Thursday, November 19, 2015

KickStarter - failed projects are taking their toll

I just sent this letter to KickStarter CEO, and their Director of Communications.  Someone posted the e-mail addresses in comments section of the website.  I've learned my lesson about not taking opportunities as they're presented, which I still have to blog about, so here's my first one as it's presented..

This is the second official project failure I've had recently.  It seems to be becoming more and more of a thing to have a failed and/or fraudulent project.  In this letter I outline one way to mitigate the risk.  Am sure there are quite a few other options, if they choose to change anything.

The project in question:

Other failed projects where I didn't receive awards:
Hubble Laser Cutter
TrayVax, Wallet for Life
Authentic Dijon Mustard

Potential project failure:
Lumma - Smart Pill dispenser (hoping wrong about this).

On to the drama:


I have backed over 240 projects, some failed, some very successful, some were a little dismal, and then some didn't deliver anything, with no hopes of delivering anything.

With KickStarter's hands-off approach as a funding platform for generally unique projects, I feel that there are some relatively simple things that can be done to decrease number of seemingly fraudulent projects, which seem to be on the rise (at least for me).  Among them is this chief idea I have

1 - Give project creator's certain percentage up front, say 1/3, to begin work, as defined by project creator
2 - At certain milestones, defined by project creator, and reviewed by backers, release another portion of funds
3 - At a point near end of project, another vote and final release of funds
* Milestones created prior to project's creation with ability to modify during project, and locked X days before project's end

The vote could be simple poll, and be a percentage of respondents within a certain time frame.  As example, if 50% of respondents say yes, release the funds, if only 25% say yes, hold onto funds until new poll.  The voting results will be displayed to project backers, successful or not.  There would be ability for project creator to petition KickStarter to release funds outside of polling process, with full transparency.

If project does not complete successfully, refund remaining funds to backers, prorating it based on their total pledge level, minus KickStarter and card processing fees.  This isn't foolproof though I think it's better than what currently happens.

Pertaining specifically to Zano, I have filed a report with the UK Police Agency concerning fraud.  The NFRC is NFRC************.

Have had couple other projects fail, notably Hubble Laser Cutter, and another one doesn't look so hot, Lumma.

Best wishes for continued success to the KickStarter funding platform.  I really enjoy it but the rash of failed and/or fraudulent projects is becoming rather unsightly.

Would prefer no response over one of those irritating cookie cutter ones where it's clear no one cares.


Richard K

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