For all aspiring authors, filmmakers, inventors and potential business owners, the panel for Kickstarter provided tips tricks and experience-driven advice for anyone considering crowd funding. Aneka Richins explains the essence of Kickstarter “Lets say you wanted to make a book. Before crowd funding, you would need $8,000 to print 1000 copies of your book. A lot of people don’t have $8,000 and you don’t know if anyone will buy your book. Crowdfunding is a way to say, ‘hey I have a book idea, will you buy it?’ Set an amount to be raised, and if you raise that mount then you’re able to know you have in fact found a viable market for your product,” she says. Each panel member explained their experiences with Kickstarter and the challenges that were presented through them.

The most important piece of advice to heed for the evening was “Never do t-shirts as rewards for your backers,” as Jason Faller points out. Unless, that is, your actual product is t-shirts. This comment—although made in a very straightforward fashion—became, for me, the core of every topic point for the discussion. The reasons they warn against making t-shirts as a backer reward (a gift for people donating to a cause), is the separate range of issues centering what is now your secondary product. From shipping to shirt sizes the shirts become a less economical and time effective resource than they may ultimately be worth.

It gave a tangible reference for questions to be asked for elements of Kickstarter promotions and design. Above all else, it gave example of the largest misconception centered on crowd funding projects, which is “crowdfunding is an easy way to get money.” Jason Faller and Kynan Griffin gave great insight to questions about audience member’s own wants and projects, helping to finesse and refocus the projects ultimate goal- funding one specific product. At the end of the panel I felt far more equipped to explore crowdfunding.