Browsing for the Bible on Kickstarter | Episode 004
Ever heard of Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is a great platform for entrepreneurship. It’s also for business-minded people looking for some new innovative ideas.
In today’s episode, Kenny Jahng and co-host DJ Chuang talk about how Kickstarter can help pave the way in your ministry expansion.
Got an idea? The hosts explains 3 Best Examples of companies who used the platform for their hands-on work for sharing the Gospel.
Tune in now!
To find out more about Future.Bible, check out www.future.bible
[ 7:40 ] Audio books, the experience, instead of just reading text, is that back in the old days, there was really only one way to, you know, carry the Good News. It was either like walking from town to town or group to group and delivering the Word orally. As we know, it used to be an oral tradition.
[ 8:10 ] Today, we’ve got the digital universe, we’ve got pixels, we’ve got the information superhighway and I’m just, it just felt like a prompt and calling to say, those of us in this generation involved with tech and the Internet and the web and digital communications that we are called here to put a multiplier effects on what used to be done manually, step-by-step.
[ 8:42 ] Imagine that we can literally reach the ends of the earth with digital.
[ 13:12 ] You don’t need to just abandon what you’re doing and start something completely from scratch. This is something like if you have something going on, if you’ve got a community, a ministry, something going on that is something that it might be the foundation of your supporter base and it might be something that you do to energize and further push your community to do something more. It doesn’t mean that you need to start fresh and quit your job and do something else entrepreneurially.
[ 17:36 ] We’re seeing storytelling, catching up and evolving with what culture is demanding and I think it’s the seeing the flourishing of that genre is lovely.
[ 20:14 ] I think the Bible can be much, much, much more than just presenting the text.
[ 20:55 ] There’s 1600 languages left in the world that we’re trying to get to. And once there’s a translation project started in those remaining 1600, we’re down to nothing.
[ 21:14 ] technology has been accelerating the translation projects and that in our generation, this generation, we’re going to be able to say, Hey, humanity, we’ve, we’ve conquered translation of the Bible so that it’s accessible to every single human being on earth. When you think about a step back, that’s kind of, that’s magnificent.
[ 21:40 ] I think that’s where in the narrative of God and the story of God that all this technology is, has a vital role in how God is going to bring all people to himself, all tribes and nations and tongues and worship together.
[ 22:08 ] How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the Good News as it is written in Romans 10:14-15.
Kenny Jahng: Welcome back friends. Thank you for joining us for today’s episode of the Future.BIBLE podcast. My name is Kenny Jahng. I’m one of the co-host of this new or relatively new venture. We have on the other side of the screen, my co-host, Dj Chuang. Hey, DJ, good to see you tonight.
DJ Chuang: Yes, I’m on the left side of the screen and other side of the coast.
Kenny Jahng: West coast, and I love the fact that we have technologies that brings us together on a regular basis. Today we are, I guess in for a treat on my side because this is fueling my entrepreneurial DNA, my background with startups, etc., is excited to talk about what we have in plans for today and that is talking about the world of Kickstarter. Dj, last time you were not able to join us. Last time, as we sat down with an entrepreneur, his name was Justin Trapp. It’s in our episode number three of our podcast series, and we’re, Justin talked about, one of his projects, Sermonary.co and that was launched on Kickstarter itself. Did you get a chance to listen to our conversation?
DJ Chuang: Yes, I listened to every single word and it was a phenomenal project.
Kenny Jahng: And so one of the things that you know, we talked about was the success of their projects. Sermonary.co launched on Kickstarter and was fully funded just immediately, as soon as they launched, same day. That’s not a normal thing. It is actually something that’s a testament to the quality of their storytelling, the messaging and the promotion and pre-promotion they did for that and just the fact that the project resonated with all the backers that they had. And Dj, you and I have talked about Kickstarter for a while. Why don’t you tell everybody who people here may not actually know what Kickstarter is. Can you share a little bit about what it is actually and what type of platform it is?
DJ Chuang: Well, Kickstarter was one of the first, certainly the most popular platforms where people can do crowdfunding, so you can put together a proposal for a project or a project that’s already in progress and they provide a landing page where you described the project and how valuable it is and what benefits are and here’s some of the risk in funding this project. And then, you set a goal. So, let’s say you set a goal for $10,000 to build an app. Now, you have 30 days to raise it. I think you get to set the timeframe for when you want to raise that amount. And it’s all or nothing. If you raise the $10,000, you get it. If you don’t raise the $10,000, you don’t get a penny like you raised more than $10,000. You can actually set a stretch goals for additional features that you would add to your project. And these projects can be technology or non technology. It can even be a printed book. It can be, I don’t know if you can do a road trip, but all kinds of things that you can produce.
Kenny Jahng: I think a road trip is viable. I’ve seen some very quirky things you can sponsor in terms of live experiences and things like that if you go to their website. So, the website is Kickstarter. They say they have, as of today, 3,596, almost 3,600 live projects. 147,965. So, almost 148,000 projects have been funded on the platform and they’ve involved over $15 million backers. $15 million donated to these Kickstarter projects. So, pretty incredible platform.
DJ Chuang: Yeah, some of them are really amazing because it just hits mainstream. It’s like an R + D Lab in some sense. So, I bought a few products on Kickstarter, so I have a jacket that has like 19 pockets for all kinds of technology and that was funded on Kickstarter and I think they raised, well, let’s say their goal is a million. They raised $10 million and there were just such hunger and sometimes these projects that are posted on Kickstarter just hits a nerve, hits a big need, and people just go crazy over it. It’s amazing.
Kenny Jahng: So, this is a great platform for entrepreneurship and also for people looking for some new innovative ideas. In fact, I remember back in the day, my wife somehow found Kickstarter without me exposing it to her and for one of my birthday presents, she actually bought me, if you recall old Pebble Watch 1.0, I’m now carrying an Apple Watch, but, the original Pebble Watch came in the mail from a Kickstarter that she funded as one of the backers there. So, it’s a fun platform that’s available to everybody. So if you haven’t been around, definitely check it out. Today, I just wanted to share that as we were going to do is we’ll talk about a couple of different projects that involve Bible and the technology. Here at the Future.BIBLE podcast. We are trying to find and meet innovators in the space that applying the never-ending evolving technology in one hand and the unchanging Orthodox Bible in the other and putting them together and what happens at the intersection is the future of .BIBLE. So, we are looking for examples of that and keep started is obviously one of those incubation type of breeding grounds that we could see, hey, what’s going on? And we have some great examples today. We found three in particular. The first one I’ll say DJ is the Dwell Scripture Listening app. Now if you haven’t heard about this one, this one got funded in just I think three days. In fact. Yes, on the side that says 56 hours they had over 2000 people raise over $125,000 to build this mobile app. And I’ve been downloading it and using it. DJ ,have you had a chance to actually interact with Dwell Scripture App yet?
DJ Chuang: I was a supporter and I downloaded it. Played it maybe once or twice. Interacted with it as much as I could, but you can describe it like a Spotify meets Bible with automatic reading and so instead of a one person reading the entire Bible and the entire book, it’s actually a clip into segments that make sense and read dramatically by four or five different people and more voices to come.
Kenny Jahng: Yeah. And you can choose what voice do you want each portion of the Bible read. I was actually going through one of their plans recently and it was the book of Romans. Romans is a great book to just go through and so listen to the Audio Bible going through Romans. One verse actually struck out it was Romans 10. I just want to call this out today because it’s Romans 10, I think it was 14 and 15. And where the verse that really struck me was how beautiful are the feet of those who carry the Good News, how beautiful are the feet of those who carry the Good News? And it just made me think, and this is what I think audio books, the experience instead of just reading text, is that back in the old days, there was really only one way to, you know, carry the Good News. It was either like walking from town to town or group to group and delivering the Word orally. As we know, it used to be an oral tradition or physically in premium and any written portions of the Bible, walking from one place to another, right? And sharing that Good News. But, today we’ve got the digital universe, we’ve got pixels, we’ve got the information super highway and I’m just, it just felt like a prompt and calling to say, those of us in this generation involved with tech and the Internet and the web and digital communications that we are called here to put a multiplier effects on what used to be done manually, step-by-step. Now, we can do instantaneously just like we’re communicating East Coast and West Coast. Imagine that we can literally reach the ends of the earth with digital. And so that’s just one of those things to say, hey, that call is alive, it’s present, and this is what. It’s an encouragement to me as we do our work in our vocation.
DJ Chuang: Yeah. Then you think about how those people carry the Gospel by walking and riding chariots on the Roman highway system, which was revolutionary in that time of history. And, now we have the information super highway which is the Internet and now it doesn’t even require physical lines. There are ways to transmit internet signals through the air and through satellite. And so they are literally able to reach the ends of the world. And we are blessed to be a part of this project with the .BIBLE top level domain, which literally is a part of that information super highway.
Kenny Jahng: This is just one of those things that it’s a natural evolution of using technology in a way that fits into people’s daily lives. And I love the fact that it started here in Kickstarter, for everybody to enjoy and they got successfully funded. And, so yeah, I’ve been going through that app. I think we’ll probably hopefully get one of the Bailey brothers on the podcast and would talk about their experience in that, where the ideas came from. So, that’s the first project, just as one example of the types of things that started to come out of using technology and Bible together.
DJ Chuang: And number two.
Kenny Jahng: Yes, Dj, what’s our second app?
DJ Chuang: Second one is called the She Reads Truth and it sounds like it’s a Bible reading app for women. A devotional.
Kenny Jahng: Yes, I think, from what I understand, I remember a couple months ago I’m coming across it, they actually evolved into a He Reads Truth and I think Kids Read Truth community as well. But this is, again, I love this because this is a niche audience and building something for themselves on Kickstarter and putting a call out to the community, women, Jesus, loving women to build something together. And so, yes, it’s a devotional app. Again, it’s another mobile app and mobile apps are just part of our daily living. And so, I think there’s a threefold purpose on the Kickstarter page, just so they want to sustain the ministry. They want to provide women everywhere with a beautiful functional, accessible Bible that’s free to download and share. It’s basically also an evangelistic tool and they want to enrich the existing, She Reads Truth experience in the community. So, that’s one of the things that they did. Dj, what do you think about this type of project on Kickstarter?
DJ Chuang: I think with this particular project, they’ve already built a community through their blog and through their forum. And so, this was built in partly to connect the community more so it wasn’t a project that came out of the blue, which will be harder to build an audience for that. I think in response to an audience they already have and adding more value to that audience, they were able to Kickstart this project very much faster as well as exceeding their goal. So their initial goal is $35,000 just to build the app. And then their second goal was $65,000. So that they could build the app for iOs as well as android. So, iOs is the first goal, android his second goal, and then they even hit the third goal which was over $80,000 and they held a virtual conference for their community of, She Reads Truth writers. And so, it’s quite amazing how they can serve a community in this way.
Kenny Jahng: I love the fact they culminated in a virtual experience together. That just warms my heart.
Kenny Jahng: One of the things that I love here again, is for people listening here, it’s an example of hey, you don’t need to just abandon what you’re doing and start something completely from scratch, right? This is something like if you have something going on, if you’ve got a community, a ministry, something going on that is something that it might be the foundation of your supporter base and it might be something that you do to energize and further push your community to do something more. It doesn’t mean that you need to start fresh and quit your job and do something else entrepreneurially. So, I love this platform. It allowed to do that. The third one is in a very similar way. The third one is called Video Bible Talks. I don’t know if you have heard of these guys before. I actually liked them a lot in Video Bible Talks is actually a website, it’s called videobibletalks.com, and they are a group of people that are producing just that Bible, you know Bible related or Bible teaching videos that are available for free to download for churches and ministry. So, if you’re involved in teaching in a group setting, whether it be a small group or a Sunday school or any other type of discipleship format, this is a great resource to check out the resources. DJ, have you seen any of their videos before?
DJ Chuang: No, it’s the first time I’ve heard of it. So thanks for mentioning it to me. So in addition to the website, what did they do on Kickstarter?
Kenny Jahng: So again, this is one of those things. These guys had this ministry to begin with and what they decided to do is we’re going to take something and carve it out. If you listen to their actual video on Kickstarter, they wanted to tackle the sermon of the mount and have a series of videos that they can produce. Video production is, can be expensive for you to do it well and have high excellence and equipment, et cetera. Right? You just recently went through a video project yourself, right? And knowing, all the intricacies of producing a video project, it can be expensive. And so yes, they said, let’s do the sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7 and I believe they’ve created six videos I think to go through the sermon of the mount.
DJ Chuang: Ah, I see. they’re using the British pounds. So they are across the pond creating these Video Bible Talks on the sermon of the mount. And that’s just series one. So they may well have additional series as their community grows.
Kenny Jahng: Yeah. So again, this, what I love about this is a couple things right. One is they’re using Kickstarter to extend their ministry and finds a broader supporter base to help realize their dreams are what their ministry wants to be. Second, I love the fact that they’re creating video content, video content format, that form factor itself. As you’ve heard me say over and over video is the new black. We’re here in 2018, going into 2019 if you’re not invested in video shooting, you really need to do a self check right now or maybe having an intervention. And then lastly, you know, we’ve gotten from a Gutenberg world to a Google world. The kids these days, the younger generation, in fact all culture is no longer talking, textual, we’re post-text. We have to go to a video format. So, producing 10 to 15 minute long videos with the Expositional teaching on the Bible and using this format I think is a very smart move on their part. And obviously it resonated with people.
DJ Chuang: Well that’s a great find and these wouldn’t be on tech starter, but it just brings to mind some additional, some other efforts that are related to the Bible videos that are kind of circulating out there. A couple that come to mind. The Bible project has been phenomenal with their, what do you call those explainer videos, and then there’s some newer Jesus movies that are more a short form that fits a mobile audience. So those things are beginning to happen as well.
Kenny Jahng: Yeah, I think we’re seeing storytelling, catching up and evolving with what culture is demanding and I think it’s the seeing the flourishing of that genre is lovely. Right? And even podcasting. Podcasting is something I think that started off as a little bit Geeky, have a little bit of a dip and now it’s back, podcasting, you know, I don’t know what the stats are off the top of my head, but it’s kind of crazy. The number of people actually consuming podcast on a weekly or regular basis at this point. Hey, I want to point out one thing though. You’ve got a shirt on that isn’t your typical orange. What’s going on?
DJ Chuang: Well, it’s a #ILovePodcasting and it’s from a platform called Spreaker. So, I like going to conferences and I like podcasting. So I happen to be wearing non-orange.
Kenny Jahng: A rare occasion, I know just for you, I had some desk accessories, they’re even orange. I call you today, the one rare occasion without orange. But, you wore the I love podcasting shirt for the occasion. I love it. I wish I had one of those shirts. Pretty cool shirt. So, those are three separate examples of really interesting neat projects that started out on Kickstarter that got fully funded or out in the wild. We, I really encourage you to check them out. The Dwells Scripture Reading app, which is on iTunes and Google Play or same thing with the She Reads Truth app. Those are great places to check out. Check out their websites as well. And then the Video Bible talks, you can actually se, they’ve actually completed the project and polished it and you can download the sermon on the mount videos in particular as well as the others on Video Bible talks. And so those are the types of things that I love discovering across net because you know what, there’s so much that we have been stubborn that’s related to the Bible. And as we close out the show, DJ, I want to highlight another site that you are curating that shares and catalogs and, indexes things that are all related to the Bible. Why don’t you share with that as we close up the show?
DJ Chuang: Yeah. A couple months ago we launched a website called forallthings.BIBLE and we have been curating interesting and useful Bible websites, and I think the Bible can be much, much, much more than just presenting the text. I think that is so seventies or eighties, I don’t know, somewhere back there at the beginning of distributing Scriptures and there are places that still in the world that still need Bible translation. And plus we have another website that we’re a partner with called Illuminations.BIBLE where I think we have currently like 1600 Bibles that are translated, but there’s another 5,000 or 6,000 languages that are still needing translation work to be done.
Kenny Jahng: Oh, it’s the opposite. The opposite is much more encouraging. There’s 1600 languages left in the world that we’re trying to get to. And once there’s a translation project started in those remaining 1600, we’re down to nothing. We’ve gone to every single language which in the world, which is kind of amazing, right? Like that technology has been accelerating the translation projects and that in our generation, this generation, we’re going to be able to say, Hey, humanity, we’ve, we’ve conquered translation of the Bible so that it’s accessible to every single human being on earth. When you think about a step back, that’s kind of, that’s magnificent.
DJ Chuang: It’s the culmination of history. I think that’s where in the narrative of God and the story of God that all this technology is, has a vital role in how God is going to bring all people to himself, all tribes and nations and tongues and worship together. So the end is coming.
Kenny Jahng: The end is coming and we are the ones that rejoice at that, of course. Right? And that just gives me sweet blessings. I guess when I hear that Scripture that I mentioned earlier on, right? That how beautiful are the feet of those who bring the Good News as it is written in Romans 10:14-15. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news? Well, on that note, Dj, I think we’ll call it a day. What are you looking forward to as we move forward in this future.BIBLE projects? Is there anything in particular that you could share with us that in your heart that this project as we move forward and involves, you know might come to fruition.
DJ Chuang: I am eager to talk with other people who are thinking about Bible and tech. So, we’re just handling one slice of it here on the Internet super highway with top level domains, but certainly mobile apps, virtual reality, AR, other ways of using social media and technology I think are a widely available for us to explore and develop and really see people engaging with the Bible.
Kenny Jahng: And Dj. I think that’s right. There’s a call to action for everybody here that if you’re one of our friends that are listening, if you’re one of our supporters that are cheering us on with this future.BIBLE project, please refer people to us. Point people our way and what’s that singular call to action that we say at the end of every show here, how do people get in touch with us and actually nominate or recommend a friend? Refer people for people so that they can be included in the conversation here
DJ Chuang: Go to Future.BIBLE in your browser and connect with us on iTunes, on Facebook, on Twitter, on everything. So, Future.BIBLE is your call to action.