Rubber-Necker Special: Diary of a Crowdfunder

Rubber-Necker Special: Diary of a Crowdfunder 

(This piece was edited for and first appeared on the Seed&Spark blog.) 


Love that most important part of a crowdfunder is the ‘pitch video’.  One thing I can do is make a video. Shooting it tonight.


Starting over on the ‘pitch video’.  Hate talking to a camera.  Didn’t realize my entire life has been about avoiding this moment.  


Hmm.  Re-reshooting pitch video.  Ideally a rough-cut by tonight.  Is this a sinus headache or a tension headache? 


Darn pitch video eating up every waking minute.  Tense, thinking too much and it all reads on camera.  Better get some help with the budget and wish list.  Where can I find an intern?  


Up half the night listening to M. snoring.  Homicidal.  How’m I supposed to look good for pitch video on no sleep?  Would it be so terrible if we launch the campaign a week later?  NEED AN INTERN.  


Meeting prospective interns.  Things could come together very very quickly with pitch video.  


We have an intern!  Super organized and self-directed.  AND finally have material of me for pitch video.  Finally TALKING NATURALLY into camera.    


Beginning to think I should cut budget in half… 30 instead of 60.  Must get back to work on pitch video.  B. was encouraging: “Sometimes you have to do 100 takes.”  




Stayed up til 5AM working on pitch video.  Pushed back launch date by two weeks.  Scouring notes on How To Crowdfund to see what else am sposed to be doing.    


FINALLY.  Aced it.  Now need KEYWORDS for very strong new pitch video. 


Nooooooooo. M. HATED new pitch video. Panic setting in.  Make it shorter but keep the belly dancing?  Have GOT to put my attention on other aspects of the campaign!!  Why am I starting to itch all over?  


Reshot pitch video yesterday.  Almost there.  


About to reshoot yet again, now with S directing.  Thinking loose. Spontaneous.  How’m I EVER going to come up with one video a week??  Must get back on twitter and fb.  NEED MORE HELP.


Thank GOD.  Uploading excellent pitch video. 


Focused, confident, positive.  Must make sure budget numbers all add up to 26,000.  


Crowdfunder LIVE.  Money coming in!


Wasn’t planning on having to deal with resentments at friends who don’t chip in. Keeping track of who I’ve sent to, what list they’re from. Have to speed it up with the thank you notes.  Need more help!


Hundreds of people have seen pitch video and aren’t even following the project … much less donating.  Spending too much time writing thank you emails.  


F. and I shot for this week’s video “Wreck Your Life With Crowdfunding”.  Why’d he let me wear horrible baggy shirt? 


Feeling SO unsupported by so many people.  Gotta reread the crowdfunder tips sheets.  Work on the fucking video.  


Amazing how hard it is to get people to pay attention. Thank GOD for my team!  AND team at Seed&Spark.  How’d I ever think I could do this alone? 


Emily from Seed&Spark said it flat out: “If you’re not being a LITTLE annoying, you’re not doing it right.”  Not sure what she meant by  *a little*.  DITHERING over this video.  And we’ve got to get to 20% TODAY.  Yesterday.  


Have to lean harder on people asking them to share it.  Asking for money is different animal than asking for a click.  


Finished video and I LOVE it!!  “Wreck Your Life With Crowdfunding”  Does it matter about the sound?  We actually do need milk, groceries.  Nothing here to eat.  


Crowdfunding not unlike transactional therapy - forcing me to deal with taking everything personally-  petty resentments.  PEOPLE ARE BUSY.  PEOPLE HAVE JOBS AND LIVES. Maybe I am alienating people LEFT AND RIGHT.  But maybe G. is having a personal crisis.  Her silence might have NOTHING to do with me.  Get up to date on the spreadsheet and ask everyone to fb status this.  We need to EXPLODE.


The miracle we needed: “Wreck Your Life” going viral.  600 views in three hours!   


Come on, this is already old news??  “Wreck Your Life” isn’t 24 hours old and no one’s watching?  Do I have to make a pest of myself?  


Uh-oh. Should’ve kept a record of who I’ve already thanked publicly on fb.  Where are the lists?  The goddamned spreadsheet?


Went into crazy place last night, thinking I’m being attacked by my own team.  They say I’ve got to be more on social media, stop trying to make more videos.  


Can’t eat or sleep.  Crowdfunding is modern version of a gladiator fight.  People check in to see if you’re winning … or total loser.  They can see everything.  


HELP.  Who do I know who’s influential?  


We just need 8G’s.  (just).  


Have to go back to people who’ve already given. We’re so close. 


WE DID IT.  JOY!  GRATITUDE!   State of collapse.   

Huge thanks to my crowdfunding team (Clarissa Léon, Mudd Lavoie, Victoria Trestrail, Louise Edington and Cristina Chavez), to Stephen Dimmick for his invaluable help directing the pitch video, to Barbara Rick and Niall McKay for their encouragement and to Emily Best and her crew at Seed&Spark for their extraordinary support.  I am deeply grateful to each and every person who contributed to our crowdfunder in May 2013 and made it such a success.