver great fun and astounding visual and audio experience to their users. While I can’t claim much of a gaming zest myself, I have been surrounded with friends who are passionate gamers and game developers and have even done a bit of coding to do real-time 3D rendering so I have great respect for the effort needed to produce something great.
Good luck you guys! It has been a privilege to work with you and I hope the solution we built together will help you reach your goals.