Opinion: I’ve Had Enough Of How Much Kickstarter Sucks

It’s time to get real about crowdfunding on Kickstarter. Instead of being an indie-business utopia, it’s become the de-facto way to scam the masses into buying invisible products and getting free marketing for ideas with a short sell-by date — and we’ve had enough.

I remember when crowdfunding was going to change the world of manufacturing for the better. We wanted democracy to decide what products were made, and get them at awesome prices by paying in part with our goodwill and faith.

Then reality set in, and the very worst of humanity set upon crowdfunding to suck the blood from it like a hoard of hipster mosquitos.

Kickstarter has so many problems that it’s hard to know where to start. At one end of the scale you’ve got independent folk with great ideas who lack the ability to deliver, and at the other end you’ve got savvy business folk who simply use it to stir up promotion and easy finance. Between those extremes, there’s so much vapourware and headline-grabbing crap that the international Gizmodo fleet have pretty much banned Kickstarter from entering its pages. Our UK editor Kat is blunt on her view of Kickstarter: “Most of the news tip-offs I receive nowadays are about Kickstarter projects, all of which get binned instantly.”

I’m not saying that good things haven’t come from Kickstarter, but sometimes a startup doesn’t know how to cash in the faith that backers paid alongside their hard-earned cash. Take the Pebble watch; a defining moment for Kickstarter for how quickly it smashed its $100,000 goal (it raised $10 million by the time funding closed) and for proving demand for the smart watch concept — a moment that will reverberate for years now that the majors like Apple and Google are exploring the idea. And we totally applaud that.

But for Pebble backers, the story was less rosy. Gizmodo UK's Chris Mills ordered a Pebble over a year ago while the campaign ran, but found himself at the back of the queue when US retail chain Best Buy took an interest in the company. Local boy Luke also had the same issues as you'll read in his review.

“After waiting for half a year to be shipped a Pebble, I found out that Pebble had decided to put their smart watch on sale in Best Buy before fulfilling their pre-orders,” Chris said. “Sure, having their product on shelf in a major electronics chain is a coup for Pebble, and one that’ll no doubt bring them a tonne of cash — but it’s also a kick in the teeth for anyone who’s had the faith to support them for months on end.”

Sometimes a Kickstarter product is a disaster simply because its technology goes out of fashion before it has a chance to launch.

The Ouya was one such product. When this $99 console was announce, we swooned at how smartphone gaming would have a chance to take over the living room. How naive we were.

By the time it launched, both Microsoft and Sony had revealed their next-gen console offerings, and interest in playing small-screen games on a TV with pixels the size of bricks had somewhat dwindled. My review of the Ouya would have been more forgiving of the product if the controller wasn’t so laggy, or if the user experience was better refined — but what do you expect when you order something without trying it out first? The final Gizrank on this “cutting-edge” console: a revolutionary 2/5. We're still the lucky ones, however: at least we received ours.

The biggest problem with Kickstarter (and any crowdfunding site) is that there’s no guarantee your product will materialise, leaving the founder to skip off with your cash. As much as I’d like independent business folk to succeed, sometimes their ambitions are bigger than their abilit,y and they just can’t deliver.

A prime example of this is with my first Kickstarter backing in late 2011. I was impressed by a series called Best Music Writing which the blurb calls “a beloved annual publication of the best English-language music writing.” I figured that a series that has been running since 2000 with praise like “a soulful anthem to the vibrancy of music writing today” from Publishers Weekly would be a good read, and I love the idea of supporting other great music journalists.

But the 2012 edition didn’t happen. Months later, I remembered that little book and thought I’d check up on it. It seemed that Daphene Carr who started the project, had gone radio-silent on us. The comments section was full of disappointed backers, many asking for a refund, or simply bemused by Daphene’s offensive lack of communication. Backer Jon Szanto sums it up best: “Over a year and nothing. Not much in the way of expense out of my pocket, but a pretty good hit to my centre of goodwill. What happened?”

Checking back today, I see there’s a new update by Daphene. It doesn’t explain why she failed to produce the book, or explain what happened to the $17,337 she raised. Instead, she offers a discount voucher to the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist in criticism by Ellen Willis. I don’t know if is has anything to do with music, but I do know that I didn’t intend to buy a voucher to an obscure book. I wasn’t even sent an email with this update — it’s almost as if Daphene doesn’t want everyone to cash in their voucher.

I’ve had enough of Kickstarter and its ability to fail time and time again. Have you?

Our newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.



    I think one of the larger problems with some kickstarters is the people assume its a purchase, thinking that they just bought the product like a stocked item.
    But it is more an investment and just like the stock market, there is a chance your investment will fail.

      Perfect summary.

        Most Americans are stupid

          Which is why the have the most advanced technology in the entire world, right? Because they're all so stupid. Yeah. All those buffoons and doofuses at NASA, Harvard, MIT, Cornell and Google. A nation of dimwits, huh?

          Most Americans are not stupid - OR, they're not anymore "stupid" than any other people.

          I think that is very rude, cruel and understated

            "Most" being the keyword here, I did not use the word 'All'
            I still stand by my previous statement.

            "Most Americans are smart" - It almost sounds sarcastic when you phrase it like that, :)

            I'm not the only one with that opinion
            Type in "why are American's" in google and the first auto completer suggests "so stupid"

            Last edited 02/09/13 5:49 pm

          Most 'people' are stupid is a far more accurate. Think about a person you know who is of average intelligence... ~50% of people are dumber than that.

          no fucking shit lol. here are some images made on a computer of an idea i had. give me money.

      Indeed. This is the number one, biggest mistake people make. Kickstarter do not hide this fact, in-fact they make it blatantly clear every time you back a project. Many project creators also make it clear and so on.

      You are not buying a game or watch or product, you are financially supporting an idea that someone has. You are placing a bet on an idea.. sometimes you win the bet (this means the result far exceeds your expectations).. sometimes you lose (less than your expectations.. sometimes this means you don't get anything at all.. other times it means you get less than you thought etc).. and sometimes you break even (by that I just mean you get what you paid for and nothing beyond that.)

      Doesn't mean you shouldn't feel cheated or let down..it just means you need to manage your expectations and educate yourself going in on any investment.

        You need to read the KS terms and conditions. While it's clear there are risks in backing a project, creators have an obligation to deliver (despite however many disclaimers they might have) , not maybe or if things go to plan. This provides a tiny bit of accountability which is also as much to get KS of the hook if the project doesn't happen.

        BUT.... people need to exercise judgement and commonsense when backing. Some projects fall in the "too good to be true" category and there's no way I'd back them. Others have ideas which are so undeveloped that it would take a miracle for them to deliver when they say they would.

      I would be interested to see kickstarter project failure rates compared to traditional angel investor funded project failure rates.

      I think the difference is groups like angel investors have better bullshit filters so they weed out the projects that are going to fail before they even consider giving the project money. During the filtering project this would include meeting the personalities that will be running the project, doing market research etc. all of which kickstarter and the people who invest in kickstarter projects do not do.

      Also angel investors are bulk networkers, so if they see potential in the project, and they know the right guy with the right skill-set to help the project be realised they will pull them in. So the people running the projects themselves also miss out on great help and advice from the right people when using kickstarter.

        the pros's are obviously they dont need to give away equity to angels

      It's definitely not like buying a stocked item but it's definitely not an investment either, at least not in the traditional sense, as in most cases there is no return to the backer or an ongoing relationship, financial or otherwise. Most people don't back things because they'd like to see the product or concept develop, they just want their fancy gadget.
      It'd be nice to see a system where the backers received their item plus a percentage of forward profits.

      So why bother at all? I personally would rather invest with the opportunity to make money - as opposed to MAYBE receive a product. At least that way the risk might end up being worth something.

        because average people dont have the capital to invest 10k or whatever the minimum is. they do have the capital to support a project for 10 bucks though.

      I disagree. I think its much closer to a stocked item than an stock market investment. You can't dump the board for incompetence, you don't get dividends, you have no special regulators, you don't get a vote in the stockholders meeting. Ultimately, all you get is a product (at best) at some ill-defined time. That sounds exactly like a regularly purchase, with some really shitty strings attached.

      The thing is, if kickstarter (the startup) took even a basic level of responsibility, the whole thing could be greatly improved.

      Not an investment at all. An investment means you own a part of the company, you don't. You have zero stake in the company.

      It's more like Art Patronage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patronage#Arts), where your more commissioning a work. You have no idea how that work will end up, but you've paid for it anyway. It might be a steaming pile of shite, it might be great, either way you get what it is (or in some cases, just like with Kickstarter, you get nothing).

        If you consider it an equity investment - where the equity in this case is the end product - it does seem to match a particular variation of very high-risk venture capitalism, where in return for providing seed funding, you get early access to and/or a discounted product.


        Another close comparison would be investing in the production of a film (and in the case of the Veronica Mars movie, it's not a comparison - they were the same thing). Prior to Kickstarter, there were a number of crowdfunded films where investors didn't get a share of the company or profits, but instead got tickets to attend screenings or memorabilia from the set (or even cells from the completed film, like for the crowd-funded Australian movie The Tunnel, which long-time readers may remember from posts on this very site: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/tags/the-tunnel/). Plenty of films don't get made because they run out of money before they can complete production, and the investors get bupkis.

        Last edited 03/09/13 9:15 am

      If thats the case than the fault lies with Kickstarter. I've seen some of the campaigns and a LOT of the marketing and a lot are advertised in exactly the same way as you would a purchase...

      Well erm, no. KS's terms state clearly that project creators are obliged to fulfill all rewards or refund if they can't so it isn't anything like an investment - it's really closer to a pre-order. Backers have their usual legal rights against creators for non delivery but AFAIK no one has really gone to the lengths of suing a creator, probably because the amounts aren't massive and it's not worth the effort. And unlike the stock market, if things go well you sure aren't gonna be sharing in the profits on your "investment".

      I disagree. In my case, I knew there was risk but did not expect what appears to be fraud. The project creator goes months without updates and his latest post asks for more money. I have sent numerous questions and he has not answered one of them. Kickstarter has no way of separating the frauds from real creators and it looks like they don't care. The fraudsters still pay kickstarter.

    The example given is for the Pebble which hit retail shelves before the funders got theirs.
    Not a case of a non-product, more a case of "we proved to Big Money that we can start the Pebble rolling (sic) and we cashed in on them paying for Pebbles that the funders had already paid for".

    For mine, this is like selling 1 item twice and stooging whomever fails to check up on it.

    The major issue is the legal borders for these Kickstarters are beyond Joe-consumer to litigate for such flagrant fraud.
    It is fraud to sell something to one person then distribute it to someone else for a second sale isn't it? ISN'T IT? ... well it should be - but in which country?

    I have backed 1 Kickstarter - and that is with an established bricks and mortar company whose reputation depends on delivery. Their Kickstart is a spin-off of existing IP so they simply must deliver or the bulk of their business will suffer from the failed kickstart.
    Having saidf that: I have full confidence in Half-Moon Studios delivering Warmachine: Tactics.

      I honestly don't see how this is different to a game company KS'ing their game.. then when it is at a beta level, start selling it through Steam/GoG and then providing keys to those who backed as well as keys to people only just getting on the wagon. The original people are still getting what they expected.. they just didn't get any exclusivity..

      If the project declared that there would be exclusivity.. fine.. but I don't see any KS projects offering that except in the form of rewards beyond the core product, such as a exclusive colour for a physical product or an exclusive cloth map for a game etc

        The difference is that the Pebble is a physical product. It costs nothing to duplicate data, so it really doesn't matter. Not so when you're shipping something physical. That doesn't necessarily mean that the Pebble team couldn't do what they did (legally speaking, then again I'm not familiar with the incident so I can't comment either way) but digitally delivered goods are entirely different from physical goods.

      I think the Pebble situation is being painted a little unfairly. The Pebble guys have two production lines for watches, one makes black all the time, the other makes the colours. As each colour has a different plastic formula they only make one colour at a time on the coloured line. They started selling Black and Red at Best Buy because all the Black and Red kickstarter backer watches had been sent out and they had a stockpile of those available, the people most pissed off were those who had backed Orange and Grey because they had not finished shipping those colours yet due to first run production issues. I do feel some sympathy for those who missed the kickstarter and did a normal pre-order for a watch, those were given equal priority with the Best Buy shipments.

      Actually, the Pebble at Best Buy was selling off excess stock. Every person who had ordered a black one, got a black one, and they had some to spare, so they sold the stock to Best Buy. This doesn't mean that they took watches from the white pool and sold them to Best Buy before the white backers had got theirs. Legally, Pebble had fulfilled their obligation to the black Pebble backers.

      Whether it feels right, is another story. Especially when you've ordered an item, regardless of colour, and someone else gets it before you.

      You are going a bit hard on the fraud angle
      People who purchased the product will still get theirs, the order they are being distributed is just being modified.
      Rather than fraud it is more like being in a restaurant and ordering a steak. Then as it is ready to be brought to your table having one of the waiter say "Table 4 is drinking $300 bottles of wine and will be laving if they don't get their food now". So they make a choice and send 'your' meal over to the table that is going to make them more in tips and then you have to wait longer for your meal.

      It's a kick in the teeth to you, as you waited and ordered first, but nothing illegal

      It also really depends on what the story is.
      People complained that their Pebbles were late, yet they mentioned lots of times that the Black ones will ship before the coloured ones. And that the international ones will ship after the US ones. It's no surprise that it showed up on store shelves in the US before some international backers got theirs.
      A store like Best Buy has huge resources to get things on the shelves quickly. If you were the Pebble team and they drove up to your house in a truck full of cash, what would you do? What would any business do?

      But your last comment is spot on... You backed something you had confidence in... You backed someone you trusted and therefore have realistic expectation. That's how kickstarter should be used.

    So cant something be done about people taking your money and leaving? If there's nothing stopping you then whats to say I cant just create a false product that sounds awesome like a Robot Monkey that shoots flames, sings songs and goes to work for you, then run away with the cash.

    Also, this sorta thing doesn't give me any more faith either - http://au.ign.com/articles/2013/08/29/suspicious-ouya-game-kickstarter-campaign-raises-eyebrows

      Robot Monkey that shoots flames!! Here take my money.

    i backed a dude who made a custom case for my asus ep121

    he delivered and it was awesome, especially cause nobody else was making anything for this device and his invention was really smart

    but things like the fusechicken unebobine was a joke. Doesnt work well in real life and was over priced

    Thats the thing about kickstarter, alot of the products are overpriced

    Last edited 02/09/13 2:38 pm

    I'm all for the pitch (it's part of my day job pitching to clients), but I see a lot of Kickstarter projects are all pitch and no business case. At the very least I'd expect a step by step business case in advance to receiving funding so I knew how, when & why my $ was being spent. As well as alternative means to rectify should key targets/dates get missed. This should be a Kickstarter requirement. Would cut out so much junk.

    On another note I've seen some pretty interesting derivatives to kickstarter pop up recently too, some scary.
    One such I saw a few weeks ago on CNN in France. Was for people in 3rd world countries requiring medical assistance. You basically fund a profiled individuals medical costs. Great in theory, but clearly open to abusing the good will of others. Also in funding, you fail to address the bigger picture for the many hundreds and thousands in medical need. Plus dehumanize them by placing a $ bid on saving a persons life. Like I said scary.

    Edit; The third-world medical care version of Kickstarter is called Watsi

    Last edited 02/09/13 2:57 pm

      The point is kickstarter wasn't created as a business platform but as an arts based platform. The concept is you fund an idea because you like that idea and want it to succeed. There are still a lot of them on there and I think it would be a sad thing if the disappeared because of to much policy and red tape.
      Maybe have a section on the pitch for that or potentially require that if the amount you are after is above $100 grand. Should really be up to the backer to determine that themselves. I've backed things that I'm not sure if they will be able to deliver because it is something I would like to see and it is worth the chance that my $20 will make it happen. The possibility that it will happen was all the return I needed to invest.
      If you are just using it to order items you want then you might as well wait until release and get it then.

    Yeah, I've only backed one thing: the Rhino Shield


    Done by a couple of uni students from Cambridge. They have done well, and have even come up with an improved Mk II version and are giving those away to backers for free. They just needed the money to get manufacturing going - all the research was done.

    I dont think people mind if the project fails to deliver. But people would be angry if they disregard their "humble" origins and do things like put the product on retail shelves or give out the Ouya in the VMA gift bags before fulfilling their pledges.

    Eh. I jumped on there to back the Rift, and I'm happy with my decision. Oculus were very good about keeping backers updated, and I got my unit with no troubles. Bit disappointing to hear that a lot of Ouya backers weren't so lucky.

    This article is rubbish. It stinks of someone who expects kickstarter to be amazon... It's not.
    It's not an online shop. It's not somewhere with strict deadlines devoid of delays.
    Set your expectations accordingly and you won't be disappointed.

    Yes sometimes businesses fail. It's no different if you buy from any other online store and the company folds. You probably won't get your money back either.

    To pull apart some of your examples. I challenge you to crate a product (almost from scratch) like the pebble, and suddenly have demand explode to over 68,000 units. Those kind of numbers require a huge change in manufacturing, distribution, and business model.
    If you seriously expected them to meet the original released dates after $100,000 became $10million then you are deluded and it's your fault.
    Distribution alone to 68,000 + unique buyers is a massive undertaking. And one that has to be completed without incurring a higher cost per unit.
    Granted they probably could have researched the market better, but part of kickstarter is market research. And I doubt any sort of research (which can be expensive) would have shown such a massive demand for a smart watch.
    Also let's not forget that the pebble costs $150 not $300+ like most of it's competitors. If it was $300 you may have gotten it earlier.
    Do some research about KS profits, by the time creators have to pay for stickers, t-shirts, shipping, distribution, additional RnD for stretch goals and any manufacturing blow outs there isn't really that much profit left at the end of the day.

    Here is a CCN arcticle about why products are late.
    Including a the following quote "That's not how Kickstarter works, Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler responds. Backers are signing up to participate in the development process, including all of its obstacles and setbacks.
    If you want a watch, you can go buy a watch," Strickler says. "People turn to the analogs of consumer behavior, as if this is a Wal-Mart online store. Kickstarter isn't a perfect analog to anything like that. It's something new."

    Again, have reasonable expectations and kickstarter is awesome.

    Personally the OUYA didn't really interest me so I didn't back it. But it turned out to be exactly what I expected it to be - underpowered mobile phone hardware without a screen and a controller. The price of the console was the only pulling point but again, you're deluded if you were calling this a "cutting edge console."

    As for items never arriving. I think that's a fair minority. If you limit yourself to backing reputable creators, people who have run successfully KS campaigns before or those who come from reputable backgrounds like known game developers, your usually going to get your product.
    Is it going to be good? Well that depends. Just like with ANY purchase.
    I didn't back the Leap Motion, but I pre-ordered one after the KS finished... it turned out to be a disappointing product. Do I regret paying for it? No more than buying a crap video game or watching a bad movie at the cinema.

    I've backed 11 projects thus far.
    1 didn't reach it's goal and so didn't cost me anything.
    5 finished and delivered. (inc Pebble)
    5 are still in progress with constant progress updates.

    Things like the Omni, Oculus Rift, Leap motion etc I haven't backed because it's out of my price range but I still follow the news intently. I'd get a Rift in a heartbeat if I had any programming skills to really play with it.

    As other people have said. It's an investment not a purchase and it's up to you to decided if that trust is worth your money. If you're disappointed in a product you have no one to blame but yourself as long as it arrived and was properly explained. There have been various KS that I liked the look of but decided against it due to insufficient information, bad communication or an unrealistic goal.
    Also note that most of these setbacks are for technology products with manufacturing difficulties. Art, music, movies etc tend to be much more on time. As an engineer, we work with these manufacturing and technological delays every day. If you can't handle that, go to your Wal-mart equivalent and buy something off the shelf. Kickstarter is not a shop!!!!

    EDIT: sorry it was 68,000 units not 80,000

    Last edited 02/09/13 4:08 pm

      I challenge you to crate a product (almost from scratch) like the pebble
      I accept your challenge...(goes off to build a box with plywood and collect a pebble from the back yard. :P)

        That's cheating, you cut the sentence in half =P
        and suddenly have demand explode to over 68,000 units

          Good point, that does make it much more of a challenge

        no no no, not a crate with a pebble, a crate like a pebble. Best get some curved plywood and some grey paint.
        When I wrote the line above I accidentally wrote "create" :)

        Last edited 02/09/13 5:44 pm

          Damn it guys, you're ruining my long angry serious post =P

            Only because it's well thought-out and full of good points. I have nothing to call you up on, so I'll make random white noise instead.

    I'm still a huge fan of Kickstarter. All seven of the projects I have backed so far are games and one project for a community arts building in Melbourne via Pozible. I love hearing about the creative process as the game is being created so even if the game isn't fantastic when it's out, I'm still happy that I've funded it for the entertainment I got out of the updates. Watching the documentary on the Double Fine Adventure has been worth the price of admission alone. I can't wait to actually play it!
    I'm never keen to buy the first generation of any electronic product until it has already been out for a few months so I haven't backed any physical items yet. Having said that, I can't wait to buy an Oculus Rift and Virtuix Omni once the consumer versions are released.

    I support Kickstarter in the funding of projects such as films with incentives or rewards or whatever they're called being things such as preview screenings online, or credits in the film. However, for products and technology, I always wait for site preorders to be available. It seems that a large influx of money really quickly can send people crazy. Who knew.

    Backed a lot if stuff on KS with no issues.

    I honestly believe that Kickstarter is much better suited to creative projects.

    The reward should be a "reward" for backing a project, not the product itself.

    You want to see this great idea for a short film get made? Contribute a few dollars and you'll get to see it. As a thanks we'll also send you a t-shirt.

    I've never put money into crowd funding so I have no personal experience and had no idea of all the issues mentioned in the article.

    I would have thought the first thing to set up in a situation like this is to have an escrow service, and the partial funding released to the project after each milestone. Like get to stage A, and the project gets 10% of the money sitting in escrow, and when the project gets to stage B, it gets another 30% etc etc

    This way, the project knows that it has the full funding ahead of time and at the same time, the backers knows that not all their money will disappear, that the project will need to report back with measurable milestones. If no milestones materialise after a reasonable amount, then it gets scrapped and whatever money left in escrow is refunded to the backers.

    It's not a 'scam', but it has definitely fallen far from grace..

    For me what's ruined it is too many iphone cables making hundreds of K.. And you're like.. Why are you consumerist swines even here? Did you read about this on thatshipster.com?

    I get really sick of all the KS bashing that goes on these days. People seem to blame KS themselves for all of the failed/delayed products. KS have provided a platform for people to pitch ideas just like they would in the business world but instead of pitching it to some multi millionaire they are pitching to their customers. Sure, sometimes the projects fail and people get screwed out of their hard earned money but how is that different to any other investment that fails? Failure is not exclusive to KS.

    A lot of it is being careful who and what you back. The only thing I've put money into so far is Little Witch Academia 2. It's a project where the people doing it have already demonstrated that they can get the job done and there are no obvious technical or logistic barriers to completion.

    On the other hand, there was another kickstarter for a spiral-based speed launching device (being pushed as a possible future path for materials to orbit) where the devs clearly knew what they were doing, but the proposal had some very obvious scaling issues. (The slingshot man later made a widget based on the same kickstarter but a much simpler booster concept that looks much more scalable.)

    I'm so sick of the Kickstarter bashing as well... @Inquisitorsz statement is right on the money.
    I've backed 34 Projects, the tune of about $2700

    16 projects have delivered completely (Some outstandingly)
    16 projects are in various stages of completion.
    1 absconded with the money (all $2800, I lost $40... meh)
    1 failed to fund.

    I backed the Ouya, and while I had my issues with (I suspect) a poorly trained support team I did get my console the day before release. Is it the cutting edge? No. Do I like it? Yes, and I've spent about $30 on games. I had realistic expectations going in though, I've played tablet/ mobile games before. I do tend to agree with the Penny Arcade Report's view that the Ouya will improve with time for those who stick with it.

    As for the tardiness of Kickstarter projects, as long as the project creators are keeping backers informed regularly with what is happening then it doesn't really bother me. Though there are definitely a few creators with established names in their own industry who bite off more than their schedule allows. I can think of a particular tabletop rpg publishing company running kickstarters who fits into this category. And it's not Onyx Path.

    I've backed plenty of projects and had no real issues. None have failed to deliver yet. Some were a bit below par, but I expect that.

    The two main examples listed in this projects were always going to have those growing pains. It was clear from day one that each of those projects had some big issues. Namely the fact the Pebbly orders were stopped after only a few days because they were coming in too fast was a clear sign they weren't prepared for the logistics of it. Cudos for them for at least attempting to manage the situation.

    When it comes to the the Ouya the issues of hardware and software were also very visible because of the close ties the device shared with mobile hardware. Namely, it was clear the hardware would be out of date before it was released, even compared to mobile phones (let alone the XBox and PS releases mentioned) and that getting software may prove troublesome based on the existing options.

    I don't think either project was a failure, but as with many projects on Kickstarter there was some very clear warning signs to both in regards to areas where they may struggle.

    I agree with mdolley that Kickstarter and similar crowdfunding methods are excellent for creative projects, particularly music or film. They set achievable targets and any extra serves to press extra CDs/records/DVDs. I've supported a huge amount of music products on KS with no disappointment.

    Unfortunately when you're looking at a product like these, buzz can exceed achievable targets for production very rapidly, though the I guess the greed of leaving it open means that things will often go pear shaped.

    I think to improve the concept, campaigns should have to identify reasonable limits to the amount of initial investment into their product. Beyond that, it's up to the investor to judge whether the amount of information available for a given product is sufficient to invest.

    There is nothing wrong with Kickstarter, just all the morons spending money on shit and expecting to get something back guaranteed.

    I backed Star Citizen and am really happy with the way they are handling everything, keeping people updated on their plans as new goals get reached (created). Giving people teasers of newly designed spacecraft like i could walk down to the shop tomorrow and buy one! haha. Can't wait for the final product! This has givin me confidence in investing in more kickstarters in the future.

    I've only backed one thing, and that's Pressy, the Android button which was discussed on here last week. So far things have been going good, constant updates, passed the funding threshold...but I'll get back to you in a couple of months on whether they actually delivered or not.

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