How to Increase Your Chances of Success on Kickstarter: Insights from Machine Learning

Get your project rolling luckily!

Echy Wong

November 8, 2023

Do you have a brilliant idea that you want to share with the world? Do you need some funding to make it happen? If you are thinking of launching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, you might want to read this research paper first. It will tell you how to use machine learning to predict the success probability of your project and what factors can boost it.

What is the paper about?

The paper is based on a dataset of over 200,000 Kickstarter projects, collected directly from the platform itself. This ensures the accuracy and reliability of the data, unlike some previous studies that used data from social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, which may not reflect the true situation.

The researchers used various project characteristics, such as category, goal, duration, rewards, and updates, to construct variables that can affect the success probability. They also considered the characteristics of the backers, such as their number, location, currency, and experience, as well as the characteristics of the creators, such as their location, currency, and experience. Moreover, they analyzed the textual characteristics of the project descriptions, such as the length, readability, sentiment, and vocabulary.

The researchers then built several machine learning models to predict the success probability, using the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) model as a baseline. They compared the performance of different models, such as the Ridge model, Elastic Net model, Tree model, Random Forest model, Neural Network with one layer, and Neural Network with two layers. They found that the Random Forest model had the highest accuracy rate of 87.85%, making it the best model for this task.

What are the key findings?

The paper also revealed some interesting insights into the factors that can influence the success probability. For example, the researchers found that:

The linguistic style of the project descriptions can have a significant impact, especially for social entrepreneurs. A proper linguistic style can help convey the creators’ trustworthiness and help the potential backers understand the project better, thus increasing the likelihood of success.

The number of backers is the most important factor, followed by the goal amount and the duration. Projects that have more backers, lower goals, and shorter durations tend to have higher success rates.

The category of the project also matters. Some categories, such as games, technology, and design, have higher success rates than others, such as fashion, crafts, and journalism.

The location and currency of the creators and backers also affect the success probability. Projects that are created and backed by people from the same country or region tend to have higher success rates, as well as projects that use US dollars as the currency.

How can you apply this paper to your own project?

So, what can you learn from this paper if you want to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter? Here are some tips:

Choose your project category wisely. Some categories, such as games, technology, and design, have higher success rates than others, such as fashion, crafts, and journalism.

Set a realistic and reasonable goal. Projects with lower goals tend to have higher success rates, as they are more likely to attract backers and reach the target amount.

Offer attractive and diverse rewards. Projects that offer more rewards and different reward levels tend to have higher success rates, as they can appeal to different types of backers and motivate them to pledge more.

Keep your backers updated. Projects that post more updates tend to have higher success rates, as they can show the progress and credibility of the project and maintain the interest and engagement of the backers.

Write a clear and persuasive project description. Use a proper linguistic style that can help raise your trustworthiness and promote success. Avoid using negative words and focus on the benefits and value of your project. Make sure your description is easy to read and understand.

Use the Random Forest model to predict the success probability of your project. You can find the code and the dataset in the paper. You can also use other machine learning models, but the Random Forest model has the best performance.

Are you ready to launch your Kickstarter campaign?

We hope this paper has given you some useful insights and tips on how to increase your chances of success on Kickstarter. If you would like more information, check out the original paper here, also, feel free to contact us for a more comprehensive perception of your project.