The first 96 hours after launch

October 09, 2012

Crowdsourcing Discovery (CSD), our “Open Science” study of the effects of amphetamines on brain cells, went live last Thursday October 4th. We kicked off the 45-day crowdfunding campaign with an evening launch party at Deweys Flatiron in New York City. The idea for a launch party came from Danny Korostyshevsky, CSD’s main experimentalist. Danny has organized and attended many similar events throughout NYC over the years, and he convinced me right away that a science soirée would be a great idea – and indeed it was. Here are some pics from the event, snapped by my Dad, who happened to be in town for a Jane Austen conference (rumor has it Cornel West is a proud Janeite):



In the 96 hours post-launch – so from Thursday October 4th to Sunday October 7th – 47 people contributed to our campaign. (Thank you again, you all rock!) The average contribution = $79, which is consistent with other projects on RocketHub and with projects on other crowdfunding portals. The median contribution = $50. 57% of the 96-hour total was contributed in the first 24 hours by 25 individuals, so roughly one person per hour.


The daily breakdown is shown in this table:



In my first post outlining the genesis of CSD, I generated plots of the distribution of donations for several successful science crowdfunding projects that were part of the #SciFund Challenge consortium led by Jai Ranganathan and Jarrett Byrnes. (Incidentally, #SciFund just finished recruiting for their 3rd round of projects; learn more here). Based on the above data, here’s the distribution of contributions for CSD:

I’ve reserved the comment thread below for interpretations.

Some of the buzz generated by the project can be found here, here, and here.

Next time, I’ll present updated data for the first week, and preliminary data on the social networks of contributors.



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  • bill

    Do you have data on the timing of donations to previous successful projects? E.g. what % of final total arrives in first day, etc? I forgot to donate on launch day, then thought maybe I should wait a bit so as to be part of a “second wind” — but maybe I’d have done better to help you start with a bigger bang? It seems that rockethub should be able to provide data on this.

    • Ethan Perlstein

      I don’t have that data on hand, though I think it’s somewhere in the SciFund Challenge blog archive. I can tell you this about Crowdsourcing Discovery: we raised 36% of the current total in the first 24 hours. Everyone says these campaigns are U-shaped, and so far our experience is consistent with this arc.

      As for first, second, and third waves, I think this next stretch from 25% to 50% will be the hardest. So second-wave support would be greatly appreciated!!

      • Benjamin de Bivort

        I’m glad they’re U shaped, and not L/-(J) shaped.