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Kickstarter Technology Projects Ship

timothy posted about a year ago | from the interesting-new-world dept.

The Almighty Buck 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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Who Has Had Bad Experiences with Kickstarter? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#42279737)

Shipped/Unshipped for Me People who say that Kickstarter is rife with scams might be right about a few projects but I think that the people who operate that site keep it pretty legit. My own personal history wtih the site (and, yeah, I realize this is going to reveal a lot about me but I don't really care) is that I have received:
  • Nature of Code book PDFs (plan on doing a review of it after holidays)
  • Two old forgotten sci-fi books (from Singularity & Co)
  • Three separate physical magazines on special interests
  • Four CD albums by new artists
  • 20 of the same Rmashackle Glory vinyl album (don't ask)
  • Several T-shirts like fangamer's kickstarter
  • FTL (RTS game)

Now, that said, I'm still waiting on three or four video games to be released like Grandroids, NASA's Astronaut game, Kitaru and, of course, the OUYA console. I'm also waiting on a movie that is well overdue (although the dude running it is very responsive and was clearly in over his head), playing cards, a new cartoon from Ren & Stimpy's creator, a board game called "The New Science" (which I might also try to review for Slashdot) and another DVD/CD combo and T-shirt which were very recent so it's not a big deal.

Now, I've only put money in here that I didn't really care about. Yeah, it adds up to real cash but I've been quite happy with all of the things I've gotten out of this and super excited about the future projects. I agreed that the facebook glasses sound like a scam [slashdot.org] but I was really disheartened when people called the OCULUS a scam [slashdot.org] . Nobody seems to be covering Zeyez's engineering updates [kickstarter.com] and all the comments are just that it's still a scam and they want their money back.

So why is there there so much negativity associated with Kickstarter? My experience has been largely positive although I would have thought I would be seeing the NASA game sooner (the other funding didn't hit until November of 2012) and I thought I would be watching "Flood Tide" by now. Aside from that, my experience has been largely positive. Do people have negative stories where they've been screwed or cheated or lied to on Kickstarter?

The negativity surrounding KickStarter (5, Informative)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42280413)

I think the only real problem is in your "C", and not through any fault of Kickstarter's. I'm not sure when people lost all their brain cells, but it has always been a crowdfunding site, not a store.

I don't know about everyone else, but to me that says, "You're funding a proposed project. That means it may fail. Do not expect to donate $5 and get the cure for cancer shipped to your doorstep by 3pm tomorrow. Make good decisions with your money." And for those that are too dense to infer that, Kickstarter spells it out.

But as with most things, people just up-and-decide that they want goodies without risk. And that's not to say Kickstarter shouldn't police (as best they can) for outright scams... but there's no logical reason they should be on the hook for failed or behind-schedule projects.

All of this throws all the issues surrounding crowdfunding for equity into sharp relief. You'd think people would understand that "risk" means "might not be good for you". Unfortunately it sometimes looks like people really do want to be protected from themselves.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#42281425)

Dangit AC, I had two "C"s - which one are you referring to? ;)

I think you meant 2c, though, from the "there's no logical reason they should be on the hook for failed or behind-schedule projects".

That depends on how you look at it (though, legally, it doesn't depend on that at all, of course).

If you consider KickStarter to be a store with pre-sales (and for some projects this is actually pretty close to the truth as they have finished products but need to bump up to mass production, for example), then you pay that store $N, of which the store itself will take $x and the creator gets $y.
So time goes by and it turns out that the manufacturer the store was supposed to get the product from, fails to deliver. In any normal store, you wouldn't have to go to the manufacturer and demand $y back from them; you go to the store and demand $N.

KickStarter, however, likes to explain it as if they were, let's say, a marketplace owner. They just lease lots to stand holders asking 10% of their revenue from the market, and your business is purely with them. So when you give money, all of that money goes to the stand holder, and that stand holder pays the marketplace owner the lease money. So if the stand holder doesn't deliver, your beef is purely with them.

This is actually reflected in the Amazon payment processes; it suggests that the project creator (the stand holder) got all the money.
( source: http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/accountability-on-kickstarter#comments [kickstarter.com] )
Yet the project creator does not, in fact, get all the money. They get the money minus the chunk KickStarter and Amazon get.

So who are you really paying - the stand holder, or the market owner? And if the latter, why shouldn't they be on the hook for the full amount?

KickStarter would benefit greatly from greater transparency on this matter.

It would also benefit greatly from making S&H costs for projects easier and clearer (I and others have pointed out solutions many times - but project creators are still stuck having to spell out to backers that they need to manually add S&H costs to pledges if they're international/etc. ) That's another topic, but it goes to show that KickStarter is, on these matters, very confusing through - absolutely - KickStarter's own fault.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281887)

You got the right "C". My apologies for not being more specific.

I guess it hinges on this:

If you consider KickStarter to be a store with pre-sales

and this:

KickStarter would benefit greatly from greater transparency on this matter.

I'm all for transparency, but I don't see a deficiency here.

Perhaps it really is just me, but I've never been under the impression that Kickstarter is a store or that they've ever been dishonest or even unclear about that. In fact, they go to some annoying lengths to remind people of that, and I don't know why anyone would still, honestly, think that they are. Now if you said people will occasionally say they were confused about what Kickstarter does, after a project failed or ran behind, because they want their money back... well I'd believe that.

In cases where you're more likely to see the project succeed, I see that as a project more likely to succeed. I don't think that changes Kickstarter into a store.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#42282333)

Sweet - thanks for getting back to me, AC :)
( Speaking as a former AC told to get an account because reasons but always having come back to reply as well, I do appreciate it. )

It seems many people do believe it to be 'like a store', unfortunately. But yes, this usually tends to come out when people start to get disgruntled over one thing or another.

I, personally, don't see it as a store - even though if it's clearly a case of "we've got product X and basically we're selling it through KickStarter rather than on e.g. Amazon", I could probably be swayed to say that it is remarkably store-like.. even if it isn't one on paper.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (4, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#42280527)

I called Kickstarter on my blog [livejournal.com] (I know, I'm going to start calling myself a futurist soon). When Kickstarter popped up, it was almost exactly as I'd thought of it, with one key difference - and I think they're really going to have to address that difference as investment ramps up and confidence in their brand name becomes more important.

In my model, I assumed that the crowd-sourcing service would also act as escrow - that they'd release funds as-needed to projects, instead of handing it over in one lump sum. The project owner would have to specify milestones and demonstrate completion before they could access the rest of the cash. Now, obviously, with small projects gaining only a couple of grand, that's probably not going to fly, but with million-dollar projects becoming ever more common, I think either Kickstarter is going to have to start adopting that sort of model, or someone else will, and will eat their lunch.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

Xenna (37238) | about a year ago | (#42280927)

"I called Kickstarter on my blog [livejournal.com] (I know, I'm going to start calling myself a futurist soon)."

Wow, that's pretty cool.
You should've registered a patent. ;)

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about a year ago | (#42281459)

Not so fast there, Mr. Jobs. ;)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowd_funding#History [wikipedia.org]

Joking aside, the problem with escrow in a situation like this is that it's extremely difficult, maybe even impossible to do. Trying to arbitrate over milestone descriptions is hard. Trying to do it for a bajillion projects with an equal number of people writing the proposals is even harder.

At the very least, Kickstarter would have to seriously ramp up their percentage (they get 5% and the rest goes to Amazon for payment processing) multiply their staff, and get ready to deal with the bad press that comes with that kind of work. And now they'd have lost their, "we're just a collection service" veil.

Right now all they have to do is a little policing, keep the servers running, and collect their 5%. The responsibility for making a wise, casual investment in a project that may not pan out is entirely on you.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

RoccamOccam (953524) | about a year ago | (#42281725)

Good point. Perhaps the opportunity is for another company to act as a *standard* escrow manager and overseer for those projects that want it. Then, the project team can advertise that in their kickstarter promotion. If it's obvious that their project should use such a service, then they might attract more investors by committing to doing that.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282823)

Let's start a Kickstarter project to fund an escrow management service!

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

Goateee (1415809) | about a year ago | (#42284647)

Sorry, but that wont be possible. From the faq: "Kickstarter is for projects that can be completed, not things that require maintenance to exist. This means no e-commerce sites, web businesses, or social networking sites. (Yes, this means Kickstarter wouldn’t be allowed on Kickstarter. Funny, but true.)"

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#42284045)

At the very least, Kickstarter would have to seriously ramp up their percentage (they get 5% and the rest goes to Amazon for payment processing)

Bear in mind, Kickstarter's service is essentially uniform across all projects - they don't provide more for a $3 million project than they do for a $1k one. 5% of $3 million is a big chunk of change. At the moment, Kickstarter is pocketing the lot.

Now, I've got no complaints about that - they're providing a valuable service, and now they're getting the dividends - but it's not like they're running on razor-slim margins on those projects anyway. If they only required escrow for projects which received over $1 million, there still wouldn't be a huge number of projects that qualified.

deal with the bad press that comes with that kind of work. And now they'd have lost their, "we're just a collection service" veil.

Whereas now they've got to deal with the bad press that comes with being thought of as a haven for scam artists and rip-offs.

Fair enough, they might want to go to that effort. But if they don't, I believe that sooner or later, someone else will. That's the whole deal with the free market. Kickstarter's got quite a lot of room in their margins, and sooner or later, somebody else is going to start up who's filling to make less money in order to attract people.

Remember, the main thing Kickstarter has going for it is brand name. Their technology isn't prohibitively complex or anything. If the Kickstarter brand starts to get tarnished, and competitors can offer services that Kickstarter can't or won't, Kickstarter will be in dire straights.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year ago | (#42285149)

Which is precisely why someone needs to write an AI engine like IBMs Watson, (hell make it a KickStarter Project) to make the value judgements fairly and quickly and take the process out of human hands altogether. That, and they can turn around and sell the application to Texas to handle that back log of capital cases heading to the Green Mile.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year ago | (#42285317)

I hate that wiki page, it's bad (but I also hate wikipedia culture, so I'm not going to endure the frustration of trying to fix it). Artistshare was a simple fundraising site, it did not have the threshold pledge mechanism. As such, every charity in the world has prior art.

The first website which offered threshold pledge financing was Fundable.org by John Pratt. No relation to the fundraising site which is at that address today. Kickstarter (which knew about Fundable) improved on Pratt's model by strictly allowing creative projects - Fundable allowed anything, and thus was 99% begging - and having far better connections, marketing skills and programming skills as Ivy league graduates. They also added rewards a la Artistshare, thus bridging the gap between purchasing and threshold pledge funding in people's minds, something Fundable never succeeded at.

It's hard, wrapping people's minds around threshold pledge funding. Most of Kickstarter's clones failed to clone this aspect of the business - they thought giving project owners everything no matter how much was raised, was just good business sense to attract more projects. The wiki page on crowdfunding has still not grasped the concept, and ArtistShare's lawyers are willfully obtuse about it since they're trying to sue Kickstarter for stealing their model.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about a year ago | (#42281669)

Sorta like the non-profit model used by HopeVault.org [hopevault.org] ? Funding by phases of project with proof of milestones and release of funds based on donors voting and approving demonstration of work.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281751)

The problem with that is that it would mean much more involvement on Kickstarters part, which would mean much more expenses, which would mean a much bigger percentage would have to go to Kickstarter, which would mean that the whole thing would be much less attractive as a funding method.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year ago | (#42285285)

Wasting my mod points, but by the time you proposed it in 2008, fundable.org had been running for two years with the same threshold pledge system. (They were hit bad by credit card scammers, accidentally axed a legit project thinking it was CC fraud, this happened to be Mary Robinette Kowal, SF author and friends with Cory Doctorow, at the time the most popular blogger in the world. End of story).

I had idly shipped the idea to Global Ideas Bank [globalideasbank.org] (aka ideas dustbin) many years before that again. And I wasn't the first either, among others Bruce Schneier beat me to it.

And no, Xenna below, it was good there never was a patent registered. It's great evidence that ideas are cheap but realisations are valuable - and good ideas tend to be rediscovered if they are forgotten.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#42285427)

Meh, I never really thought I'd be the only one. I consider crowdfunding an idea whose time has come - and you know what they say about those. It's just one of those amusing coincidences that crop up from time to time. Incidentally, I agree with you about the value of ideas, which is why it's am amusing anecdote to me, and not the great tragedy of my life.

I couldn't find much about fundable with a quick googling - their site seems to be some SEO trap, and the fundable in Wikipedia talks about an entity created in 2012.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#42285433)

Also, that ideas bank think dies with an SQL error when I try and look at your idea.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (0)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a year ago | (#42280581)

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'.

Sounds like Kickstarter should require that projects:
1. put funds into an escrow account,
2. receive payments from that escrow account after meeting certain milestones

There would certainly need to be variance based on projects since some projects may require more at different phases - cost for materials for R&D, then later manufacturering, vs. software development vs creating a movie or recording a CD. But they could easily do that, and even allow the backers to have at least a partial say in when the milestones have been reached.

Re:The negativity surrounding KickStarter (1)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#42280875)

I think your 2c is not really an issue. Kickstarter's name and reputation is the only valuable asset they have, because just about anybody could stand up a clone. It's in their best interests to make sure that there is no appearance of impropriety in any of their dealings, or people will abandon their site faster than you can kick start a Harley-Davidson on a cold day.

If they're truly willing to spend their reputation for a few quick bucks made off of honest people getting screwed, they're a lot closer to the drain than they appear.

Re:Who Has Had Bad Experiences with Kickstarter? (2)

Jiro (131519) | about a year ago | (#42280775)

I *still* do not understand what an Ouya is going to be good for that cannot be done by buying an Android tablet with an HDMI port.

Re:Who Has Had Bad Experiences with Kickstarter? (1)

Selfbain (624722) | about a year ago | (#42281141)

The Ouya is a media center and a console that supports local multiplayer so hooking up a tablet using HDMI is not really the same thing. It's also a lot cheaper than most tablets worth buying.

Re:Who Has Had Bad Experiences with Kickstarter? (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#42281187)

I *still* do not understand what an Ouya is going to be good for that cannot be done by buying an Android tablet with an HDMI port.

And a controller. And a platform publishers can readily take advantage of. And all that in a single box that could be laying around at Walmart the same way that a Roku is laying around there and kicking the pants off of most suggestions regarding generic NAS that people can then add an IR dongle for and then buy a separate remote to operate, etc.

At least, I think that's the appeal to both publishers (eventually) and consumers. Very few people still assemble their own computers - something that is ready-to-go off the shelf in a single box is much more convenient.

On the down side, of course, a tablet can work as more than just a box with HDMI output and a controller. Can't lay down in bed with an OUYA and do some catching up on world events or reading an e-book.

Re:Who Has Had Bad Experiences with Kickstarter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281299)

You forgot to mention the vibrating butt plug, Lexington Steele Real Doll, and director's cut version of Two Girls, 1 Cup.

My worry (3, Interesting)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#42279793)

I just worry that its increasing popularity is going to bring in the scammers and con men. Any venture where honesty is important and there is money to be made seems to ultimately attract them.

Re:My worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42279961)

It already has and a possible upcoming class action lawsuit may very well prevent it from going any further. (with respect to the bullshit that happened the Code Hero recently, one of their own team members is bringing it up at that!)

Long story short, one team member has wasted money and "ran with it" in a sense.
They are now getting as much information as possible together, last I checked. (which was the other day I think)

There is also that Anita who took money from a bunch of idiots to buy games "for research on feminism with relation to games" with her smug face and all those games, and never delivered anything in the slightest.
And people wonder why she got attacked? In all honesty, every one of them deserve it.
Idiots who pay other idiots to be idiots deserve everything they get.

Re:My worry (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#42281461)

Code Hero was a scam from the start. The guy in charge of the project previously ran a scam where he sold corsets online, hapily taking money but failing to fill the actual orders.

Code Hero's description should have set off a major red flag. It's software designed to teach people to program -- and it's being developed in Unity? WTF? Reminds me of the old saying: "Those who can do; those who can't, teach."

It's sad to see people getting duped, but on the other hand they should have done their research first, or at least Googled the name of the guy asking for money.

Re:My worry (1)

Tagged_84 (1144281) | about a year ago | (#42283531)

Code Hero is still in progress, the dude recently responded and mentioned a new alpha soon. But more importantly, why does Unity deserve a WTF?

I've coded my own 2d engines from scratch and dabbled in 3d in the early Direct X 5-6 days but for the past few years I've been using Unity. There's no sense in recreating the wheel every time, you are just wasting time coding the same logic again and again (how to load a file, read in a bitmap...), so exactly why do you think using a well planned and executed 3d engine toolkit isn't "doing" or programming?

Re:My worry (2)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#42280155)

That's true in any field, and it will be dealt with.
That said, you aren't buying a product, you are inviting in a project and if the investment works, you get a product.

It's Important people remember that.

The Barn is Burning! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42279823)

Memorable quotes for
Looker (1981)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082677/quotes [imdb.com]

"John Reston: Television can control public opinion more effectively than armies of secret police, because television is entirely voluntary. The American government forces our children to attend school, but nobody forces them to watch T.V. Americans of all ages *submit* to television. Television is the American ideal. Persuasion without coercion. Nobody makes us watch. Who could have predicted that a *free* people would voluntarily spend one fifth of their lives sitting in front of a *box* with pictures? Fifteen years sitting in prison is punishment. But 15 years sitting in front of a television set is entertainment. And the average American now spends more than one and a half years of his life just watching television commercials. Fifty minutes, every day of his life, watching commercials. Now, that's power."

##

"The United States has it's own propaganda, but it's very effective because people don't realize that it's propaganda. And it's subtle, but it's actually a much stronger propaganda machine than the Nazis had but it's funded in a different way. With the Nazis it was funded by the government, but in the United States, it's funded by corporations and corporations they only want things to happen that will make people want to buy stuff. So whatever that is, then that is considered okay and good, but that doesn't necessarily mean it really serves people's thinking - it can stupify and make not very good things happen."
- Crispin Glover: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000417/bio [imdb.com]

##

"It's only logical to assume that conspiracies are everywhere, because that's what people do. They conspire. If you can't get the message, get the man." - Mel Gibson (from an interview)

##

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." - William Casey, CIA Director

##

"The real reason for the official secrecy, in most instances, is not to keep the opposition (the CIA's euphemistic term for the enemy) from knowing what is going on; the enemy usually does know. The basic reason for governmental secrecy is to keep you, the American public, from knowing - for you, too, are considered the opposition, or enemy - so that you cannot interfere. When the public does not know what the government or the CIA is doing, it cannot voice its approval or disapproval of their actions. In fact, they can even lie to your about what they are doing or have done, and you will not know it. As for the second advantage, despite frequent suggestion that the CIA is a rogue elephant, the truth is that the agency functions at the direction of and in response to the office of the president. All of its major clandestine operations are carried out with the direct approval of or on direct orders from the White House. The CIA is a secret tool of the president - every president. And every president since Truman has lied to the American people in order to protect the agency. When lies have failed, it has been the duty of the CIA to take the blame for the president, thus protecting him. This is known in the business as "plausible denial." The CIA, functioning as a secret instrument of the U.S. government and the presidency, has long misused and abused history and continues to do so."
- Victor Marchetti, Propaganda and Disinformation: How the CIA Manufactures History

##

George Carlin:

"The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they're an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else.

But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

You know what they want? Obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club.

This country is finished."

##

[1967] Jim Garrison Interview "In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society. Of course, you can't spot this trend to fascism by casually looking around. You can't look for such familiar signs as the swastika, because they won't be there. We won't build Dachaus and Auschwitzes; the clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective in keeping the populace in line. We're not going to wake up one morning and suddenly find ourselves in gray uniforms goose-stepping off to work. But this isn't the test. The test is: What happens to the individual who dissents? In Nazi Germany, he was physically destroyed; here, the process is more subtle, but the end results can be the same. I've learned enough about the machinations of the CIA in the past year to know that this is no longer the dreamworld America I once believed in. The imperatives of the population explosion, which almost inevitably will lessen our belief in the sanctity of the individual human life, combined with the awesome power of the CIA and the defense establishment, seem destined to seal the fate of the America I knew as a child and bring us into a new Orwellian world where the citizen exists for the state and where raw power justifies any and every immoral act. I've always had a kind of knee-jerk trust in my Government's basic integrity, whatever political blunders it may make. But I've come to realize that in Washington, deceiving and manipulating the public are viewed by some as the natural prerogatives of office. Huey Long once said, "Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism." I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security."

I wonder which of the sites will end up on top (1)

Kingrames (858416) | about a year ago | (#42279883)

It's an interesting bit, seeing this happen. wonderful news all around.

But I'm more interested in seeing which of the crowdfunding websites ends up being more reputable, for projects like this. In terms of delivering their product, doing so on time, etc.

Some are certainly more important than others...
http://www.indiegogo.com/DrinkSavvy?c=home [indiegogo.com]

But purely from an intellectual standpoint, it'll be interesting seeing which of the sites end up on top. And why.

Why? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42279923)

Windows already has load balancing that works quite well built into it. When will you fucking freetards stop reinventing the wheel?

While waiting for my post limit timeout and missing the fucking frosty, I actually clicked the link. I wouldn't call this load balancing. I'd call it an internet connection bondage thingy. Kind of a niche and silly idea, in my not so humble opinion.

Re:Why? (1)

lewdavis (2450904) | about a year ago | (#42280229)

I'd like to know how you do this without third-party software. A detailed set of instructions would be helpful!

Furries are ahead of the curve (1)

greenreaper (205818) | about a year ago | (#42279979)

A few months ago, Offbeatr [wikipedia.org] launched as "the Kickstarter of porn". Since then, five projects have been funded - over $60,000 pledged in total - and it's all for furry projects [flayrah.com] . Will they all ship? It's too early to say, but the fact that these project creators have track records is part of the reason they're being funded in the first place.

Re:Furries are ahead of the curve (4, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#42281017)

That is similar (but not identical) to an idea I've batted around for the better part of a decade:

Bounty-Porn.

The public determines who it would like to see do hard core porn and pools all their money. Then a representative approaches the people the public wants to see do porn and offers them the ridiculous amount of money in exchange for doing it and the directors and producers and distributors take a small cut off the top.

Think of it. If every person who wants to see Scarlet Johansen do porn chipped in ten bucks, it might be hard to turn down that half billion dollars for a few days of work. :)

Re:Furries are ahead of the curve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42286415)

You whole patent that idea and sur the offbeatr guys for stealing it years before you thought of it!!!!!

Re:Furries are ahead of the curve (1)

schlachter (862210) | about a year ago | (#42290497)

to flip it, people could post their own profiles to your bounty-porn site and offer to perform when their goal amount is met. Then everyone who contributed gets a vid, behind the scenes, props, etc...depending on contribution levels.

Brydge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42279993)

So, I looked at it. $220 for a Bluetooth iPad "docking station"(keyboard and speakers). $500, $600, $700 for an iPad...

Why not just by a Macbook Air?

Re:Brydge? (1)

tilante (2547392) | about a year ago | (#42280163)

Because:

(a) You already have an iPad, so buying the docking station is cheaper than buying an Air, and simpler than buying the Air and selling your iPad, or

(b) Apple doesn't make an Air with a detachable monitor that becomes a tablet, and that's what you want.

Brydge iPad 4th Gen? (1)

dkuntz (220364) | about a year ago | (#42280039)

I'm still kinda wondering how the clamshell case will support the iPad 4th gen.. which, to my knowledge, isnt for sale yet? Since.. Mini != 4th gen. Plus, does not appear the mini would fit in the clamshell, and there are no pictures of the mini in the clamshell, or any mention of an insert

Re:Brydge iPad 4th Gen? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#42280341)

I'm still kinda wondering how the clamshell case will support the iPad 4th gen.. which, to my knowledge, isnt for sale yet?

Te 4th gen iPad has been for sale since November 2nd. Also, it has the same dimensions as the 3rd generation.

Re:Brydge iPad 4th Gen? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42280469)

Wow. Really? You live under a rock?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPad
4th generation release: November 2, 2012

and? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#42280067)

Why so Ser^H^H^H Surprised?
I've gotten a couple, and they all shipped when they said they would.
And naysayer without any rational argument are stupid negative twits.

Yes, more avenue for business to get cash is good.

The problem with being open about funding... (4, Insightful)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about a year ago | (#42280175)

I'm waiting for venture capital to start cherry picking ideas from Kickstarter and racing them to market. Kickstarter is almost like free market research.

Sure, a Kickstarter project might engender loyalty, but how long will that last after Kickstarter projects get a reputation for late delivery and failure?

Re:The problem with being open about funding... (4, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#42280583)

Most projects when they list on Kickstarter are already well advanced. Depending on the type of project, they've probably already made pilots/mockups/prototypes, done their own market research, looked into manufacturing costs, etc. There's also not enough datra released on a Kickstarter prospectus to really give anyone else a really big edge.

People with big funding wouldn't race to market anyway - they'd clone the project after it's released, then out-market the original.

Re:The problem with being open about funding... (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year ago | (#42280873)

problem with venture capitalists is they won't do these projects in the first place and in the off chance that they do they screw them up.

Re:The problem with being open about funding... (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#42281749)

'm waiting for venture capital to start cherry picking ideas from Kickstarter and racing them to market

This happens anywhere, really. There's a few crowdfunding/crowdsourcing websites that actually work exactly that way but keeping the idea-generating people in on it (quirky comes to mind).

There's not so much 'racing', though, as there is VCs going "that's cool, we should invest in that" and then end up approaching the project creator (translusense, for example - http://www.translusense.com/ [translusense.com] ) and striking a deal of some sort. (acquiring IP, securing manufacturing, hiring, etc.)

Kickstarter is almost like free market research.

That, however, is very much true.. at every scale.
This really started to take off with all the computer game ideas. Industry veterans that want to make a game Type X while the current industry is not convinced that Type X will be popular enough to really bring in the money, so they go to KickStarter, get backers enough for basic content, with as an integral part of the goal for them marketing and showing publishers/etc. that there is interest and please send them more money - quite a bit more than they could hope to get through pledges alone.
But recently a guy I know started a KickStarter for a physical product just to see how the market would react, then take the results of that back to the drawing board before fully launching a product (which may or may not be through KickStarter).
Personally, I think this goes against the idea of KickStarter, but KickStarter has clearly welcomed it with open arms.

after Kickstarter projects get a reputation for late delivery and failure?

In some ways, there is already that reputation. But you have to keep in mind that for many projects, all you're pledging is anywhere between $1 and $50. So if a $50 project fails to deliver on time, or even fails completely (but at least shows they tried - important distinction), how upset are you going to be, really?

KickStarter even mentioned this in an interview with Polygon a while back - people aren't going to raise a stink, much less threaten legal action, given the low pledge amounts.. even if it all adds up for the project creator (and KickStarter).

Mind you, that reputation is not entirely earned. It mostly applies to design/technology and even there most projects do deliver, albeit late, and most backers really aren't too upset with late deliveries as long as there's good reason for it (even if that good reason is the creator being a little overly optimistic).

Kickstarters Aren't Venture Capitalists (1)

deweyhewson (1323623) | about a year ago | (#42280295)

"Shouldn't we be glad to have Venture Capitalists cut out of the loop so that companies actually listen to us?"

I like the concept of Kickstarter, and have donated to one of the projects over there myself, but nobody should go into it thinking it makes them anything more than what they already were to the company: a customer with a potentially open wallet. One could argue that you don't even have influence on the company, because they've already decided what they're going to try to bring to market; your only role is in deciding whether it's something you want.

In a word, I would argue no. Primarily because you are a customer with Kickstarter, but you are an investor with venture capitalism. In a way, "investors" in Kickstarter projects are getting a raw deal, because they receive only the product (which you could buy eventually anyway, if it does come to market), but with venture capitalism you receive an ongoing share of the profits of the company in exchange for the risk of giving them money. The scale of the investing is also a key point in this.

I can see how Kickstarter is motivating the comparisons, because there hasn't really been anything exactly like it before, but the two roles are not the same.

Re:Kickstarters Aren't Venture Capitalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42280561)

Anonymous submitter never said they were the same.

Re:Kickstarters Aren't Venture Capitalists (2)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#42280653)

"Shouldn't we be glad to have Venture Capitalists cut out of the loop so that companies actually listen to us?"

They aren't the same, but they don't have to be for that statement to be true. Kickstarter projects do have to listen to backers to some degree, or they won't get them. Now, there's a lot less control than the VC relationship, but there's also a lot less commitment from the backer too. My interest in this whole model is it's potential long-term effect on copyright issues - if creators are paid for their work before it's produced, then copyright as a model for providing income starts to become unnecessary.

Re:Kickstarters Aren't Venture Capitalists (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | about a year ago | (#42282807)

nobody should go into it thinking it makes them anything more than what they already were to the company: a customer

producer -> venture capitalist -> customer

They cut out the venture capitalist.

producer -> customer

Wait, what? (5, Informative)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281745)

That's what I want to know. Sure, it's just the tech products, but it's not like these are the first three products to be shipped in that category.

This is like all the BTC spam we get, what slashdot needs is editors to choose the articles, avoid dupes and do actual checking of the title and such.

Re:Wait, what? (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#42281833)

Perhaps this is more to your liking?
http://www.appsblogger.com/behind-kickstarter-crowdfunding-stats/ [appsblogger.com]

It doesn't state anything about scams - in part because it's difficult to determine if something is a scam (never intended to deliver) or the project just failed (intended to deliver, but couldn't, because [reason]).

The big ones relevant here:

Only 25% of projects delivered on time!
According to Prof. Mollickâ(TM)s model, after 8 months of delay, 75% of finished products (as opposed to give-aways like t-shirts) will have been delivered.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282017)

Sure, it has significance. If the scam project rate was 50%, there'd be a 88% chance that at least one of any three random projects would be a scam. If the GP backed three projects, and all delivered, then they can say with 88% confidence that the scam rate is under 50%. The full set size (50,000) has nothing to do with it.

What's with all the people who never understood statistics in high school, but like to feel intelligent by making snarky comments about sample sizes?

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42283243)

Relevance doesn't matter when you work for the company. I can't be the only one that thought this submission read like a PR piece such as you'd see from a company mouth-piece on twitter.

There are going to be success stories (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#42280323)

But I am seen more and more the "Lets take open source hardware and software, bundle it up, and then make millions doing nothing more then giving away T-Shirts" model in Kickstarter.

But ... the Brydge has rounded corners! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42280327)

I hope the have fully licensed that IP.

Great project (1)

kmahan (80459) | about a year ago | (#42280519)

I've got to say the best run project I've participated in has been the Teensy 3.0 by Paul Stoffregen.
        http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulstoffregen/teensy-30-32-bit-arm-cortex-m4-usable-in-arduino-a?ref=live [kickstarter.com]

He kept everybody informed at least weekly during the project and shipped a quality product on time.

Of course for every great project there are less great projects that made big promises and due to various factors haven't been able to keep them -- like the Pebble Watch.

feedback mechanism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42280523)

Many people are reluctant to give their money to someone without a known reputation.

The only way to build trust in anything is to have it consistently follow through on its promises over time.

I propose that in order to accomplish this, a feedback mechanism is necessary. Such a mechanism would need to provide a way for potential investors/donors to know the likelihood that they will receive what they are promised. There are many forms that this could take, but I think that until potential investors/donors feel that they have a reasonable way of judging the risks they are taking there will remain a large portion of the population that remains skeptical.

My backed projects are 2 for 6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42280573)

So far 2 of the six projects I've backed actually delivered.

By far the best was Teensy3 - that thing rocks. It shipped in just a few months after funding and it's a ton of fun. The dude that did that one is on my "would back again" list.

The other project was a film - and I saw the film just last week.

Note to editors (3, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#42280893)

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?

Re:Note to editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282683)

Funny part is that there are 3 valid interpretations of that phrase depending on which words you take to be noun/verbs.

Still better than IndieGoGo, now that's a scam! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281013)

The only real scam around is IndieGoGo, where failed Kickstarter projects go to take people's money withzero obligation or course of refund.

Teensy 3.0 shipped on time (4, Interesting)

pjrc (134994) | about a year ago | (#42281079)

My own Kickstarter project, used to launch Teensy 3.0 (a low-cost Arduino compatible board with a 32 bit ARM chip), shipped on time.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulstoffregen/teensy-30-32-bit-arm-cortex-m4-usable-in-arduino-a [kickstarter.com]

We had 2 levels of rewards shipping, half within 2 weeks, the other half the next month. We did end up shipping the last several September rewards on October 1st, so technically we slipped 1 day for small group of rewards. Otherwise, all the September rewards actually shipped in September, and the rest shipped before the end of October.

Of course, a tiny number of backers didn't respond with their address or had other logistical problems with their info. Most of those shipped late, but even then, we resolved nearly all of them in October.

Re:Teensy 3.0 shipped on time (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#42282223)

I've seen many positive comments about the Teensy 3 project at forums, IRC, etc. and congratulate you on the successful KickStarter :) I'll have to get one myself at some point.

I think what most people need to realize here, though, is that your KickStarter was basically "we want to do more of what we're already doing."

There's no doubt that the Teensy 3 is a great product, and much better than the Teensy 2. But it's still 'just' a PCB populated with components. Given the design files and some funds, anybody could hit up a PCB plant and get a populated panel made. Given slightly lesser funds and a lot more time, the panel could be made and then populated manually and soldered in a cheap reflow oven. Most of the work would actually be in the design, software and, later, logistics (mailing things out - but that's also nothing new to you) and support (again, nothing new - just added load).
There's no enclosure that needed to be designed, a mold made for, test runs made, changes sent back, etc. that are costly operations.
There's no initial set of boards that needed to be made (well, they did, but you made them before the KickStarter was launched), so as far as the KickStarter project goes there was no back-and-forth on board design.
It's all things that you're already well-familiar with and well-versed in.

There's two aspects to why I think people need to realize this...
1. This means that there was basically never a fear that you might not deliver or hit major snags, etc. You're well-established, have proved (via very similar previous products) that your products work, that you can sell them and support them, etc.
2. The project is atypical for a KickStarter. Although this is changing, most KickStarters are not of the form "We have everything ready to go, we just need a lump-sum of cash to produce these at bigger numbers for a sweet pricepoint." (that's an assumption - the project doesn't really state why KickStarter funds were sought).
Most KickStarters, almost especially in electronics, are "I have this idea, I have a rough schematic and PCB layout, it more-or-less works on this here breadboard (PCB from BatchPCB/OSHPark coming soon), but I need your funds to change this into a 4-layer PCB to reduce size, get it manufactured and populated, design an injection mold (for which I'll need a CAD license I don't have right now and need to learn about injection molding processes), get that manufactured, then figure out who charges what to ship the result where and/or find a fulfillment company and, and, and..."

If not for the KickStarter, the Teensy 3 would still have sold quite well. For most KickStarter projects that are about electronics, I wouldn't dare say the same.

Re:Teensy 3.0 shipped on time (2)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about a year ago | (#42283547)

I think this is an excellent example of the difference between a good kickstarter campaign, and a bad one. This guy with his Teensy3 had developed a product, finished the design, and basically knew what needed to happen; cash to mass produce a working product. In short, the ideal kickstarter project. This is what people need to look for if they are going to fund projects, vs funding people who get on kickstarter and say something like 'I have this fantastic plan for a revolutionary new display made of lasers and unicorn dust! I just need a quarter million dollars to finalize the technology!"
of course, its generally a lot more subtle than that, but my point is, people who are at the final stages of bringing a product to market are going to be far better choice than the people who have some vague idea of glorious technology 'if only there was money'.

Re:Teensy 3.0 shipped on time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282775)

You did a great job keeping everyone informed. You delivered what you said you would. You did it quick.

(I funded Teensy 3) I'd fund you again and I'd recommend you to others. Great job!

Anecdotal comments about Kickstarter (1)

flabbergast (620919) | about a year ago | (#42281493)

I've supported one Kickstarter because it was a photography project by a friend who is a professional photographer, i.e. he's been published in Time magazine. I supported it because it was a thoughtful project with a timeline and real deadlines. Once the funding was met and he started the project, he gave status updates every few days and completed the project on time. I was happy to participate.

Every other offer that's been solicited by friends I've turned down. The most recent one, which did get funding, was a friend who started a handmade clothing company. This person is the CEO and chief designer. The company has had 3 employees on and off over the last 3 years. A shipping deadline was missed last Christmas to deliver handbags, scarves and laptop bags. This person has taken donations from friends and family and given them receipts so they can claim them on their taxes, but the company is not a 503c. The Facebook message from the launch was "If this doesn't get funded, my company is going out of business."

I feel like Kickstarter is a great idea, but the latter has become the norm for me. "I've completely screwed up as an owner, but I'm not really begging if its on Kickstarter." Or "I have this idea, but I have no idea how to execute it but I need money, off to Kickstarter!"

Re:Anecdotal comments about Kickstarter (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about a year ago | (#42283643)

kickstarter still reminds me of this XKCD:
https://xkcd.com/678/ [xkcd.com]
i do agree with you though, you wonder about a lot of kickstarters being "I can't convince any bank to give me a loan because my business model is crap, so I'll ask the internet for money"

You should be ashamed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282025)

There are STILL starving children in Africa and you people are donating your money to folks with a new idea for making hot sauce. F*&% off.

Kickstarter has no role in Venture Capital (1)

lorelorn (869271) | about a year ago | (#42282703)

The notion that venture capitalists are somehow "in the way" here is highly specious.

The simple fact is that no one on Kickstarter is there for any reason other than "we want your money because no one else would give us any."

This can be new start-ups with more dreams than schemes, venture capital won't touch them because they have zero experience in doing what they are doing. The idea that "I've never done it, but how hard could it be?" should -and does- raise alarm bells among the sensible.

The second group of Kickstarter money seekers can be classified as the "glorified pre-order" group. These are the established companies that use Kickstarter to fund their normal course of business. The return on investment is too low to justify VC funds, so companies come to crowdfunding as a way of avoiding negotiations with their bank, that is all.

Somewhere in Kickstarter are some interesting little projects (usually local arts projects) that genuinely benefit from this model.

Any VC who would put his clients' money into some of the high risk, high profile Kickstarter projects (I'm looking at you, Ouya) deserves to be fired - which is why they don't. There are no projects on Kickstarter that operate in the VC sphere. None.

Re:Kickstarter has no role in Venture Capital (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year ago | (#42285335)

The simple fact is that no one on Kickstarter is there for any reason other than "we want your money because no one else would give us any."

Totally wrong. If you could get the same amount of capital from

1. a bank
2. an angel investor, or
3. kickstarter backers, ...then in most cases the third would be better for you in every respect.

Another reason is market research. Companies like Queen games [wikipedia.org] produce plenty of games funded in the normal way, but pitch more risky games on Kickstarter, to gauge whether there is an enthusiast market for it.

Re:Kickstarter has no role in Venture Capital (1)

coldsalmon (946941) | about a year ago | (#42286927)

Kickstarter is better for businesses because they can raise money without incurring debt or selling equity. The consumer takes the initial risk AND pays for the end product. Back in the good old days, if I invested money in a successful business I would get equity or interest income in return. Now I get a poster.

Lawsuits (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about a year ago | (#42282871)

This "Brydge" product looks an awful lot like an Apple keyboard.
Sadly, I just have to wonder how long it will take before they get sued.

Further, on a different note, I like crowdfunding, but personally I would like to see "crowdlobbying", or "lobbyfunding", so we can get those pesky copyright laws out of the way.

Everyone can be a Venture Capitalist (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about a year ago | (#42283609)

I think the idea of Kickstarter is not a 'preorder store', but is in fact a 'Everyone can be a venture capitalist!' website. You agree to give someone money, and *IF* their product/company succeeds, you get something out of it. in the case of Kickstarter, instead of 10% of the next 5 years profits or whatever, you get 1 or 2 of the product, and maybe your name on a shirt or something. Less risk, less reward, but essentially venture capitalism for the masses.
If that idea does not appeal to you, (that is to say, your not interested in risking a little money on a cool idea) then go to Quirky or something.
(for those of you not familiar with quirky, the basic idea is, people pay 10$ to submit a product idea. the community votes on ideas, and the most popular go for review by the company. If they are chosen, they go through a multi step community design, refining, branding, and naming process, until a final product emerges, which the company then produces. The original idea submitter then gets a percentage cut of the profits from that product as it sells.)
This is tailored more to people who don't want to spend money on vapourware, but want to help support ideas they like.

Re:Everyone can be a Venture Capitalist (1)

coldsalmon (946941) | about a year ago | (#42287201)

Less risk, less reward, but essentially venture capitalism for the masses.

Actually it's much more risk with much less reward. Try this: "invest" $5,000 in 5 kickstarter projects, and $5,000 in 5 IPOs. Compare the return on investment after two years. "Venture capitalism for the masses" is called the stock market. Kickstarter is designed to fool consumers into giving away money for free by dangling shiny objects in front of them.

Re:Everyone can be a Venture Capitalist (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about a year ago | (#42294631)

Yeah, the thing is, I'm NOT going to invest 5000$ in 5 kickstarter projects. Most people are going to invest say, 50-100$ per project, tops, (yes, there are far larger investment points, but a lot of those go un-filled from what i've seen). investing 50$ in a normal IPO is going to be mostly a waste of time. personally, I don't feel that 'The Masses' should be dabbling in the stock market, but thats a discussion for another time.

What do VCs have to do with Kickstarter projects? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42283631)

I don't get the connection of VC Vs Kickstarter donators talked about here? VC's want to make an investment in the person or company with a product idea and for that investment will get a percentage of the action per a contracted agreement, they are not interested on obtaining a finished product, they are looking to buy into a start-up company.

  The Kickstarter donators either just want one (or more) of the finished products to be produced or are just donating to the project to support the project with no expectation of any return. A person with an idea would go to a VC to sell them a piece of the 'company', while a person would use Kickstarter in lieu of getting a personal bank loan to buy material and build, sell, and ship products.

Apples and Oranges.

The secret to Kickstarter and its ilk: (1)

gozu (541069) | about a year ago | (#42283879)

It's all about reputation. I backed Tim Schafer's adventure game because he has proven himself and everybody trusts him.

If someone is unknown, then the risk is higher and you should treat it as casino bet: you must assume the money will be lost, but if you're wrong, then it'll be a welcome surprise!

Kickstarter should also return their 5% fee on no-delivery projects so that their interests are aligned with the backers. A 5 cents on the dollar refund (minus transaction fees) is negligible while the company wants to use that money to grow

I think that taking that hit is worth it because it motivates kickstarter to improve their average success rate, and that's a good thing for the long term.

Profit (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42283931)

1) Build software first
2) Put it on Kickstarter
3)....
4) Profit!

Re:Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42284999)

I actually think Planetary Annihilation did/does something like that. They had an ass kicking movie, with lots of stuff in it and they promised to make this game from scratch in a period of 1 year. They must have something already they're not telling, or they have superpowers :D.

Noneoftheless, looking forward to that game.

I think that is great and everything (1)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year ago | (#42284461)

but you got a freaking Bluetooth keyboard. That hardly says anything about kickstarter hardware products. There are literally hundreds of these, and a good portion of these are already compatible with the ipad. There is no risk, no innovation, nothing. Heck if you want my opinion I'd say you got scammed because you funded the reinvention of the wheel.
BTW, if you needed a keyboard you should have got a freaking laptop. If you really want a tablet and touch interfaces there are the ASUS Trasformer series which won't drain battery life with bluetooth, they actually nearly double it as they contain built in batteries.

Because it's Charity (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about a year ago | (#42284579)

People are against crowdsourcing(at least the model espoused by kickstarter) because it's essentially a charity for people who want to be rich. There's nothing wrong with putting your money there if you have the cash and want to feel good about bringing a product to market, but in the end the ROI is pretty much nil, your legal recourse for anything but blatant fraud is non existent. It works, and will continue to work, but it's about people who have money to burn making themselves feel good which isn't necessarily the best long term strategy.

kickstarter? pfah! (0)

Phoenix666 (184391) | about a year ago | (#42284785)

I developed software for a one-click process to make your house a green home, calculating the sweet spots in tens of thousands of combinations of energy efficiency retrofits for your house, identifying which incentives you qualify for and filling out the paperwork for you, finding qualified contractors in your area to do the work, and connecting you to green lenders if you need it. Built the prototype without a dime in investment or savings. Then I submitted the project to Kickstarter to raise capital to market it, and the snarky hipsters rejected it saying "we don't allow home improvement projects.". Apparently any variety of accessory for their iPhones is fine, but a tool that would save homeowners thousands of dollars per year, boost the value of their homes and reduce or eliminate their carbon footprint is not.

Kickstarter? Kickstopper.

A Brydge? (1)

Barryke (772876) | about a year ago | (#42284887)

Seriously an attached keyboard for iPads? If you buy one to be productive and get work done .. get it over with and buy a Microsoft Surface or Transformer tablet with keyboard.

The article title confused me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285873)

Aw, when I read the title I thought we were getting this:

http://www.fxguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Halo4_002.jpg

See, I'd back THAT..

Re:The article title confused me (1)

neminem (561346) | about a year ago | (#42287415)

Yep, I likewise was wondering from the title what sort of ship the technology was projecting, and what it was projected onto, and mostly, why projecting something was new technology, seemed like projectors had been around for a while?

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