Editor’s Note: This post is written by my buddy Myke Hurley.
Oh, Hello there! Yeah, I’m over here on this tiny island that’s considered a world superpower, with a pretty big economy and trade presence. Yep, that’s the UK, baby! But for some reason we quite frequently get ignored.
My current state of annoyance stems from the fact that I am unable to submit a project to Kickstarter for funding, as I am not a US resident and nor do I have a US bank account.
On the Kickstarter Help page the following question is met with the following answer:
I’m not in the US. Can I start a project on Kickstarter?
You don’t have to physically be in the US, but there are some US requirements to be eligible. Please read: “Am I eligible to start a Kickstarter project?”
When you click that link you are met with this answer from the friendly FAQ:
Am I eligible to start a Kickstarter project?
To be eligible to start a Kickstarter project, you need to satisfy the requirements of Amazon Payments:
Be a permanent US resident and at least 18 years of age with a Social Security Number (or EIN), a US bank account, US address, US state-issued ID (driver’s license), and major US credit or debit card.
So in essence I don’t have to be in the US, I just have to hold everything a US citizen does and be a “permanent resident.” Well that’s easy then…
I do struggle at times to understand why companies make these decisions. I feel even worse for Canadians, who actually share a land-mass but will sometimes have to wait even longer than us for some things (pure madness!). I know that, as a company, you have to battle with additional legislation and consider teams in other countries, etc. But using Kickstarter as the operative example, if they used Paypal for payments (as the restrictions they have to impose come from Amazon’s payment system), even though the fees would be higher, they would be able to give access of the site to the entire world, therefore opening up a much larger revenue stream. Profitability in volume, and all that..
My anger stems from the fact that I have been waiting close to a year to submit a project to Kickstarter, with the goal to be starting a brand new Podcast, something that I can’t currently do on my current budget (zero) which will have high production values and make the return of my time much greater. Additionally it will allow me to build a group of people who can be seen as ‘contributors’ or ‘donators’, without having to rely on a Donations page on my website which struggles to really offer anything ‘tangible’. I know that I could start something myself, but then I am unable to tap in to the community of people on Kickstarter, therefore limiting myself greatly.
So here I am, stuck between a rock and US citizenship. I love the US and would love to move there one day (a dream for a lot of people, I know), but right now this isn’t really something that works financially. If I could do that, I wouldn’t need funding.
So Kickstarter, sort it out! Us in Blighty have ideas for projects too y’know..