The Single Biggest Indicator You’ve Hit Upon a Successful Business Idea

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Clue: it’s not the amount of money people are willing to pool.

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Although a successful round of funding is a good indication of whether people believe in your idea, it isn’t the biggest indicator of future success (we’re not sure Justin Timberlake’s joint investment of $35 million into MySpace turned out the way he’d hoped). According to a new study performed by North Carolina State University on 1,000 successful Kickstarter campaigns, the telling sign of success for campaigns post crowd-funding campaign wasn’t the amount of money the project raised that was the truest indicator of future success – it was the amount of supporters.

“The first key finding was that the amount of money a crowdfunding entrepreneur raised was inconsequential to their product’s ultimate success in the market,” lead researcher Michael Stanko explained in a statement.

The overspill in money was in no way necessarily helpful to those once their product hit the marketplace – and, additionally, those who received more money tended to put the brakes on their innovative thinking once they reached a place of financial security.

The two biggest takeaways? Do your research and don’t rest on your laurels. Firstly, get out there and speak to people about whether your product is one that they’d actually want to purchase: Kikki K founder Kristina Karlsson actually stopped people in the street and informally surveyed them about how much they would pay for stationery, now her company turns over $60 million a year in revenue. Secondly, never think for one second that you’re in a comfortable position. You never know when the next Lyft will come along and steal your thunder.

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