Friday, April 5, 2013

30 Hours To Go On My First Kickstarter Project - A Pre Post-Mortem

My first Kickstarter project, for my card game Widget, will end at 1758 on Saturday April 6 -- about 30 hours from now. The chart below shows the progress to date.

Most people wait until after it is all over to capture their thoughts about the process. I wanted to do something a bit different: Capture my thoughts just before the project ended and then compare these impressions to my more considered ones after the campaign was over.

Widget - The Card Game That Lets You Play With Your Words -- Kicktraq Mini

Best Surprise: The level of support from all sorts of people - many of whom I don't know (or didn't know until this project began). Family, friends, former students, colleagues, other game designers(!), artists, and people I have never met from countries I have never visited have helped get Widget to its goal and well over it. I absolutely love this aspect of Kickstarter! It is incredibly rewarding to work directly with the people most interested in the game. 

Worst Surprise: My level of exhaustion. I am tired, folks -- bone tired. While eminently rewarding, this process has worn me out both physically and emotionally much more than I expected. It is kind of like having your first child. You have no idea what to expect next and your "baby" keeps throwing surprises at you. 

Most Interesting Finding: My total inability to use Twitter to help generate pledges. I spent a lot of time on Twitter and got extraordinarily good responses from people - lots of re-tweets and some interesting conversations. 100s of thousands of people have received tweets about Widget at this point. Return on time invested? 4 pledges, $65. While I am not discounting the intangible value of the experience, it is clear I am either "doing it wrong" (likely), Twitter can't really help in this way (hmmm...), or Twitter can't really help at all (unlikely but possible). Something I intend to think hard about... 

My next steps are to make it through the next 30 hours or so and then get the game printed and out the door. And yes, I am already working on my next project!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How Many Entry-Level Intelligence (Or Intelligence-like) Analysts Will The Business Sector Need In The Next 12 Months?

Good question, right?

If you have direct knowledge of information that might help answer the question in the title or you have indirect knowledge that is relevant to the answer to the question in the title, please take 2 minutes to complete this survey.  

What do I mean by direct and indirect knowledge?
Direct knowledge means that you know personally or have good information concerning the hiring plans of your agency or organization (or at least your section or division).  You might work in HR or be a manager with hiring responsibilities. 
Indirect knowledge is information that is relevant to the question that is not due to your direct responsibilities.  You might have spoken with an HR manager or have been involved in meetings where this issue was discussed. 
We are NOT looking for opinion based on purely circumstantial information.  If you are not involved in the hiring process either directly or indirectly, please DO NOT take this survey.
What do I mean by "Intelligence (or Intelligence-like)..."? 
First, I am not talking about private sector companies that support the US national security intelligence community.  Those jobs have already been covered by our National Security Jobs Report earlier this year.

Second, jobs which require the skill set of an intelligence analyst are rarely labelled as such within the business community.  You will have to use your best judgment here.  If you or your organization employs people that look at the external environment - at things that are critical to the success or failure of your business but are, in some way, outside the control of your business (competitive analysis is one such area, but so is Banking Secrecy Act compliance) - then you are looking at an "intelligence-like" position.
Why are we interested?
Every year, other disciplines announce hiring projections for the year:  "This year's hot jobs are for engineers and chimney sweeps."  That sort of thing.  Entry level intelligence analysts who are searching for a job, on the other hand, receive no such guidance.

We hope to change that.  Working with one of our hot-shot grad students, Greg Marchwinski, we put together this survey to get a better feel for the the job market for entry level analysts for the year ahead.

Once we get enough survey data, Greg will compile it and combine it with the macro-level, mostly qualitative data that we already have and put together a "jobs report" for the year ahead.  I will publish it here once we are done.
Finally, we have already completed our national security jobs report for next year and will follow this business survey with our law enforcement survey.

Thanks for your participation!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Well-known Terrorist Organization Seeks To Crowdfund Operations With Kickstarter

In what could be a preview of many more such campaigns, a well-known terrorist organization with
worldwide ambitions recently posted a preview of its crowdfunding campaign on the popular site, Kickstarter.  Click here to see the campaign now.

While the site is currently not live (i.e. not actively accepting donations) and it is unclear if it will be approved by the Kickstarter staff, the organization claims it is seeking the funding due to recent US activity which has left it depleted and without an adequate base of operations. 

Kickstarter is one of the new breed of sites which allows inventors, artists, dancers, game designers and others to go directly to fans and supporters to seek funding.  Well known projects from the site include the Pebble Watch, popular musician Amanda Palmer's new album and the amazing new card game, Widget.