Kickstarter released its Fulfillment Report – an independent study by Professor Ethan Mollick from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. It is the largest study on Kickstarter ever published. Mollick is an expert in entrepreneurship and innovation and he surveyed nearly 500,000 backers about Kickstarter project results and their sentiments. The main question that drove the exploration of the study was whether or not creators provided rewards to their backers as promised.


Following are the main findings of the study:

  • 9% of Kickstarter projects failed to deliver rewards. Whatever the reasons may be for not providing the rewards to your backers it would be courteous to have a plan B in place for an alternate reward and a valid explanation.
  • It was found that the failure rates were the same across all 15 categories on Kickstarter.
  • 73% of backers of failed projects would back other projects, but only 19% of backers of failed projects would back different projects by the same creator of the failed project. It goes to show that the people that root for innovation and creativity, will do so despite failures.
  • Projects that raise less than $1,000 fail more often than larger projects.
  • Creators have an obligation to explain to backers why a project was not completed, be transparent and provide refunds if possible.


In summary, backers of failed projects were less satisfied than backers of projects that delivered rewards as promised but some projects failed and still satisfied their backers. To read the complete report, click here.

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