Aim low and you virtually guarantee success. And if you aim really, really low, then you can orchestrate a reason to bust out the champagne without having achieved much of anything at all.
So it is with the crowdfunding campaign run by publishing house McSweeney’s. For its 15th birthday, the San Francisco-based literary quarterly founded by Dave Eggers has kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise $15. Eggers is most famous for his best-selling memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
McSweeney’s goal is to run the most successful crowdfunding campaign ever. Percentage wise, that is.
Crowdfunding, the increasingly popular method of raising money, solicits small sums from a large number of people. One of the most popular metrics used to measure crowdfunding campaigns on the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo is not only how much money a campaign has raised, but also what percentage that represents of the original goal.
The McSweeney’s campaign had reached 39,573 percent of its goal with 100 backers as of 4 p.m. ET this afternoon.
Exactly the point: Success is a function of expectation.
The campaign is being executed with characteristic McSweeney’s wit and sarcasm.
We’d like to raise $15. Can we exceed that goal? Can we, perhaps, reach 1,000 percent of it? 10,000, 100,000 percent? We don’t know; we were raised in simpler times, when crowds were to be avoided because we were shy, and didn’t want to get separated from one another. But we’re strong now, and tall, and excited to find out what we can achieve together. Every subscription signed up for here, every tote bag snagged and Best Of bought, will propel us all into Internet history.
A $20 donation gets donors a ticket to the publishing house’s 15th birthday party and a $60 donation gets a donor a subscription to the quarterly newsletter or two-volume set of The Best of McSweeney’s in a tote bag. Rewards go all the way up to a $500 Chinese dinner with the McSweeney’s staff and a $5,000 gift which earns a donor “several bafflingly exciting things in a bundle.”