The Paradox of Choice

We love choice. In any given year every single film on Netflix is watched at least once. The Long Tail is an economic theory and excellent book, which explains why this happens. It states that due to the infinite shelf space of online retailers, people will now have almost limitless choices as to what they consume. We are living in a world where people can find exactly what they’re looking for and are willing to pay unbelievably high prices to get those special unique items.

At the same time, we hate choice. Having too many choices when we don’t have a lot of time, can be overwhelming and confusing. Limitless choice works when people have the time and energy to pay attention and look for the very best. When they don’t, people want quick and easy choices.

The Coffee Joulies project is one of the top-funded design projects on Kickstarter, and it has only three backing levels. It’s simple, and people visiting the page do not have to think much about what level they are going to choose.

Then again, the Womanthology; Massive All Female Comic Anthology! project was incredibly successful with a very complex system of rewards and almost 50 different backing levels. They even had unlockable rewards that, like in video games, became available when a certain goal was reached. This, however, was probably planned out ahead of time, and a lot of work went into putting them all together.

When creating your rewards, it is probably to best make ones that have meaningful value. If you are having trouble coming up with a $5 reward, then maybe you don’t need one. Having too many rewards ultimately clutters up your page and makes it difficult for people to decide. However, you may want to have a lot of different rewards. Either way, make it a conscious decision. Creating rewards just to fill price points probably won’t be meaningful enough for backers.

A Kickstart’s Guide to Kickstarter TOC:

pssst…you can read all of this offline by downloading the e-book.

A Kickstarter’s Guide to Kickstarter: Introduction
How Kickstarter “Kickstartered” it’s own website
Understanding Kickstarter
The Basics of Kickstarter
Kickstarter is an updated version of the Parton Model
Kickstarter is like girl scout cookies…without the calories!
Make sure your project has an ending
Some additional benefits to running a Kickstarter project
Perry Chan’s Six Principles on why Kickstarter projects are successful
Yancey’s thoughts on getting funded
Brainstorming Your Project
What is this damn thing about?
Simplify your project for success
Is your project a Purple Cow?
Making Lemonade And Telling A Good Story
Reward The Patrons
Naming Your Kickstarter Project
Doing Your Homework
Before you launch, do your homework
No one cares about you
Some People Care About You
Who is Your Audience?
Where is Your Audience?
Resonating With Your Audience
Crossing Chasms
What Will it Cost?
Understanding Profit Margin and Costs
Setting Your Goals
Make or Break Decisions
Running the Numbers
Focus on what you need
Reasonable funding goals
Why be Reasonable?
How long your campaign runs depends on one thing, momentum
30 days or less
Managing Deadlines
Going for the BIG bucks
The Allure of a Large Backer
Pricing theory, thoughts about pricing your Kickstarter rewards
The Paradox of Choice
Crafting Your Pitch
Creating a compelling pitch for your Kickstarter project
Four questions people want answered when visiting your Kickstarter page.
Show some credibility to get more backers
Clarity is your friend
How to ask for Support
Kickstarter is a video-driven site
Examples of great pitch videos
Launching Your Project
Launching your project
How to track the progress of your Kickstarter campaign
The 30% Kickstarter project “Tipping Point”
How to engage an audience with a Kickstarter project: Idea & Story

Published by


Separated from my family during El Salvador's civil war, by death and adoption, I was reunited with them at the age of 16. I do entrepreneurial art projects that are meaningful, relevant, and push me creatively.

20 thoughts on “The Paradox of Choice”

Leave a Reply