Kickstarter vs Indiegogo

Kickstarter vs Indiegogo

You know, when I did research on Kickstarter vs Indiegogo, everything I could find declared they were nearly identical. The only difference worth calling out, it seemed, was that Indiegogo offered multiple funding models, and accepted pretty much everything.

This turns out to be missing a lot of important details that I wanted to point out since I couldn't find this information when I was looking.

Note: I've run neither a Kickstarter nor an Indiegogo campaign, although I've consulted heavily on running one of each. I have no experience with the back ends. I'm going to mention here user-percievable differences that I think do matter in the delicate process of growing a crowdfunded project to stellar heights. Unfortunately, most of them are things Indiegogo lacks.

But we'll start with the positives.
 * Indiegogo allows you to start a project if you're not able to provide a tax-history-provable USA address.
 * Indiegogo accepts Paypal. (This is actually mixed, see below.)
 * Indiegogo lets you set up a funding model where you get what money you raise even if you don't meet your goal.
 * Indiegogo (supposedly) doesn't limit the kinds of projects. Given certain new restrictions from Kickstarter, this could be even more compelling than it has been.

And now for the negatives. They may be nitpicking. I think they probably matter.
 * Indiegogo doesn't email out updates as soon as they're posted. They're all sent out in the middle of the night. It's weird.
 * Indiegogo doesn't let backers comment on updates. The comment system generally seems broken since a lot of comments appear twice.
 * Paypal takes money immediately from the backer, into Indiegogo's account. (As a comparison, Kickstarter never gets the backer money, just their own fee.)
 * It's really hard to change your backing level. Apparently Indiegogo advises backers who want to increase their pledge contact the project owner first. Then, shenanigans! Because after all, you've already paid. Lowering your pledge is even worse, and may require manual refunds.

In general, Indiegogo seems poorly suited to raising enthusiasm and building community. It's much better for drive-by donations, I think. And this is unfortunate because Indiegogo does offer stuff that Kickstarter doesn't, as noted above. It would be nice to feel like there was a choice, which means I wish Kickstarter would support non-USA addresses and I wish Indiegogo would add some ways to adjust your pledge and have better conversations with your backers.

5 thoughts on “Kickstarter vs Indiegogo

  1. The more I think about the difficulty of changing your pledge on Indiegogo, the more I see it as a momentum killer. Kickstarter has been hosting stupidly successful miniatures products (see: Sedition Wars, Relic Knights, Kingdom Death: Monster) that are based around stretch goals that unlock additional addons. As much as addons are not part of the core Kickstarter philosophy, they drive funding really well by growing the second half of the “X backers * $Y average pledge” formula.

    I don’t think you can run a “stretchgoals for addons” campaign on indiegogo. The only sensible way to pledge to one of those on Indiegogo is to wait until the campaign is nearly over before pledging. When your campaign is discouraging people from pledging early, it does not take off.

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  2. Of course you can run Stretch goal add on’s with indiegogo. has nothing to do with the system.
    Also, Indiegogo is pretty easy to add an additional pledge which is very cool for doubling up on an item or pledging for a special add on.

    In fact, this makes Indiegogo way BETTER for stretchgoals.

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    1. Did indiegogo change something recently about the way they do pledges? If they still suggest contacting the project owner personally, my opinion stands.

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