||[Apr. 24th, 2011|06:43 pm]
I've been relatively unhappy for the last month or so. I pit 99% of the blame on the following: fundraising and kickstarter.
Let me draw a quick parallel.
As a young writer starting out, it's common to get dozens, if not hundreds of rejections. Let's say you have completed your first novelette, and are now courting a publisher, or a magazine of some sort. The first few times you submit, it's a rejection. Maybe after 50 or 100 times, you'll get a response that's not an outright rejection, and something you can work with. Maybe. But this is the life of a writer.
Now, let's step into a tech project. Someone approaches you, someone you have worked with before, and says "we should do this cool project, a bunch of people love it, and we have all but one piece covered. Would you be willing to figure out how to cover that one piece?" It's tech, so there is an instant reward, and it's a project that's been done before, so people know it works, at least to some extent. It's open source, which means you can get community involvement, etc. Seems like it should be a pretty straight shot, right?
Until you step into the 2011 world economy and realize just how uptight everyone is about money. You try going for sponsorships, but the 5 places which respond (out of the 150 or so) give rejections, and maybe a polite reason why they reject it. Every answer is tied in some way to a crappy financial situation. Everyone is pulled super tight right now. Nobody really has anything to spare, even though they think the project is really cool.
Then you start looking at this thing called kickstarter. It's a crowd-sourcing system, giving people the ability to contribute a small amounts and ultimately pull together funds to launch the project. After a ton of debate, you decide "eh, what the hell" and go for it. Well, that's when you start learning even more. See, even after you've gone through the 10 minute pitch and convinced someone they should drop their hard earned cash on your project, they then discover the multistep barrier to signing up and then pledging. It turns out kickstarter is poorly designed, limit users in really annoying ways, and in the end, 90% of the people you bring to your site wind up giving up out of frustration.
So while you've been focusing on this (and keeping a day job on the side), an entire month (or two!) has passed by, and all your friends are hanging out doing fun activities together. Meanwhile, you're cooped up in a room, pissed off that you have to put all this constant effort into something which really should not be consuming this much time or effort. The best part is, your entire team is now focused on the kickstarter, and when it begins to stutter a bit, they all begin to fear the project won't happen. Which means in addition to supporting the kickstarter, you have to go to all of them, calm them down, and explain all the other stuff you have going on to try bringing in funds and sponsors.
Which leaves you stuck in bed and sick on Easter, while a bunch of friends are having a fun looking brunch. Trying to get you to come out, but sadly, this is the day your body has decided to give out, and any movement you make towards doing anything besides laying in bed being sickly is rewarded with sharp pains and a few kleenex full of fail.