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Thread: So. Kickstarter. WTF?

              
   
   
  1. #11
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    I also was under the impression it wasn't for funding start-up companies.

    You're right. It's for funding startup company projects. Kickstarter has always been for projects that have difficulty getting funded the traditional way. Small startup companies were some of the first kickstarters because they and kickstarter all come from the same ecosystem in Silicon Valley.

    I've basically decided this guy bought this thing

    You have to keep in mind that kickstarter is not for buying things. You invest in a creative endeavor and you get a reward based on how much you invest, provided the endeavor succeeds in meeting its goals. That's the extent of the transaction kickstarter supports. Some creators create a company to support that and future products. Some completely abandon it once it's released and move on to the next thing. Some completely fail and produce nothing. Just take a look at the video games on kickstarter. Most of them completely and utterly fail. It's a gamble, just like startup investment is a gamble. Only here, you're investing a small amount of money instead of billions of dollars.

    Kickstarter sees themselves as patrons of ideas, not pre-order facilitators.

  2. #12
    teddillard
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    Huh. Interesting distinction. It certainly makes my first impressions of Kickstarter clearer, as well as their current descriptions. This one, in particular, showed the goal of the project as completing the first 100 products of their prototype. They had several instances of $4000 level funding, all giving you one of those first 100 products. On "paper", yes, the guy wasn't buying a product, he was funding a project, but in reality, and I'm pretty sure as he saw it, he was buying a product.

    Did Brutus use Kickstarter? I can't remember... I don't think so. Gene? Chris?

    That certainly helps me get my head around how to use it for my product - I've been torn about pitching it as a new design product, or using the product for a project that I'd be looking for funding for. It certainly seems like the latter would be the most successful, and appropriate. (It's an X-Y easel for reproducing paintings with a digital camera - using stitching, etc... the project would be to make reproductions of an entire collection in a small museum, of one particular historic artist's work.)

  3. #13
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Re: So. Kickstarter. WTF?

    Well, regardless of what they started as, they're now preorder facilitators for many projects, including ones they showcase. I don't know what else you call that except crowd sourced startup funding. Just have a look:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/discover/recommended
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

  4. #14
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    I'm friends with a few of the Kickstarter employees and chatted about this with the guy who vets hardware projects.

    He told me that Kickstarter is for projects that are cool and also outside of traditional funding sources -- projects that enough people would be into seeing happen but might not be enough to start a company with.

    My opinion is that they are struggling with how to manage the design section. A lot of really great stuff comes out of it but the line between funding a project and buying a product is quite blurry.

    About the bike Ted is talking about:
    The issue of buying a complex object that was designed and built as a Project rather than a Product is that the builder did not plan for anything other than shipping the object.
    In order to get traditional funding you need a plan that looks much farther into the future than a Kickstarter project.
    As Kickstarter becomes more mainstream I imagine warranty and future support will become more common and be advertised as a selling point.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Brutus's Avatar
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    Did Brutus use Kickstarter? I can't remember... I don't think so. Gene? Chris?

    We didn't use crowd sourcing for anything although we have thought about it more than once.

  6. #16
    teddillard
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    Ahhh, got it. I couldn't remember, but it didn't seem like you did.

  7. #17
    teddillard
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    huh. Just heard that they told him the first 100 were sold without warranty, which was news to him. (He had been asking me, "this should be covered under the warranty, right?") They said he's a "special case", so they'd take it up with the owner of the company... I also just looked through the website and found no mention of any warranty whatsoever.

    I guess "caveat emptor" is the lesson here, even though your not really an "emptor" Or is it a caveat? Oh damn that latin class...

    edit: Just got off the phone with what sounded like an engineer, who was a jackass. Now I'm getting pissed off. I think my next call will be to the owner to get it out of my driveway.
    Last edited by teddillard; 25 September 2013 at 0724.

  8. #18
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Seems like washing your hands of it is a good idea. You could spend your whole life pissed off over people getting a raw deal on the internet.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

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  10. #19
    teddillard
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    Yeah, that's not really what pissed me off about talking to the company, but thanks for your concern. (hint: I said "engineer" and "jackass" in the same sentence.)

    Update - I now know all the details about the thing, and the owner has said he's fed up with them and will be glad to pay me to fix the thing without their help.
    Last edited by teddillard; 25 September 2013 at 0959.

  11. #20
    teddillard
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    Thanks for the help sorting this out. I've been stewing about it and kind of put it all together in my little brain: http://evmc2.wordpress.com/2013/09/2...mptor-stories/

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