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Infographic: Kickstarter’s successes and failures by the numbers

If it seems like every project to grace Kickstarter is a massive success, that might not be an accident. Or very accurate. The crowd-funding platform has come under intense scrutiny recently for hiding its failed projects and surfacing only its successful and live projects. 

The controversy surrounding hidden projects began with Dan Misener’s findings. After some sleuthing, he revealed how Kickstarter was deliberately hiding failed projects from searching engines using a robot meta tag pinned to unsuccessful projects. Besides tilting public perceptions of Kickstarter’s success, Misener believes burying duds might be making it difficult for the site’s users to figure our what works and what doesn’t. “If you’re going to use a crowdfunding service like Kickstarter, it’s important to figure out what’s worked for others in the past, but also to figure out what hasn’t worked for others in the past,” Misener wrote in his blog post. “If you hide failure, it’s hard to learn from others’ mistakes.”

AppsBlogger, an app-marketing blog, with the help of some scraper code, recently unearthed more statistics behind successful and live projects that shed some light on the entirety of the Kickstarter universe — not just the shooting stars. AppBlogger founder Jeanne Pi says she scraped project data between May 3, 2009 and June 2, 2012, encompassing a total of 45,815 projects. Digging deeper, over $214 million has been pledged by nearly 3 million backers, excluding live, canceled and suspended projects. On average, that’s approximately$71 pledged per person — an astounding amount when you think about the risk that Kickstarter funders take when backing someone else’s vision.

Surprisingly, the least popular project category, “Dance,” was also found to be the most successful category with a 75 percent success rate, while fashion ranked the lowest on the list with 33 percent. Yet, dance ranked the lowest in amount raised with $1.8 million. The “film and video” category took home the trophy for the most money raised, most competitive, and the most number of backers. So far, donors in that category have offered up over $54.9 million.

A particularly useful insight for Kickstarter project hopefuls is the average set goal for successful and failed projects. AppsBlogger found that 50 percent of projects were successful. The average successful project sought $5,487 in pledges, while failed projects on average sought $16,365.

So there you have it. While there are a few discrepancies between figures mentioned by Misener, who found that 56 percent of Kickstarter projects fail, this infographic should offer Kickstarter users some insight about the top crowdfunding platform.

You can dig through the scraped data here, to browse through all successful and failed projects, and check out the infographic below. 


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