Honestly Assessing Risks and Challenges

Every Kickstarter campaign has a “Risks and Challenges” section. It’s there to remind backers that it’s not a preorder store. Creators should make an honest assessment of factors that could affect costs, deadlines, or the ability to complete the project at all. Business plans contain similar information. People need to know that they’re not throwing money down a hole.

Because there’s no oversight on the Risks section, people can write damn near anything. Too many people use it to blow off seemingly legitimate concerns. It’s one thing to reassure people that you’ve been in business for X years and have fulfilled Y campaigns. It’s another to say that a worst-case scenario won’t happen or that you won’t allow the project to fail. That’s wishful thinking, not a plan.

An honest assessment of risks and challenges is one reason DXP doesn’t do Kickstarters. I’m a one-person operation. If anything happens to me, there’s no one else to pick up the slack. Yes, I could run campaigns anyway, but I have a sense of integrity and a working moral compass. I’d rather sell you something that exists rather than take your money now on the promise that I’ll be able to deliver it later.

I bring this up because I lost a day of productivity last week. Nothing serious in the end, but a bit scary. Without going into detail, I have chronic pain issues. I’ve learned to work through it and around it. Once in a while, I’ll have a day where I’m not functional. The potential exists that I could have an episode that would leave me non-functional for several days or even a few weeks.

To mitigate that risk, I don’t make promises I might not be able to keep. I pad my deadlines to allow for unplanned downtime. I also allow for self-care that prevents medical incidents. My money is tightly budgeted and managed, so I can afford to be out of commission for a while if need be.

Risks and Challenges

Why am I writing this in my developer journal? As I stated above, I have a moral compass and a sense of integrity. The point of these entries is to be as transparent as I’m comfortable being. Relocating from Finland to Delaware took a lot out of me. It’s taking longer than expected to get settled in and back into the flow of things. I appreciate how kind and patient people have been.

One day of lost productivity served to remind me why I’m not rushing things. It helped me to remember why I’ve done so much planning and have contingencies in place. I’m grateful that I’m already feeling better and back on track. Things could have been worse; they weren’t, so let’s continue to move forward at a sensible pace.


I hope you’re doing well today.

Berin Kinsman
Man in the Arena
Dancing Lights Press