Kickstarter fatigue comes in many forms: From the rage over the fact that so many already-wealthy filmmakers have turned to the platform as a money faucet for tapping fans to make their dreams come true, to the annoyance over a bunch of dummies giving the “Potato Salad” goofball $55,000, it’s all appropriate. But those who operate within creative communities know that perhaps the most insidious use of Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms is the “beg your friends and family for money” technique that seemingly everybody with a band/documentary film/epic graphic novel/possible children’s book/dance recital/experimental theater show has at least considered. Rather than make things that people actually want, you can get paid in advance from family and friends who would feel bad if they have to see you fail!
Enter the video for WorkHarder.com, a website that sadly does not exist, but which has an all-time great ad campaign nonetheless. The video, directed by Jena Friedman, and starring Reggie Watts, Roger Hailes, and Greg Barris, describes a new crowdsourcing platform and “way of life” that has “disrupted the landscape of other global crowdfunding platforms” with a simple message: Work harder. Instead of hitting up your friends and family, post your project to the depressingly-still-fictional site, which taps your social networks with innovative “public shaming tools” to encourage you to stop wasting time and money pursuing something nobody wants. While going to Workharder.com doesn’t take you to an actual website, alas, the lessons here are worth learning even without an actual application. Simply cultivate some public shaming tools in your head, and when you ask yourself if you should launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund your dreams, listen to the voice that says “Work harder.”