Kickstats: Does Where You're From Matter?

Kickstats: Does Where You're From Matter?

Introduction

We all suspect (i.e. basically know) that location has an impact on the outcome of a campaign. There's just no two ways about it - if you live in the US, your campaign has a higher chance of succeeding simply because most backers come from the US, right? Well you might just be surprised by the answer.

Hypothesis

If I had to guess, I'd say the US will have the highest success rate, though not by much. Why do I think that? Well, because like I mentioned before, the US has the most backers by far. When you think about international shipping costs, it makes sense that most US backers will be more likely to back US-based projects as opposed to international ones. Of course, this is just a hunch. Let's see if there's anything to it.

Analysis

First, let's take a look at the most popular countries, based on the number of projects launched. We'll use these as the scope of our analysis. Below is a chart showing the top 10 most popular countries on Kickstarter for campaigns that have launched and finished year to date (about 11,500 projects).

Kickstarter most popular countries

Now that we know the most popular countries, let's take a look at their success rates.

Kickstarter success rate by country

As it turns out, my hunch was unfounded! The United States actually ends up being right around the 50th percentile. It's Hong Kong that takes first place with the highest success rates of all.

Lurking Variables

If you've read some of my other blog posts, you know I spend a lot of time thinking about the sneakiness of lurking variables. In this case, I can think of one major factor that might affect the results we found above.

Funding Goal

The cost of manufacturing can differ quite dramatically from country to country. One country having generally lower manufacturing costs than another could lead to less funding needed for a successful Kickstarter campaign. Since it's no surprise that funding goal affects the probability of success, it's possible that a campaign's country could be confounded with the funding goal.

To account for this, let's take a look at a scatter plot of success rate vs median funding goal for these ten countries.

Kickstarter country success rates by median funding goal

Interestingly, Hong Kong probably still holds the #1 spot, as the median funding goal isn't particularly low. Success rates for the UK and Canada might actually be a little lower if their median funding goals were closer to what the US or France has. Likewise, but oppositely, Italy and Germany's success rates could actually be higher if they had lower median funding goals. Of course, it's hard to say for sure, but that conclusion seems reasonable to me.

Conclusion

Why do you think Hong Kong seems to lead the pack for campaign success rates? Are there any other interesting questions to ask or conclusions to draw? Let me know in the comments!

And while these findings are interesting, we shouldn't forget that regardless of your campaign's location, there are plenty of other things you can do to increase your chance of success.

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