A group of students in Lausanne Switzerland have completed a study that aims to predict the success of Kickstarter campaigns. The top indicator that they discovered was 85 percent accurate at predicting success in the first 4 days of a campaign. The report also found a number of other indicators for what makes a project most likely to succeed.

4 Day Pledge Volume

The pledge volume during the first 4 days of an average campaign duration (30 days) can predict, with 85 percent accuracy, the likelihood of a Kickstarter campaign succeeding. While the prediction improves as time goes on, it’s clear that the early days of a project are critical for success. The early phase is so critical that the first 4 hours can predict with 65 percent accuracy the likelihood of success.

The Pledge Goal

Another interesting fact is that the size of the goal has a strong correlation with success. For those projects outside gaming, the lower the pledge threshold, the more likelihood the project will succeed. This is somewhat obvious: set the bar lower, it becomes easier to surpass. However within games, it turns out that higher goals result in better outcomes according to the primary author of this study Vincent Etter.

Twitter Volume

One other interesting fact from this report is that in the first few hours of a project’s life, tweet volume has the most significant correlation with project success. This is not any tweet to the project however. Instead it’s focused on those tweets that state “I just backed project X”, suggesting that the individual actually pledged.

This means those projects that attract backers who are excited enough to tweet about their backing are most likely to succeed. In other words: a passionate following increases success.

Early hours and days prove critical

While the findings of this report aren’t necessarily surprising, it’s clear that the beginning of a project is the most critical. Preparation becomes key in such an environment. Prepared outreach to press, building an army of loyal social media users, and additional marketing efforts can be used to boost campaign success.

If you want access to the full report, you can download it here.