During the past three weeks we have been running a crowd-funding campaign for VersionPress which has now ended. The numbers show that we didn’t reach our funding goal, however, so many exciting things have happened during that period that we actually have some good news to share. But first things first.
Anxious to know? Jump to The future of VersionPress.
How the campaign went
The goal of the campaign was $30,000 and we raised about 45 % of that. That doesn’t seem exactly like success but it’s not just the total number, it’s also how it is structured.
We have had several backer levels, from “fan” level starting at $5, middle-ground levels at around $50 and sponsorship levels from $500 up. For the campaign to be successful, we knew we would need backers in all three camps (or rather two camps – sponsorship levels and non-sponsorship levels).
We have been very successful in the non-sponsorship levels. We have had hundreds of supporters, most of them in the “early access” ($50) and “basic” ($20) levels. WordPress fans and users seemed to care a lot about VersionPress and we actually received more funding on average from every visitor than we expected. Thank you for that!
What didn’t happen, or at least not in the timeframe for this campaign, is some bigger sponsors joining in. I have to stress that the time factor is important here – for legal reasons here where we live, or at least what we have been advised, was to run the campaign within one calendar month and that was simply not enough time for bigger companies to make their decisions. There are still ongoing talks to a couple of 3rd parties interested in various sponsorship schemes and we were also very close to signing one platinum sponsor last week, which alone would make the campaign look much better.
Non-financial side of the campaign
But there were also many interesting things going on beside the fund raising. These are some of the highlights:
- People actually liked the idea. This is not to be taken as granted – founders always believe deeply in what they do but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of the world sees it the same way. In case of VersionPress, the response has been amazing and it got many people excited.
- We have been published by some important web/WordPress-oriented media including WP Tavern, SitePoint, BestHostNews and others. None of that was a “sponsored review” or anything like that.
- Twitter has been a great source of positive feedback, we have been flooded by mentions and responses at times.
- Link to VersionPress made it to the Hacker News homepage for a couple of hours.
- People actually contributed till the last day, even when it was almost certain that we won’t reach the funding goal. This is a great statement of trust and something we are humbled by.
I can’t tell you how encouraging all this is. If we learned something from the campaign it’s that it is certainly not just about fund raising. We received a lot of positive energy, some very good feedback and I have had many interesting conversations with people who deeply cared about VersionPress. We couldn’t just let it go.
The future of VersionPress
We’re announcing today that we will be creating VersionPress. We’ll self-fund the rest and start working on it this month. The first version should be delivered according to the plan – in Q4 2014 – and we’ll be enhancing VersionPress after that. We’ll continue talks with interested 3rd parties and also leave open the option for members of the community to join the early access program and contribute to the development (this will be ready in a short while).
We believe strongly in values behind VersionPress and the past three weeks confirmed that we are not alone. Thank you all, and now let’s make VersionPress a reality.