Wow! What a week. Humbled, but still nervous. 15 percent to go: Will we make it?


When I launched the Kickstarter funding page for The Frustrated State last week, I really didn’t know what to expect.

I knew that I had been intensely frustrated by failed tech policy in Australia for many years, and I also knew that the situation had been increasingly getting worse. You only have to look at the current state of the National Broadband Network project, the almost complete collapse of our video game development industry or the data retention legislation to see this in action.

This country has reached a crisis point when it comes to tech policy, and I knew I had to take a big step to try and help resolve this situation.

But I wasn’t sure whether Australia’s wider tech community cared about this to the same extent I did.

Like most Kickstarter project creators, I planned for success but feared the worst. In my nightmare scenario, The Frustrated State would be almost completely ignored. I would crawl away in shame and hide my face from the world, spending months locked in agonising self-doubt until I regained the confidence to start raising these tech policy issues in public again.

As it turns out, the reaction from Australia’s tech community has been stronger than I could have possibly imagined. After a week, The Frustrated State is now 85 percent funded. A whopping 438 backers have contributed to the project, and I’ve received countless messages of support for it. This is a hugely encouraging sign for the project’s future. It also strongly signals that the Australian community is deeply concerned about our political sector’s systemic mismanagement of tech policy.

However, I must admit that I am still nervous about the project’s success.

We still need about $3,700 to successfully fund the project, and although contributions are still coming in, they have obviously slowed down substantially from the incredible first couple of days of the project. I will need to continue momentum if The Frustrated State is to be funded. And Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing model – if we don’t hit our target, I won’t receive any funding for the project.

So today, I wanted to let people know two things. Firstly, I am incredibly humbled by the support for The Frustrated State. My deepest thanks go to everyone who has backed it so far. I appreciate your confidence in me, and I will work extremely hard to meet your expectations. Thank you for the trust you have placed in me. I will not let you down.

But secondly, we’re not there yet! I will be working hard to get the word out over the next few weeks about The Frustrated State and to attract new backers. And I would really appreciate it if you could help :) Letting friends and colleagues know about the project, through social media or in person, would really be appreciated, and would help push it over the last hurdle. Let’s reboot our politicians’ understanding of technology policy together :D

And if you haven’t yet contributed, now’s a great time! Click here to check out the Kickstarter page!

Image credit: jayneandd, Creative Commons


  1. Woohoo! Almost there! :D

    Quick suggestion Renai! Since it seems a lot of people are fairly new to KS…

    Let folks know that the money isn’t taken out instantly when you pledge and only gets taken at the end of the campaign only IF the campaign succeeds. So people can pledge as much as they want as long as they have the funds at the campaign end (and even then you have a grace period of 7 days to get funds in if the payment bounces)

  2. $100 pledged, I want to see you a thorn in the side of political ministers of either side that deal with technology and communications again. You write very well, present the facts and present your own opinion and not force your opinion as fact.

    The LNP has feed to much cool aid to the NBN elephant and turned it white, the public needs to be highlighted to this fact.

    • Cheers, much appreciated, both for the support and the kind words!

      I will do my best to hold all sides to account and also to help drive positive change :D

      The NBN situation is indeed sad *sigh*

  3. Just checked the Kickstarter page:

    508 backers
    $25,820 AUD pledged of $25,000 goal
    22 days to go

    Goal #1 reached. Grats Renai!

  4. 522 backers
    $26,446 pledged of $25,000 goal
    21 days to go

    Now for the stretch goal.

  5. Congratulations on reaching the goal so quickly Renai!
    We look forward to the book, and for some insightful and challenging analysis on Delimiter again too. It will certainly be a standout in the current lax media reporting of the NBN and technology.

    • Cheers, much appreciated! I honestly didn’t expect to hit the goal so soon :)

      A lot of hard work ahead, but I am looking forward to it! Ah the NBN … *sigh* what a sad situation.

  6. Yay Renai!

    As a thought, something I always remember as a kid was the Diary of a Game entries in the gaming mags I read. Can we expect something like that along the way? No real detail necessary, but a weekly/fortnightly crib notes post highlighting progress will really help people feel involved.

    Who knows, along the way it might encourage some to actually take that step and really get involved :)

    Just a thought.

    • No worries — you mean in terms of the book?

      Hmm. I will have to think about that. Obviously those who have signed up to the $100 tier will be able to see and comment on the chapters as they are written, and I want to respect their contribution. Not quite sure whether I should dilute that a bit by providing any knowledge about progress publicly etc. I’ll have a think about it as I’m setting things up.

      • Yeah, in terms of the book. Was just a thought, doesnt need to be any detail, but an update of a line or three (“busy/quiet week, spoke to a few insiders and got most of a chapter done” sort of thing), or something like that would be nice to see.

        Leave the finer detail (eg :spoke to Sen Ludlam in depth about tech issue X, lots of ground covered) for contributor rewards, just more a small crib notes version of whatever is sent to them. If not, no biggie, I have no doubt there will be plenty said along the way, would just be nice to look forward to updates on a somewhat regular basis.

        Was always the sort of thing I enjoyed reading as a kid, watching the development and slow transformation into the final product over a period of months.

  7. An idea for another stretch goal Renai, donate copies to the Unis! I consider a lot of our current poliies “lost”, but there is hope the ones coming up now may be able to learn from the older ones mistakes!

    • An interesting idea, and definitely something I will look into. Certainly those studying computer science or copyright law would benefit from reading this kind of book. I wish I had been able to read this kind of thing when I was at university.

      Educating the younger generation, particularly the younger generation of politicians, should definitely be a priority. It may be an interesting idea to make it a habit of mine to send a copy of the book to each new politician who enters parliament, and each new MP who becomes an IT or Communications Minister around Australia …

  8. Man I’m happy to see Delimiter back.

    You, Josh Taylor and David Braue are the only (MSM) tech writers I actually follow in Australia since the Oz IT section turned to crap….

  9. I have visited delimiter a handful of times over the past year, even though i knew there would be nothing to see. Imagine my surprise when I loaded up the page today! It is fantastic to see you returning, god knows we need your voice in this sphere.

    Have signed up to Kickstarter and donated $100, looking forward to the results :)

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