Best. Kickstarter. Ever. (for Entrepreneurs)

I really really like this new Kickstarter campaign. I can’t wait to see how much money it raises.


And I can’t wait to read the book.


If your name is Eric Ries and you created the Lean Startup movement–and you have friends like Fred Wilson and Brad Feld promoting it–your Kickstarter project to write the follow-on book is going to get fully funded. That’s not even a question. The only question is how many unexpected multiples of the goal will you bring in. A steady flow of new pledges has been coming in to help Eric write a new book, The Leader’s Guide, and launch an online community for project backers.


It’s at $83,894 as I post this. But ever time I go back to check more pledges have come in.


If you are an entrepreneur, I suggest you go to Kickstarter right now and pledge $21 — so that you can participate in the beta community around this new book.


And if you want a chance to change your life forever–seriously consider one of the $5,000 pledges. I would suggest the Day With Brad Feld. He knows as much as building startup ecosystems outside of Silicon Valley as anyone alive, and a chance to spend significant time with him (outside of his normal office-hours in Boulder) and to meet some of his portfolio companies would be a never-to-be-forgotten experience. If done right, the online attention you could get in your own investor community and among your potential customers leading up to and surrounding your day in Boulder could more than pay for this trip. Issue a press release about it. (Use the “Unconvential PR” tactic covered nicely in the new book, “Traction“).


In fact, if you are an enterprising entrepreneur somewhere in the U.S. or Canada, maybe not part of the Silicon Valley scene and not close to Boulder, why don’t you launch your own crowdsourcing campaign to raise the $5,000 (plus travel) you need to make the trip to Boulder, and promise to bring back something special to each of your donors? That would be pretty meta. Maybe ask Brad a question for each of them. Or get him to sign a bunch of books (I would suggest “Startup Communities“) and come home and distribute them to all the “economic development” people and big-time angel investors in your community. Maybe Meerkat part of the day–and let your pledges ask him a question themselves.


A second $5,000 pledge that would amazing is the Andreesen Horowitz experience. Just think about it, people have paid millions to have lunch with Warren Buffett. If you could pay $5k for a chance to spend some time with Marc Andreesen, arguably the most influential internet-technologist-turned-venture-investor in the history of the world, why wouldn’t you find a way to do it?


I met Marc at a fairly small Jupiter Communications internet technology conference in Northern California back in 2000 or 2001 (when I was still at Ancestry.com) and heard him in person make one of his few predictions that will never come true–he said (jokingly) that humans will evolve smaller thumbs so we can type faster on our Blackberries. I’ve learned a ton of things from him since.


Meeting someone in person somehow permanently changes your relationship to or awareness of that other person, and somehow compounds the learning potential you will get from them in your lifetime. At least that what it seems like to me. Somehow meeting someone, talking to them, shaking their hand, exchanging business cards, seems to make their opinion and voice louder for the rest of your life. I feel the same way about Bill Gurley who I heard speak in person in the 90s. And Esther Dyson. And Mark Zuckerberg (May ’07) and Vint Cerf (2012) and BJ Fogg, and on and one. I could make a list of dozens people who have been influential in my life where this seems to be the case.


So first, pledge $21. Then figure out how to be one of the $5,000 pledges and milk this for all its worth.


In this era of attention scarcity, I bet you could make your pledge pay off big time.

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