I started Montoya Industries with one goal: to build and ship GIF Jockey. Everything else I've done along the way has been tangential at best and distracting at worst. I had hoped that GIF Jockey would ship last year, but the project ended up in lingo for months, with the release date being delayed multiple times. Along the way there's been plenty of questions and concerns regarding the viability of the product – is it too niche? Will people see the value? Can this bring in any sort of revenue? Is this a starting point to doing big things with GIFs and music, or does it just have limited application? I don't have clear answers on any of these questions yet, but I do have a personal obligation to at least ship the thing.
This is my vision for GIF Jockey: for many years, DJing was an expensive and difficult practice. MP3s and MP3-based DJ software changed all that. Lots of people who had never DJ'd before were able to pick it up thanks to the MP3 generation. I think GIFs can do the same for VJing. They are much more lightweight and readily available than the video files used by most VJ software, and software like GIF Jockey is less resource intensive and can run on just about any hardware because GIFs are so simple. This is why I'm able to put GIF Jockey on even the standard iPhones and Android phones that most people have in their pockets today.
Beyond this primary goal, I also hope that GIF Jockey will become a platform for GIF artists to showcase and make revenue from their work. My idea for this involves selling exclusive GIF collections from GIF artists through GIF Jockey (these GIFs will be formatted for best performance within GIF Jockey). Unfortunately this will only be viable if a large community springs up around GIF Jockey, but I'm going to do everything I can to make that happen.
So now to the meat of this post: why Kickstarter? Well, the sad truth is that I've run out of money. Things that I thought would turn out to be lucrative and hold me over up until now never materialized, and I've hit a point where I can't afford to draw from my savings any longer. This Kickstarter will determine whether I can afford to focus on GIF Jockey until it ships or if I will have to relegate it to a side project while I try to land a job (or contract work, if anything). It's really that simple — this isn't about collecting pre-orders or getting free press through crowdfunding — it's a last resort. To be honest I hate marketing. I don't like asking for money in this way. But I figure it's worth a try.
So if you've read this far, please consider backing GIF Jockey on Kickstarter, and take a moment to share the project too. Every little bit helps!
Now let me tell you a little about my first few days getting to know the platform.
So far my project has been live for ~36 hours and I've received 3 backers and 6 cold messages from people trying to sell me on some marketing or promotion service for crowdfunding campaigns. Not a great start, in my opinion. I've also spent a lot of time updating my campaign page to try and get it in line with what people expect from Kickstarter campaigns… this has taken up 2 full working days of my time! I budgeted about a month of work just supporting the Kickstarter and shipping backer rewards and I think that estimate will turn out to be accurate (leaving me another month to actually finish building GIF Jockey and ship it on time)! It's not the sort of thing that I would look forward to doing again.
The rewards are something I'm actually quite proud of. There's some obvious stuff like a t-shirt and stickers, but I've also managed to come up with some unique items – a custom keyboard cover and a laminated cheat sheet. These are the same kinds of products that people often use with software like Photoshop or Microsoft Excel, and they will go perfect with GIF Jockey. I'm looking forward to producing these if the project is successfully funded.
Anyway, I'll try to at least post some more updates as the Kickstarter campaign progresses, since I like to be transparent about these things. Again, if you would like to back GIF Jockey on Kickstarter, head over here. Until next time!