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Kickstarter Technology Projects Ship 100

An anonymous reader writes "Shocking Kickstarter news this morning, not only did I actually I receive my Brydge this morning, but a Kickstarter software project shipped on time! Connectify Dispatch, the load balancing software for Windows, was released today as well. Perhaps the Kickstarter model of funding technology is not nearly as doomed as some naysayers here would have it. Why are so many here hostile to crowdsourcing? Shouldn't we be glad to have Venture Capitalists cut out of the loop so that companies actually listen to us?"
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Kickstarter Technology Projects Ship

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  • by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @05:43PM (#42280171)

    The negativity surrounding KickStarter is based on a number of things.

    1. project issues
    a. There are scam projects. Period. Sometimes they're easily outed, other times you won't know it's a scam until it's well over with.
    b. A lot of projects - especially in technology/design (and why these are 2 separate categories is beyond everyone - the overlap is ridiculous) - do not deliver on the estimated shipping date. KickStarter themselves acknowledged this and made everybody using those categories add a 'risks' explanation in which the project creator will explain what difficulties a project may face and how they believe they can overcome these difficulties.
    c. Some projects, delivered on time or not, don't deliver what was promised or do deliver what was promised but then the 'thing' falls apart or is otherwise not particularly useful. Think an iPhone holder using a suction cup that fails to keep suction. A fire piston that leaks and fails to ignite the material (fabrication issue, manufacturer has taken responsibility after the creator informed them of the issue, so backers will get a good one). A colorful iDevice cable that is rendered obsolete by the new design (yes, they pledged for the old connector design... more than a year ago before anybody even knew Apple would change things around, but deliver is after that change.
    d. Some projects just don't deliver. You already mentioned Zeyez.. that one remains to be seen. But then there's projects like Hanfree. Its creator eventually had to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after some backers went to the courts out of principle - the guy received tens of thousands of dollars, then apparently mismanaged those funds (what they were hoping to find out through the case).

    And in 'd' lies a bigger issue, along with 'a'.
    2. KickStarter's responsibility
    a. KickStarter doesn't really vet projects. They have gotten better about this - demanding prototypes in design/technology and all that, but once live they are very hands-off.
    b. If it turns out to be a scam, or the creator fails to deliver, KickStarter tells backers their issue is with the creator and they can go pursue legal matters but leave KickStarter out of it (in a recent case, KickStarter was actually named - this was covered at Slashdot).
    c. KickStarter - and amazon - still take a chunk of the funds. On paper they're doing some tricky business where - supposedly - legally the funds they receive is separate from the funds pledged to the creator. But common sense says that KickStarter benefits financially - on an individual case - from scam projects. In the long run, it might hurt their platform which reduces revenue overall, but purely for an individual project.. they already got their chunk of money and are keeping it well out of the hands of backers seeking to get their money back.

    C. Ambiguity of KickStarter as a platform
    Simply put.. is KickStarter a (pre-order) store, or not?
    Legally, it might be. Others believe you're investing (you're not - no dividends, shares, etc.). Others see it somewhere in between. This ambiguity - and with it more questions than answers, rights-wise.

    Now, you asked about personal experiences.. pretty sure I posted about this before, but basically.. so far most projects have delivered, albeit late, and the delivered projects have been pretty much as expected or better.
    That said, just today one of the projects I backed seems to have delivered the product to pre-sales outside of the KickStarter backers before the vast majority of KickStarter backers received the product themselves. That's disappointing. Of course the pre-sales people paid a good chunk more and didn't get to 'experience' the KickStarter development process, but it does feel like slighting the backers in a way. I would certainly recommend to any KickStarter project creator that they fulfill their KickStarter obligations first.

  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by tgd ( 2822 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @05:51PM (#42280297)

    Why would a data set of three have any statistical relevance out of a set of 50,000?

    Oh yeah, it doesn't. But congrats on avoiding being scammed.

  • Note to editors (Score:4, Informative)

    by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @06:25PM (#42280893) Homepage

    Kickstarter Technology Projects Ship

    Try not to use words in a context that is ambiguous as to whether it's a noun or a verb. I thought someone had created a system that could generate holograms of sea-going vessels.

    Also, is this a story, or was the submitter just unable to fit it into 140 characters for Twitter?

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