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Kickstarter Introduces New Hardware and Product Design Project Guidelines 157

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-my-weather-control-device-design-is-flawless dept.
OakDragon writes "Kickstarter has introduced some more stringent guidelines and requirements specifically for the Hardware and Product Design categories. These new requirements are laid out in a blog post called 'Kickstarter Is Not a Store.' Simulations will now be prohibited. Video cannot show a proposed product, action, etc. — only a real product and what it does at the time. Product renderings and other simulated illustrations also will not be sufficient — the project creator will have to have photographs of a real prototype."
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Kickstarter Introduces New Hardware and Product Design Project Guidelines

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:30PM (#41413723)
    I'll bet most of these changes came out of the failures which is "Orbit":http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/832784035/orbit-a-swiveling-smartphone-suction-mount [kickstarter.com]

    Nearly a year after getting their funding, their product is nowhere in sight, promises made were not kept, the funders are upset, the project owners are MIA and all of it gives Kickstarter a black eye.

    Posting as AC because I'm a funder, but not related to the project or Kickstarter in any other way.
    • Nearly a year after getting their funding, their product is nowhere in sight, promises made were not kept, the funders are upset, the project owners are MIA and all of it gives Kickstarter a black eye.

      Maybe Kickstarter just needs to make this notice in large and blinking letters:

      Kickstarter does not investigate a creator's ability to complete their project. Backers ultimately decide the validity and worthiness of a project by whether they decide to fund it..

      I remember seeing that notice, but it isn't on the page you referenced (somewhere in the corner when you finalize backing/paying, but not shown you just browse projects).

    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:41PM (#41413865)

      Looks to me like they updated their page less than a month ago. $60k to fund something like is going to lead to delays.

      Kickstarter is not buying a finished product, it is donating to get something hopefully created.

      • Kickstarter is not buying a finished product, it is donating to get something hopefully created.

        People see prototypes and mockups and don't understand that.

    • by FatAlb3rt (533682) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:45PM (#41413907) Homepage
      You're being a bit over dramatic - they sent an update less than a month ago, that's really not MIA. Looks like they just did a crappy job at foreseeing potential delays in the design process.

      Not a funder, and not related to the project or KS in any way.
    • Don't forget about CamCrate [kickstarter.com]. There are a few others out there that the project creator went MIA.

      Now I'm part of a few projects that have had delays. Most of the problems come from the fact that they are outsourcing to China and it's hit or miss what you get. Some of them have overly optimistic timelines also. Most have never done a project like this before and get in way over their head.

      Couple this with KickStarter getting linked to non-tech websites and it's just a recipe for disaster. For example I backed

      • I want a FirePiston....

        What is the current status of the project? unintended issues with the final design that didn't appear in the prototypes?

        • I just received an email stating that he finally started to receive product. fortunately, I wasn't relying on using it for this camping season. It also looks like a textbook case as to what sorts of problems you can have when you are a small company and you try to outsource your production to china.
        • unintended issues with the final design that didn't appear in the prototypes

          A prototype designed one off in a machine shop vs something cranked out in China. The guys in China didn't understand tolerances or the need for them to be very very close. "Pin fits in hole. Good enough." Which means that the firepiston didn't work.

          So lets assume they're as fast as Deal Extreme. 3 weeks a part comes. It's bad. He talks to the one guy in the shop that speaks English. They get it resolved. 1 week to make it. 3 weeks back to the states. Or the anodizing wasn't right in one batch IIRC.

          You see

          • Yeah, that makes sense. I didn't realize he was making them in china (huh, it takes a boat *how long* to get here?)

            The only kickstarters I have funded have been more like art or film projects where you really are just giving them money with no real expectation in return. Heck, I've yet to even watch the videos made for one (I keep waiting until I have time...and then forget that I want to watch them when I have time).

            I've considered others that are more like the one you described...somebody is a leath

            • Yes it will take a while to send stuff by ship from china but small packages can be flown over in a few days. If it's taking weeks then either your supplier is using it as an excuse or you were too cheap to pay for fedex.

              The bigger problem is there seems to be a culture of "do as little as you can get away with" rather than "do what the customer specified" and from what I can gather you really need someone who works for you (not for your contract manufacturer) and is fluent in both languages and comfortable

    • by hack slash (1064002) on Friday September 21, 2012 @03:05PM (#41414173)
      Also, The AmbioLight I think is also to blame for the rule changes: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bc26/ambiolight-a-one-touch-room-makeover/ [kickstarter.com]

      People discovered that the two scammers who setup the campaign hadn't innovated anything at all and were just acting as resellers of an existing product from a Chinese manufacturer as they had doctored exiting promotional images by removing the original manufacturers name. Oh and they added on an extortionate markup to the product.

      Read: http://hackaday.com/2012/08/27/theres-trouble-brewin-on-the-ol-kickstarter-site/ [hackaday.com]
      • Yeah, it looks like you can already buy the so-called "AmbioLight" from Elco Lighting.
        It does look like an interesting product though:
        http://www.elcolighting.com/categories/led-tape-light [elcolighting.com]

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Sounds a lot like this Android TV dongle [kickstarter.com] I saw on kickstarter. Looks like it got fully funded, and then some, but people could have just gone out and bought something exactly the same off numerous chinese websites, for cheaper. I think the only thing that was original here was the case.
      • by Asic Eng (193332) on Saturday September 22, 2012 @03:29AM (#41419347)

        I don't see how these changes help in those cases at all. If you are simply copying another person's idea, having a prototype and showing how it works is trivial. It's only hard to do if you actually invent something.

        The whole thing seems really puzzling, it wants to differentiate kickstarter from being a store by moving it closer to being a store. And if you want to develop something you can't show how you envision the final product to look like. Why is that useful?

    • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Friday September 21, 2012 @03:12PM (#41414265)

      As one of the comments in the blog post notes, this looks like a change mostly to get negative press off KickStarter's back.

      And yes, projects like Orbit or in fact many iDevice projects that are failing, or have failed - including the Hanfree project (Creator filed for Chapter 7 - quite a development as this is after a Backer sued him) - are an influence there.

      But so are the NPR coverage. The Polygon article (with such bombshells as (paraphrasing) "Even if it is a fraudulent project - who's going to sue over a trivial amount of money?" - even though KickStarter takes a percentage of that fraudulently acquired fund). Their own recent 'Accountability' blog post, and so forth and so on.

      Here's the thing, though. On that blog post, and this new one, they've gotten almost nothing but flack.
      Prohibiting product renders - rather than requiring they be labeled as such - hinders many projects.
      Prohibiting multiples pledge levels - rather than requiring a set limit - hinders many projects.
      Prohibiting selling items based on what you plan for it to be able to do - rather than requiring them to only advertise with current features and allow further features to be added in e.g. updates - hinders may projects.
      Moreover, all of these changes actually make KickStarter more of a store. The verbiage is such that you pretty much have to show a finished product and the only reason to try and CrowdFund is for mass production. That's practically the definition of pre-sales.

      The most striking change, though, is the part where Creators in those categories now have to explain what risks there are and what challenges they face.
      This is orthogonal to the 'accountability' blog post in which it was clarified that a Creator must either A. deliver or B. offer refunds.
      That means there are no risks other than that of the Creator's to bear.
      It's all good and well that KickStarter is trying to get Backers to think that they're really just donating - and Backers are welcome to think this and write off any money pledged that ends up going nowhere - but legally they have set Creators up to comply with, essentially, contract law.

      I understand what KickStarter is trying to seem to do - protect Creators against themselves a little (make sure you have a viable product and production process thought out before you seek funding) and against Backers (by trying to ease them off demanding refunds), and Backers from dishonest Creators or indeed their own gullibility - but I feel like this is not the way to do it.

      I wish KickStarter could decide - especially in legal terms - what it wants to be for these categories; a pre-sale platform, or a donation platform. It can't rely on the goodwill of Backers and Creators to be both.

      • Prohibiting product renders - rather than requiring they be labeled as such - hinders many projects.
        Prohibiting multiples pledge levels - rather than requiring a set limit - hinders many projects.

        Yeah, but that is Kickstarter's right. They don't want all sorts of projects - obviously they are reluctant to turn down money, but from the start, they've had a specific ambition that separated them from their (largely invisible) predecessors: They want to fund

        * Projects. Bounded effort somehow, not open-ended eff

        • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Friday September 21, 2012 @04:16PM (#41414877)

          I understand what you're saying - but, again, their entire verbiage speaks against it.

          Creative projects (I'll take this to be film, books, dance recitals, albums, photo projects, etc.) aren't affected by these new rules.
          So what you have to look at is what KickStarter wants to be for the 'Hardware / Product Design' categories.

          Their old rule was clarified in the 'accountability' post: deliver, or offer refunds. That makes it very much a 'sale' type platform.
          Then the new rule changes - announced in a blog post saying that KickStarter is not a store - reinforce the idea that it actually is a store, by essentially making it so that you must have a finished product that merely needs mass production.

          If they really want the whole 'risks and challenges' thing to fly, then Backers do, effectively, become donators and the 'deliver or offer refund' must not apply.

          I'm not sure if people aren't 'getting' the threshold thing, by the way. Backers understand the threshold just fine - if the project doesn't meet the threshold, nothing happens (insofar as the KickStarter project goes). If it does meet the threshold, then things are supposed to take off.
          Perhaps you mean that Creators don't quite get it - in that their threshold should be set realistically based on expected costs for development and manufacture + extra to be on the cautious side.

          But then that's a failing in KickStarter's information supply. The 'risks and challenges' section may make Creators more aware by forcing them to think about it a little bit, but that should be seen entirely separately from how Backers believe KickStarter works or should work.

          Mind you, I've always been a stern defender of the "KickStarter is not a store", and I live by that when pledging for projects myself. If a Creator were to offer a refund, I'd judge their (apparent) effort and decide based on that whether I want a refund or not. But legally speaking, it is very much looking like a store.

    • by fm6 (162816)

      The project owners are MIA? I'm seeing regular updates on KS and Twitter.

      Consider that these guys certainly have day jobs (having $60K doesn't exempt them from having to have jobs, least of all in an expensive city like San Francisco). When you're doing this sort of thing part time — designing the product, figuring out a manufacturing process, lining up a vendor to do the actual manufacturing — a year is pretty minimal, and two or three is more realistic.

      But of course the project owners themselv

    • by firex726 (1188453)

      Wasn't there one about that girl who after being funded and started on the project saw how much work it'd really be and made up some BS about how the Sun was psychically talking to and her telling her to stop or the Moon would try and kill her.

      Everyone got pissed because of how obviously a scammer she was.

  • Chip Design? (Score:5, Informative)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:30PM (#41413735)

    "Product renderings and other simulated illustrations also will not be sufficient"

    So, say "bye bye" to any useful home-grown ASIC project? (An open design GPU, perhaps?) Or am I expected to build a microCVD unit right next to my microbrewery in the basement?

    • by tnk1 (899206)

      They probably need to make sure that tiers are not only amounts of money, but also represent investment in stages of the process of building it. In short, having a tier where at the end of it, they have a prototype and the prototype must be delivered to the satisfaction of the prototype tier funders before the rest of the money for production tier is freed from their account. This allows them to raise money for prototyping and production in parallel (to prove to themselves there is demand for the product)

    • Or am I expected to build a microCVD unit ...

      I have always wanted to do that. I mean how hard can it be? less than x nanometers of vibration, purity of gasses etc in the 6 to 12 nines range. ;D

  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@LISPgmail.com minus language> on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:34PM (#41413775)

    Offering multiple quantities of a reward is prohibited.

    So people would have to create multiple accounts if they want multiple quantities??

    Today we added a new section to the project page called "Risks and Challenges".

    That's a great idea! There should be some understanding that the creators may or may not succeed even if they honestly try.

    • by suutar (1860506)
      I read a comment in the discussion of the thread that notes that the rule does not prohibit pledging Z times a level's cost in expectation of getting Z instances of the level reward. Making sure the creator knows that's what you want may be a little more effort, though.
  • by dgatwood (11270) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:35PM (#41413787) Journal

    So basically, what this new rule says is that if you don't already have a working prototype, don't bother to use Kickstarter. Otherwise, you'll have nothing visual that you would be allowed to show, and nobody will take an interest in your project. The whole purpose of mock-ups and other things is to help people quickly see the potential of your idea. Without that, the amount of effort required to sort the wheat from the chaff is excessive, and most people won't bother to donate to anything.

    Make no mistake, it can certainly get awkward if people show mock-ups that can do twenty things and end up with a final design that can only do three, or that otherwise fails to live up to the expectations set by the mock-ups, but I don't see how that's any different from a textual description of what you hope to accomplish. So all this rule change does is ensure that Kickstarter is only useful for projects near the end of their product design lifecycle. And if you're that far along, you really don't need something like Kickstarter to reach the end.

    So what is the purpose of Kickstarter again? Because I can't see any useful purpose for the site anymore. At this point, the entire model is broken beyond repair.

    • by suutar (1860506)
      You could probably still use sketches; those are pretty obviously conceptual. But yeah, the renderings clause is getting more complaints than anything else in the discussion thread.
    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:45PM (#41413917)

      Not at all, you can still have drawings and pre-production units. Just not renders, since they can easily confuse people into believing you have a near complete product.

      • Not at all, you can still have drawings and pre-production units. Just not renders, since they can easily confuse people into believing you have a near complete product.

        Since when is a drawing not a rendering of something that doesn't yet exist?

    • by preaction (1526109) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:46PM (#41413927)

      From prototype to full production is a major undertaking. Just ask the Raspberry Pi folks.

      • by gtirloni (1531285)
        Exactly. I don't think people need funding to create a single prototype to show on Kickstarter.

        The risk is just too high. Perhaps Kickstarter should allow projects without a working prototype but stamp big red noticing saying "high risk" on them.
      • Or look at the sordid tale of Open Pandora [openpandora.org]. Too bad Kickstarter wasn't around when they got started.

        • (It's not that sordid, I'm being too harsh)

          They took pre-orders more than a year in advance and ran into a bunch of production issues. One thing they were able to do was refund my pre-order after a year and a half had gone by with nothing to show for it. Couldn't do that on Kickstarter.

          By the time the product shipped, it's stellar specs had fallen to humdrum specs. Lately the project is focused on creating their sweet controllers for other devices and leaving the handheld creation to the big boys, the ones

    • by Joehonkie (665142) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:47PM (#41413939) Homepage
      Your thinking makes no sense to me. Kickstarter is designed to get funding for a commercial endeavor. I dare you to go to any venture capitalist or investment firm without a working prototype. And no, "being that far along" that you can make a working prototype is exactly when you need an investment to mass produce something. Being able to make one working geegaw and being able to make 1 million geegaws to identical specifications and with a low margin of failure are not in any way the same thing. Investing in a product that lacks a working prototype isn't even gambling. It's throwing your money away.
      • by erice (13380)

        Your thinking makes no sense to me. Kickstarter is designed to get funding for a commercial endeavor. I dare you to go to any venture capitalist or investment firm without a working prototype.

        Actually this is how it is usually done. For any non-trivial hardware project, the costs required to produce a working prototype are far beyond what the founders can handle without major investment backing. You don't seriously believe that Nvidia produced first silicon before seeking investment do you?

        Of course, that's what it is no very hard to get a hardware startup going these days. Investors are spoiled by e-commerce where a couple of guys can put together a new site and attract customers in months w

      • by Asic Eng (193332)
        I worked on one of those. The customer needed a PCB with an FPGA on it, which was to be the prototype. They already had VC funding. They contracted us for the hardware design and were developing the software themselves. The effort for the hardware design was two engineers for 6 months (at contracting rates) plus material, PCB manufacturing etc. On top of that they had to live of something while they developed the software, so for a few individuals that hard to pull off without any funding.
    • This is to stop situations like the Pandora [openpandora.org] console, who's developers lied through their teeth about how ready they were to ship, took thousands of pre-orders, ran out of money, and now only ship 4 year old pre-orders when new ones are placed to cover the costs.

      While there are a lot of great ideas, there are an equal number of total morons who don't know how to scale up production when their idea takes off.

      It would be great if Kickstarter had a middle ground. People without any prototypes should be able to

    • by Mike Buddha (10734) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:56PM (#41414055)

      If all you have to show for your work is 3D renderings, then your hardware project isn't ready to solicit for donations or funding of any sort, Kickstarter or otherwise. There's nothing wrong with Kickstarters model. These new rules simply bring it more in line with the rest of the funding world.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        If all you have to show for your work is 3D renderings, then your hardware project isn't ready to solicit for donations or funding of any sort, Kickstarter or otherwise.

        What if your concept is complex, and you need funding to produce the prototype? By your criteria, no one would ever create anything they cannot afford to create on their own. Care to try again?

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Then kickstarter might not be the place for that. If you honestly cannot even produce a crude prototype then you are likely looking at something that will cost millions or more to make.

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          If all you have to show for your work is 3D renderings, then your hardware project isn't ready to solicit for donations or funding of any sort, Kickstarter or otherwise.

          What if your concept is complex, and you need funding to produce the prototype? By your criteria, no one would ever create anything they cannot afford to create on their own. Care to try again?

          Since you're "required" to return the funding if your project doesn't ultimately succeed, if you don't have the money to create your own prototype, Kickstarter might not be the right place to get funding -- if it turns out that the project is harder than you thought and after spending $100K on trying to get the prototype working, you just want to call it quits, how will you refund that $100K to your Kickstarter backers?

        • If you can't make a proof of concept of any sort for your device, then you're blowing smoke up the butts of the potential backers and they should be able to figure that out by your lack of preparation.

        • by arose (644256)
          I doubt that these rules would prohibit you from raising R&D funds, as that is not funding to bring a widget to the market. You wouldn't be able to promise any devices to the backers though, so good luck convincing the people who treat kickstater as a store for dreams (just about all of them) to back you.
    • by jemenake (595948)

      The whole purpose of mock-ups and other things is to help people quickly see the potential of your idea. Without that, the amount of effort required to sort the wheat from the chaff is excessive, and most people won't bother to donate to anything.

      Well, I think what they're trying to quash is the flood of yahoos who have nothing but a notion... that "1% inspiration" which is also clogging up our patent system with stuff like "A car that runs on farts" without any technical development to actually make it actually exist.

      Instead, now people will have to demonstrate that they possess some important skill necessary in making it work and, thus, they are uniquely deserving of financial backing. So, what kind of demos will we now see from Kickstarter? Ho

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        Well, I think what they're trying to quash is the flood of yahoos who have nothing but a notion... that "1% inspiration" which is also clogging up our patent system with stuff like "A car that runs on farts" without any technical development to actually make it actually exist.

        That's largely a temporary problem. Over time, the folks with a reputation for getting stuff done will have projects to their name, and those who don't will work with people who do. And just providing bios of the people involved goes

    • So basically, what this new rule says is that if you don't already have a working prototype, don't bother to use Kickstarter. Otherwise, you'll have nothing visual that you would be allowed to show, and nobody will take an interest in your project. The whole purpose of mock-ups and other things is to help people quickly see the potential of your idea. Without that, the amount of effort required to sort the wheat from the chaff is excessive, and most people won't bother to donate to anything.

      ASCII Art. Problem solved.

  • So its not a store, but you're also not allowed to show products that dont exist yet? Not sure what the point is then. If you have the product finished, why do you need kick-starter?
    • To get money to produce it in quantity beyond the prototype.

      • Except many products and people could never get it that far (90% of the way to completion) without prior funding.

        • by Algae_94 (2017070)
          There are a lot of cases of functional prototypes made cheaply that need funding to make the finished product. Perhaps all your electronics are on a breadboard and you need to get some PCBs printed up and reflow solder all the components to the PCB. You might have some rough metal housing that's been bent together and you want to get some injection molded plastic case. etc.

          It seems there are differences of opinion on what a prototype is. I don't think of it as the first finished product waiting to be ma
      • by Kenja (541830)
        Which is called "selling" the product via preorders, which is what you do with a "store". So where does kick-starter fit in?
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Not at all. Many commercial products fail going from prototype to product.

          Tooling is expensive and fraught with possible problems. Then their comes the actual stamping/molding/fabrication which is another huge stumbling block. Before either of those begin you will want to select materials and such, which determine not only the properties of your product but how complex it will be to make. Can that plastic you want really be blown into that shape or will it have to be milled? Stuff like that. There are month

    • by suutar (1860506)
      You're allowed to put up projects for things that don't exist. You're not allowed to make it look like it does exist already.
    • Do you really honestly think the ability to self-fund a single prototype and the ability to self-fund a lot of finished products are even remotely the same thing? My god, man.

      I can't believe people are getting hung up on the renders rule. All they want is people to stop publishing images of "finished products" that don't actually exist because people through either their own stupidity or being intentionally mislead think development is a lot further than it actually is and often find themselves in for massi

  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:38PM (#41413829) Homepage

    Simulations will now be prohibited. Video cannot show a proposed product, action, etc. â" only a real product and what it does at the time.

    Since Kickstarter won't let you raise funds to create a product, I'm starting kickstarterstarter.com to allow people to crowdfund being able to get onto Kickstarter.

    • Can I get my Turturkeykey business started on there?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Have you put this site on to Kickstarter yet? I'd like to support the development.

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      Simulations will now be prohibited. Video cannot show a proposed product, action, etc. â" only a real product and what it does at the time.

      Since Kickstarter won't let you raise funds to create a product, I'm starting kickstarterstarter.com to allow people to crowdfund being able to get onto Kickstarter.

      How will kickstarterstarter.com weed out scammers with no intention of ever creating a product? I think Kickstarter is just trying to make sure that the project founder has put in enough time and money of his own to have created a prototype before he can accept more money. Anyone can set up a project to take money to pay for a "prototype", then in 6 months can say "Oh sorry, it's harder than I thought, I spent all of your money on the prototype but couldn't make it work". And there's really no way to know i

      • How will kickstarterstarter.com weed out scammers with no intention of ever creating a product?

        All funding will be done with BitCoins.

  • Looks like Kickstarter is trying to combat the idea which seems pretty popular around here - that crowdfunding is a bubble waiting to burst. Clearly, not everyone understands that the point of Kickstarter is to help fund a project's effort - rather than buying goods. The goods only come if the product succeeds. They would clearly be better in the short term to ENCOURAGE the misunderstanding - because people like to feel comfortable that their donations will get something in return. But instead, the improved
    • Looks like Kickstarter is trying to combat the idea which seems pretty popular around here - that crowdfunding is a bubble waiting to burst.

      I don't see a bubble waiting to burst with the crowd-sourcing paradigm. If Kickstarter wants to limit how a project can be introduced, there is no reason that someone else can't start a similar system. A friend of mine started a similar site in the city I live - communityfunded.com - and several projects have now been funded by locals for locals (and abroad).

      With the success of 'pay-what-you-want' (Radiohead's "In Rainbows") and 'donate-what-you-want' (Humble Bundle), and micropayment systems like Flattr,

    • by suutar (1860506)
      It doesn't really affect software, as far as I can tell.
  • Yes I get the idea, but KS is to fund development of stuff, and if you are going with KS you probably do not have a fully functional product (and simulations will be needed to show off what you want to create). As long as you make sure you make obvious that it is a simulation, and not actual footage, it can only be beneficial to the developer.

  • So since simulations/renders can sometimes look too much like the real thing to tell apart, they are now banned. So if you cannot tell them apart, how will you enforce this rule?

    Since this will only hurt people who care about rules, this will just make the fake scam projects look better in relation to the real projects.
    And if scammers were already able to make renders that could fool people, well they will just continue to do so.

  • Is our society really so caught up in itself that we can't just admit we got scammed for a few bucks on a bet and walk away? Now Kickstarter has to do some CYA limbo so they don't get sued because they "enabled" scammers?

    If you can't handle the risk, you don't deserve the payoff, and you shouldn't stick out your nose in the first place. Stay home.

  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Friday September 21, 2012 @03:41PM (#41414567)

    You might not be able to scam people on Kickstarter.
    But you can get a bogus patent without POC or a product and sue everybody who actually build stuff.

    Oh the irony!

  • This is wrong headed. The 'product' in all the other categories is non-existant yet 'creators' get to present 'simulations' of it be it a trailer, a drawing or a description.

    Oh, and Kickstarter is a store. It is a store of ideas, of potential, of the future, where people who believe can back projects they want to be a part of, those they want to succeed, those they would like the product from. Kickstarter says so themselves, that the rewards should ideally be the product produced by the project.

  • One of the projects I funded (and got great stuff from) is a kind of structural aluminum extrusions. Another project has injection molded plastic parts. The point of the KickStarters in both cases was to raise money to make molds. It seems like these new rules prohibit things like: "Here is 3D print of the thing that we want to injection mold." Or in the case of aluminum extrusions, then what are they supposed to show? It seems like a rendering of that is just fine.

    The *real* problem is projects starte

  • ...a blog entry titled, "Kickstarter is not a venture capital broker."

    OK, I guess people probably figure that out before they put their money down, But you do hear people talking about their "investment" in KS projects. Since you don't get to share in any profits, it's definitely not an investment. Really, it's more like charity, with rewards. Sort of like public broadcasting.

    I have to say I'm not comfortable with tech startups relying on charity. Yeah, it's cool that companies like Pebble can get the start

  • I thought the whole point of Kickstarter was to help people raise money for ideas they can't afford to produce themselves. In fact, I distinctly remember there being some big stink about people trying to fund products they already had in production.

    Now Kickstarter is saying you have to be able to produce a prototype before you can even try to raise money? Am I missing something here, or what?

  • Effectively you can no longer use it to fund development. If you have to already have unit #1 produced, it's just a way to fund production. Ergo, it's a store oriented toward pre-sales.

  • Sounds like video game projects will now have to show a prototype, and not just a teaser trailer of pre-rendered models. I think this is probably an overall good thing, as prototypes show at least the team has overcome some of the initial gameplay challenges, as games which sound amazing on paper usually have difficult roadblocks to conquer.

  • by Silicon_Knight (66140) on Saturday September 22, 2012 @02:42PM (#41422709)

    Posted also on the Kickstarter comment section:

    Kickstarter project creator here: I'm the guy behind OpenBeam (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ttstam/openbeam-an-open-source-miniature-construction-sys).
    And in case anyone's wondering - we shipped the majority of our rewards a *month* before the original promised date. That probably puts me in the top 5 percentile of projects...

    Let's take a look at the new rules one by one:

    “What are the risks and challenges this project faces, and what qualifies you to overcome them?”

    - Okay, this is perfectly valid. I am surprised KS haven't done this earlier, because there are quite a few clueless guys (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/277210494/paint-be-gone) - *(http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/277210494/call-key) and http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/277210494/key-pad-case [kickstarter.com]) out on here who seems be doing the "throw s*** at the wall and see what sticks" model of development.

    "Product simulations are prohibited. Projects cannot simulate events to demonstrate what a product might do in the future. Products can only be shown performing actions that they’re able to perform in their current state of development."

    "Product renderings are prohibited. Product images must be photos of the prototype as it currently exists.
    Products should be presented as they are. Over-promising leads to higher expectations for backers. The best rule of thumb: under-promise and over-deliver."
    Okay, so KS want a working prototype. I get that; that's pretty straightforward. But it doesn't stop someone from *faking* a prototype on camera. This however, won't stop a project like iCase (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1791911961/i-case-iphone-4s-and-iphone-4-bumper-case) from being a train wreck, as the protoytype would likely have been SLA, painted, and the problem wouldn't have been apparent until the metal parts were CNC machined and fitted and found to short out the iPhone's anntenna.

    The OpenBeam project would have passed these requirements; we had a physical prototype for shooting the video, as part of a good product development practice.

    "Offering multiple quantities of a reward is prohibited. Hardware and Product Design projects can only offer rewards in single quantities or a sensible set (some items only make sense as a pair or as a kit of several items, for instance). The development of new products can be especially complex for creators and offering multiple quantities feels premature, and can imply that products are shrink-wrapped and ready to ship."

    And how would KS define "Multiple copies" of a reward? This I have a problem with. When you're in production, you are trying to get the manufacturing volume up to bring the costs down. If I were launching OpenBeam now, would I be limited to selling one stick of aluminum and one of each bracket to my backers (who wouldn't be able to do anything useful then with this?) If I packaged it up as a "kit", like I had on my KS, would I have gotten around these restrictions? Who decides whether multiple copies of the same item is required for the item to work (ie, construction toy kit), and when it becomes a way to side step your rules? How much "individual judgement" is there to allow the listing of a project, and do you consider the project creator's background (ie, having successfully delivered on a previous project) when you allow them to post? With the amount of controversy about what gets allowed (*cough* Tangibot (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mattstrong/the-tangibot-3d-printer-the-affordable-makerbot-re)*cough*) and what doesn't on Kickstarter already, this rule is probably going to make your selection process more Apple App-store like (arbitrary with no recourse for the project creator if you are not selected).

    (Edited to add: The real problem, that KS probably don't want to admit, is that none of their hipster workers have a sufficient engineering / science / technology bac

Real Users never know what they want, but they always know when your program doesn't deliver it.

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