Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 14 Jun 2019.
Won't stop people who absolutely should not be placing bets on businesses from doing so, and then subsequently complaining when their success rate isn't 100%.
Doesn't this undermine the entire Kickstarter business model of taking money from gullible fools?
I've done pretty well with crowdfunding, to be honest. Totting up the totals, I've backed 49 projects: 39 of them have delivered in full; two have partially delivered and swear the remainder is on the way; one is literally in the air right now according to the tracking number; I'm getting regular updates from six more, none of which are worryingly over schedule yet; and there's only one where the dude appears to have taken the money and run - and even he managed to deliver a PDF of roughly half the promised book before vanishing.
A more interesting look comes from this chart I did back in August - so it doesn't cover some of my more recently backed projects - which compares the cost of backing the items with their actual retail costs. Note that the pledge levels aren't necessarily what I paid; they're the minimum pledge possible in order to actually receive the goods, whereas on a few I've backed at a higher level to get bonus stuff.
As you can see, in most cases I saved a fair bit of cash - though one or two items, like the ZX Spectrum in Pixels books, were more expensive on Kickstarter than at retail; this was then offset by the fact that I got the final book in the set for free.
As of the date of that chart, I'd saved £320 buying stuff at crowdfunding instead of retail; I had £300 of outstanding not-yet-arrived stuff, too, which means even if none of that have ever arrived (and most of it did) I'd have still saved £20.
Instead of thinking of Kickstarter as paying money for a product (in which case you will likely end up one of those amusing people yelling ineffectively on the internet), or as an investment (you have no investor rights, and there is no 'return'), think of it instead as a bet: you wager the cost of the pledge that the thing being pledged for will at some point exist. If you are right, that thing now exists, and you may get a freebie out of it. If you are wrong, you lose your wager like any other bet. If you read that and thought "that sounds like a pretty bad deal" DO. NOT. DONATE. TO. KICKSTARTER.
If you want to pre-order, pre-orders already exist. If you want to invest, then crowd investment opportunities exist (not so much the case in America, but we have plenty over here). Kickstarter is neither of these options, and exists for cases neither cover. It is its own thing, trying to treat it as one or the other will result in nothing but headaches.
Honestly, so have I. I've got a few long-delayed projects from where I backed video games by people with visions but no professional game-making experience, but they haven't disappeared and seem to still be working on eventually meeting their promises.
My one "take it and run" actually cut all communications as soon as the campaign ended. I got my money's worth out of the laughter when I realized their "company" was literally named after a TV supervillian organization.
Just... there's an awful lot of fast talkers and snake oil salesmen on Kickstarter, and they've historically not been interested in doing much about it. The rule seems to be "anything goes, as long as we're not criminally liable for it."
And while laughing at YouTube post-mortems of perpetual motion machine projects and Kickstarter's subsequent refusal to be involved in any aspect of recovering funds when people realized they got conned is good entertainment, it is not good customer service.
I mean, you've got to respect the chutzpah...
Separate names with a comma.