Why Kickstarter crowdfunding, and how you can help

Strengths and weaknesses

Here’s the thing:
We at Statistics Learning centre are really good at making high quality resources, and teaching people about statistics and maths. (See this recent post on our impact)
We are not really good at marketing our products and services so that lots of people know about them and we get enough money for the company to be sustainable.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” I don’t know if this was ever true, but it sure isn’t true now. You can have the best product in the world, but if people do not know about it, the path to your door will remain unbeaten.

I believe our NZStats online courses are the best available for learning the NZ statistics curriculum. Even our competitors have admitted that. But we are a little social enterprise and what you see is what you get. It is difficult to convince teachers that students will be better off using our materials, when many of them are so busy they don’t even have time to give the materials a free trial. Maybe we should have spent more time on marketing.

Dragonistic Data cards and Cat Herder cards

These colourful and inviting cards are used for teaching statistics and mathematics.

These colourful and inviting cards are used for teaching statistics and mathematics.

Lately we have discovered something else we are really good at. We have developed the idea of multivariate data cards into a versatile resource that engages young students and helps them understand implicitly about population, sample and variability. Not only have we developed the idea, but we have turned it into a high quality reality in the form of our Dragonistics data cards. And then we have come up with a set of games you play with cards that helps develop mathematical skills. These are very exciting! Teachers and kids who use them are loving them, but we do need to get the word out better.

An example of the cat cards, with multiple pieces of information

An example of the Cat Herder cards, with multiple pieces of information

We are now creating for a younger age group and making cat data cards that are just so beautiful and clever it is hard to imagine any child or primary school teacher resisting them. These cards will also have multivariate data, with inbuilt relationships, and accompanying attribute cards and criteria cards, that will make a fantastic set for learning, playing and creating games. We believe they will be even more versatile than regular playing cards, with the advantage of so many more ways of grouping and sorting.

Crowdfunding

But the problem is, we have not been very good at getting the word out. And this is why we are turning to crowdfunding. Over the years we have helped thousands, maybe even millions of people to learn and teach statistics. Most of the time this has cost them (or you) nothing, or very little. So now we are setting up a Kickstarter campaign so you all can help us back. Kickstarter is the largest crowdfunding platform, and has a big following of supporters in games, which is why we have chosen it.

This is how crowdfunding works
1. We set a target amount – what we need to accomplish our project, which in this case will be manufacturing and bringing to market our Cat Herders game and game developers kit. At present we think the target will be $20,000NZ.

2. We decide on incentives for supporters to contribute towards our campaign. The most obvious incentive is a copy of the final product, and the pledge amount would be around the retail price of the set of Cat Herder cards. But there are other rewards as well, to encourage and thank for greater contributions. Supporters could donate copies to the schools of their choice. Or they could pay to have naming rights of one of the cats. Or even have our talented cat artist draw their pet. We may offer handmade plushies of our delightful cats. Or supporters can just contribute to help make the world a better place.

3. We launch the campaign and encourage the community to contribute to make it happen. If we reach our target amount, the money is credited to us and we go ahead, manufacture Cat Herders and send out the rewards. If we do not get to our target, no one pays anything, and Cat Herders remains just a wonderful idea. What we really hope will happen is that we will exceed our target and be able to produce even more great resources.

Our plan is to have our campaign in October this year (2016). We need to build our community in the meantime, which is where you come in.

How to help

We have some wonderful friends who really want us to succeed in this endeavour.
Here is how you can help:

  • “Like” our Facebook page, and share messages such as this with others.
  • Do similar things on Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, WordPress or whatever social media you participate in.
  • Talk to people in real life (IRL as it as known) about our project. If you know a primary teacher or a parent of young children, make sure they know about Cat Herders. If you know a media person – tell them.
  • Give us suggestions on how else we can get the word out.
  • Follow this blog!

And when we launch our campaign, please support us so we can continue to make high quality and engaging resources to help people understand statistics and mathematics.

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About Dr Nic

I love to teach just about anything. My specialties are statistics and operations research. I have insider knowledge on Autism through my family. I have a lovely husband, two grown-up sons, a fabulous daughter-in-law and an adorable grandson. I have several blogs - Learn and Teach Statistics, and Building a Statistics Learning Community, are the main ones.
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