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For entrepreneurs, Kickstarter’s all-or-nothing approach to crowdfunding is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, Kickstarter makes it easy to attract funding for unconventional ideas, and the platform can help convince cautious investors to place multiple bets. On the other hand, Kickstarter can also create a false sense of hope, where promising campaigns end up falling just short.

A recent example is The Lost Protectors, a line of interchangeable, 6” action figures—the campaign had received a respectable $71,625 in pledges by March 29th. Unfortunately, the project fell short of its $80,000 goal, leaving manufacturer Play With Us Too with nothing.

Still, coming 11% short is commonplace in the world of Kickstarter. But what about 1%? We looked at six years of Kickstarter data, including over 200,000 campaigns, and found precisely 11 instances where a campaign achieved 99% of its goal, only to receive nothing.

How does this happen? Why didn’t these campaign creators simply pay the last 1% of the budget themselves in order to secure the thousands they’d already been pledged?

The problem is that Kickstarter pledges tend to come in big waves: once when the project is first announced, a second time if the campaign is featured on the homepage, and a third time in the dying hours of the campaign. In most of the 11 above instances, the campaigns were several thousand dollars short with mere hours to go, before a last wave of support brought them agonizingly close to success. In each case, the creators wouldn’t have known just how tight the final pledge count would be until it was all over.

How did each project fare after a failure of such historically close proportions? We dug deeper into each case to find out.

Citizens of the Planet

Citizens of the Planet – Live Experience by toni childs | FindTheData

Created by singer-songwriter Toni Childs, Citizens of the Planet was an ambitious Kickstarter to fund $100,000 worth of 3D visuals for the artist’s upcoming tour. The campaign seemed on pace to hit its goal in the final hours, but a few snags—including alleged technical difficulties and confusion over the Daylights Saving Time change—may have submarined the project in its final hours.

Childs promptly petitioned Kickstarter for a reboot, and the follow-up campaign went on to raise $111,029. At least this time, an initial disappointment created an even stronger community of support.

ONE at Central Park

ONE at Central Park by Aly Rose | FindTheData

ONE at Central Park—a “3D moving sculpture made from dancing bodies suspended 150 feet midair”—came just short on Kickstarter, after raising over $99,000 of its $100,000 goal. It’s unclear exactly why the campaign couldn’t raise the final $935 dollars, though the project’s static location—a one-time show to be held only at New York’s Central Park—probably didn’t help. It’s easier to win last-minute donations when you can draw pledges from across the nation (or world, for that matter), but ONE at Central Park was region-specific.

That said, creator Aly Rose went on to raise the necessary funds through Fractured Atlas, a Kickstarter alternative focused primarily on non-profit art pieces. The ONE Show is currently set for October 2015.

SOAR Documentary and Dance Concert

SOAR Documentary and Dance Concert by Hot Flash Films PDX | FindTheData

The SOAR Documentary and Dance Concert—a celebration of the human body and our ability to overcome physical challenges—failed to reach its $40,000 goal after receiving $39,625 in pledges. Reflecting on the failed campaign, the project’s creators admitted that their original budget may have been a little too large and undefined.

The project creators rebounded with new campaigns on Seed&Spark and Women Make Movies. “We’ve scaled our budget down…and used [a] wishlist to show you where every penny is going,” the creators said in a project update. Later, the project’s star sisters were featured on Good Morning America.

While the duo has been able to make a “rough cut” of their planned documentary, they still need the funding to produce a final, polished film. They continue to accept donations.

Tye Gazoo

Tye Gazoo by Tye Gazoo | FindTheData

Singer-songwriter Tye Gazoo asked for $3,000 to “finish up” his American Dream Album. The campaign fell exactly $1 short. Gazoo would likely have benefitted from more content, updates and details on his page: he didn’t upload a video, and neglected to add any updates for backers. In the end, he received a small number of big pledges, but with just 24 total backers, he didn’t leave much room for error.

Gazoo did release “American Dream Samples,” but it seems the full version never came to fruition.

Education Abroad – A Korean Drama

Education Abroad – A Korean Drama by Terry Song | FindTheData

Education Abroad – A Korean Drama was a low-budget campaign to create the “first ever Korean Drama to take place entirely in America.” The project fell just $7 short of its $2,800 goal.

Director Terry Song made a few tactical changes, relaunching the Kickstarter with a lower funding goal and more aggressive timeframe. Instilled with a new sense of urgency, the project was successfully funded in just 11 days, and Song ended up receiving more than he had originally asked for the first time around. Sometimes, a slight recalibration on timing and and goals can flip a failed Kickstarter to a success.

The television miniseries was released between December 2012 and March 2013. You can watch the full slate of episodes on YouTube.

“Visible” – Greg Safel’s Debut Album

“Visible”, Greg Safel’s Debut Album by Greg Safel | FindTheData

Singer Greg Safel’s cover album came within $20 of funding its $18,000 budget before the project failed. He then rebooted the campaign with a second, $16,500 goal. Designated as a Kickstarter Staff Pick, the campaign went on to hit $16,735, successfully achieving the lowered threshold.

Safel’s campaign highlights another Kickstarter reality: niche projects tend to have capped fanbases, and it’s up to the creators to properly estimate the size of support ahead of time. Safel guessed just a little too high with his first Kickstarter, but was able to use that information to set a more realistic, nuanced goal with his second.

The Desirous Project

The Desirous Project by Jeremy | FindTheData

The Desirous Project was a performing arts campaign to fund the production of Refracting Miss Julie, “an arresting tale of a woman and man who surrender to desire, power, lust, and taboo.” The project came within $40 of its $4,000 goal, but fell short. Similar to the ONE Show at Central Park, the project’s geographic specificity may have made a late donation push more challenging than usual.

Following the project’s failure, creator Jeremy Williams set up a modest donation portal on his personal website, where he was able to raise funds without a time limit. The play was successfully performed in March 2012.

Alpha Colony

Alpha Colony: An Exploration, Building and Trading Game by DreamQuest Games | FindTheData

Alpha Colony was going to be a “family-friendly exploration, building and trading sim game,” but the campaign fell short by the slimmest margin in big-budget Kickstarter history, receiving 99.94% of its funding goal (Tye Gazoo and Education Abroad came even closer, percentage-wise, but had far less ambitious funding goals).

The game’s developers had already invested $60,000 of their own money—funds that they wouldn’t get back after the Kickstarter campaign fell through. Even so, lead designer Christopher Williamson actually seemed somewhat relieved that the campaign fell short by a paltry $28. In an update, he wrote that the game probably would have been “underfunded, understaffed” and would have left “us all broke” by the time development was complete, a fate “even more heartbreaking than not funding at all.”

The Code of the Con: The Short Film

The Code of the Con: The Short Film by Elran Ofir | FindTheData

Setting out to make “the best student movie ever,” aspiring director Elran Ofir almost hit his ambitious $22,000 goal, falling short by just $40. He had wanted to show “a sense of professionalism” by paying student actors, but his appeal to high student-film standards wasn’t quite enough, and the movie was never made.

It’s tough to say exactly what would have put the campaign over the top, but Ofir might have considered focusing more on the benefits to backers. While he aspired to “professionalism” on his Kickstarter page, his campaign lacked a community-based incentive, a factor which tends to drive many of the most successful campaigns.

Crooked Bottle

Crooked Bottle by Homebrew Exchange | FindTheData

Crooked Bottle was going to be a “local beer incubator” in Portland—a place where aspiring brewers could try making original beers, all with the community of fellow beer-lovers and the proper liquor licenses to make and share alcohol. The project came within $300 of its $25,600 goal, but ultimately failed. The campaign featured a noble, community-style goal, but was limited to the city of Portland. Perhaps more importantly, the campaign may have come too late in the year.

“The target was to get this going ASAP so we can enjoy beer and falafels in the sun this summer,” the project creators wrote in a July 2013 update. “The longer we wait, the less the project makes financial sense.” Crooked Bottle never moved forward.

Egg Salad

Egg Salad by Dave Berecz | FindTheData

In a transparent attempt to ride the coattails of Kickstarter’s Potato Salad phenomenon, Dave Bercez received $9.99 in pledges toward his $10 goal—all from a single backer. It may not have saved the campaign, but the $9.99 did allow Egg Salad to join this exclusive list of 99% Kickstarter fails. It remains unclear whether Bercez ever made or ate the egg salad.

Kickstarter’s Closest Fails

Almost! | FindTheData