Does A Particular Project Need To 'Make Money' Directly To Be A Success?

from the plenty-of-non-monetary-benefits dept

Over at Step2, composer Kevin Clark has posted a fascinating case study concerning how he created “Cucumbers & Gin,” a “music video” of a violin piece he composed. You can see the video below:

In his case study, Kevin discusses how they raised funds to produce the piece via Kickstarter. But what struck me as interesting is that Kevin notes that, in the end, he did have to pay some out-of-pocket money to get the video made, but he still considers the entire experience to be a success. Why? Because of a large number of non-monetary benefits that came out of it, which are already opening up new opportunities and which will make it much easier to succeed in the future as well:

Why is it a success story?

Because a ton of good things came out of it. New connections with talented artists, a film to highlight my work and the violinist’s, new audiences for the work (the staff at Noteflight for a start) and a list of 34 people who’ve already given money to support my work (including a fair number of complete strangers). It’s also given my closest friends and family a taste of what it’s like to write checks to make these things happen – that will make it easier the next time around when I’m looking for more money. That’s really valuable.

Also, because I successfully managed a kickstarter project I’ve become a kind of resource to other artists who are thinking about doing similar things. This hasn’t led to any revenue yet, but it has led to some great conversations, helping on awesome projects, and again, more connections and potential audience and supporters for my next project.

I think this is an interesting point that often gets lost in these discussions. Not every specific project needs to be directly “profitable.” Many work as a way to build the framework for future successes. Hell, that’s the very basis for marketing. You spend money in the hopes that down the road it pays off. Marketing is always an expense, but in the long run, you hope that it’s indirectly profitable. Those who seem to insist that every project must be directly profitable are missing out on a ton of opportunities to lay the groundwork for profitability down the road.

As we do with our posts about case studies on Step2, we’re turning off the comments here, but urge you to head on over to Step2 to take part in the discussion there.

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