Talking to Michael Dougherty About His New Podcast, “Your Crowdfunding Sucks”

A promotional still from Browncoats: Redemption.

When I messaged Michael Dougherty, co-founder of Big Damn Films, a non-profit that makes fan-funded films for charity including Browncoats: Redemption and the upcoming Z*Con, I had no idea that he was launching a podcast TODAY. I swear.

But I said “Hey, wanna talk to The Billfold about your cool projects?” and he said “Yes! Did you know I have a new podcast called Your Crowdfunding Sucks?”

Nicole: So tell me what Your Crowdfunding Sucks is all about?

Michael: Your Crowdfunding Sucks is a podcast dedicated to helping people overcome the hurdles at the beginning, middle, or even end of their campaign. Each week I offer an episode that is dedicated to one part of the campaign, like planning your budget, and I also offer an episode with someone who has run a successful campaign or is just starting one to get their feedback and successes.

Nicole: That is awesome! As a person who lost money on her own crowdfunding project, I should have listened to your podcast two years ago.

Also I should have made a time machine.

Michael: I’m sorry you lost money on your crowdfunding project. I know a lot of people that’s happened to and that’s exactly what inspired the podcast.

And if you build a time machine I will help you crowdfund it.

Nicole: I’m not sorry I lost money on my project. Although I’m very “track every penny!” on the micro level, I tend to think of money as “easy come, easy go” on the global level.

So what’s your newest episode about?

Michael: The newest episode is going to be with Mark from “The Walking Fool” documentary. We talk about the hurdles he’s had starting his campaign. They are in the last 18 days of their campaign on Indiegogo and I hope this helps him reach his goals.

Nicole: Oh, that’s really interesting. Because I’ve heard of The Walking Fool, and… is his documentary already finished? What’s he trying to raise money to fund?

Michael: The campaign is for the completion funds they need. The documentary is done, but they need help cover post-production costs (editing, music, color correction, graphics), licensing, additional interviews and legal fees.

Nicole: So did they crowdfund the documentary as well? Is this like a Broken Age thing, where they need more crowd money?

Michael: I don’t believe they did.

Nicole: I think that’s one of the most interesting things about crowdfunding: you can’t always predict how much your project will cost.

Michael: Exactly. You can do the math as best as you can, but there are always unforeseeable costs that creep up.

The same thing happens with crowdfunding. People do not realize the costs of creating their rewards and shipping need to come from the funds they raise. In addition to the platform costs.

Nicole: Yes. The rewards will eat you. Do you help people figure out how to figure out those numbers?

Do you have a podcast episode titled “HOW NOT TO COMPLETELY UNDERESTIMATE YOUR BUDGET COME ON PEOPLE?”

Michael: I can help people figure out those numbers. I have consulted on a few friends campaigns and helped them be successful.

I think “HOW NOT TO COMPLETELY UNDERESTIMATE YOUR BUDGET COME ON PEOPLE” will be the next episode and I’ll definitely credit you for that.

Nicole: HA!

Michael: I believe the biggest challenge people have is they think about the money they need first and not the add ons that come with a crowdfunding campaign.

My recommendation is to always try to keep your rewards as digital as possible for the first few rewards. Then to have the rewards cost 1/4 your asking price.

Nicole: Wait, I went back to look at the Your Crowdfunding Sucks episodes and you don’t have any listed… is today your *first* podcast episode?

Am I helping you launch this? Because that would be secretly cool. I’ve always been a fan of your work.

Michael: Yes… It’s launching tonight on Lybsyn and should be on iTunes in the next 3 days.

And thank you so much for being a fan of my work. I am so very much a fan of yours.

Nicole: Awwww. ❤

Okay last question then: why should people listen to your podcast? There are, like, one billion podcasts, and one of them is Serial, so… tell us all why Your Crowdfunding Sucks is what we should listen to as soon as Serial ends next week.

Michael: Because this podcast is going to be an honest, no BS, look at what it takes to have a successful campaign. I’m not just some guy who read a few articles and contributed to a few campaigns.

I ran three successful campaigns on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter. I’ve contributed to over 115 campaigns between the two platforms. But more importantly…I’ve run a failed campaign that only raised 10% of it’s goal. I did the work, learned the lessons, became a student of what it takes to be successful, and I want to share that with people.

If your readers ever thought of starting a campaign, are in the middle of one and need a boost of energy, or want to hear from people who did it well… this is the podcast for them.