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Businesses The Almighty Buck Technology

Most Kickstarter Projects Fail To Deliver On Time 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the better-late-than-never dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "A recently conducted analysis found that out of the top 50 most-funded Kickstarter projects, a whopping 84 percent missed their target delivery dates. As it turns out, only eight of them hit their deadline. Sixteen hadn't even shipped yet, while the remaining 26 projects left the warehouse months late. 'Why are so many crowdfunded projects blowing their deadlines? Over and over in our interviews, the same pattern emerged. A team of ambitious but inexperienced creators launched a project that they expected would attract a few hundred backers. It took off, raising vastly more money than they anticipated — and obliterating the original production plans and timeline.'"
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Most Kickstarter Projects Fail To Deliver On Time

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  • by Jmc23 (2353706) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:58PM (#42340441)
    of non-kickstarter projects that miss deadlines?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:59PM (#42340465)

    Timelines on crowd funding sites are just estimates.

    If you fund a project expecting them to meet your deadlines you are a fool.

    Don't fund it because you expect them to hit their deadlines, fund it because it is a cool product that you want when it is actually ready.

    I have funded a number of cool projects and been very happy with the resulting hardware when I got it.

  • by Omega Hacker (6676) <`omega' `at' `omegacs.net'> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @05:01PM (#42340483)
    *ALL* projects have a high rate of blowing deadlines, that's what happens with complex stuff. Show me numbers that Kickstarter projects have a worse rate of being late than any other comparable projects out there, and then we can talk.
  • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@@@carpanet...net> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @05:10PM (#42340655) Homepage

    Not just miss deadlines, but miss their initial deadline.

    Deadlines are fine.... but when scope and resources change, the deadline slips. That is simple project management 101.

    One of the things I think it goes back to is the word "Inexperienced". Projects always seem easier in the planning phases than execution.

    as the old saying goes.... Fast, Good, Cheap... pick 2.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @05:15PM (#42340729) Journal

    Doesn't bother me one bit as long as they end up delivering.

  • by neminem (561346) <{neminem} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @05:15PM (#42340739) Homepage

    > Timelines are just estimates.
    > If you fund a project expecting them to meet your deadlines you are a fool.

    Fixed that for you.

  • by ddd0004 (1984672) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @05:20PM (#42340791)

    You can remove the word Kickstarter from that headline and it is just as true.

  • by gweihir (88907) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @05:24PM (#42340865)

    This is not a Kickstarter problem. If the late shippers actually ship quality, then Kickstarter may well have superior results. A simplistic "late=bad" does not cut it.

  • Yes, but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @05:44PM (#42341155) Journal

    Most of anything fails to deliver on time. Precisely meeting delivery dates is overrated, if what you deliver is junk.

    I strongly suspect that most product development doesn't deliver at all. It seems like Kickstart is doing much better than average in that respect.

  • by Macrat (638047) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @05:45PM (#42341167)

    Deadlines are fine.... but when scope and resources change, the deadline slips. That is simple project management 101.

    I guess you've never worked at a real company where the management's bonuses are based on a shipping date they pulled out of thin air. So the project has to meet that date even if it means dropping features and shipping with bugs.

  • Re:Tech time lines (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PantherSE (588973) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @05:51PM (#42341229) Homepage

    Years ago I met a CFO who had just finished grilling his tech guy for over an hour getting the tech guy to come up with a worst case scenario for the project they were about to begin. In that hour the tech guy nearly tripled his time and cost estimates. After he left the CFO doubled the time and cost estimate for the budget. In the end the CFO was nearly bang on.

    I would say this is a good CFO. The CFO understood that he had a choice: get it done quickly, or get it done right the first time; and he chose the latter.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <<ten.frow> <ta> <todhsals>> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @06:03PM (#42341407)

    Kickstarter has a problem in that the funding sources are unlimited.

    Lets say you did good and had everything planned for a production run of say, 250 units (probably a good crowdfunded estimate). Now you suddenly get people who order 1000 units total.

    Problem is, production doesn't scale linearly - building 1000 takes a LOT more effort than building 250. First, your production method may work for 250, but fail for 1000 - if you planned on using a small contract manufacturer, they may not have the ability to deliver you 1000 units anymore - existing commitments may be the first 250 will be built as planned, but the excess depends on spare capacity. Depending on when you put it in, there may be none. So for example, if you have a Kickstarter that started in May and ends in June, get the money in July and start getting parts to build out August-September (assuming you can get the quantity required - again, your design may call for a special part available in small quantities, so 250 units, fine, 1000 units, well, Digikey has 700 in stock, the 300 have a 4 week lead time). Oh wait, your contract manufacturer can build in September, but October is fully booked for holiday production, so you can build 500 easily, but now you're stuck because your production line is at capacity.

    So either you have to plan for it ahead of time by making sure you can line up the contract manufacturers if necessary (expensive), get the parts ahead of time (expensive), or let the schedule slip because well, building 1000 units is a lot harder than 250.

    Perhaps it got popular and instead of building 250, suddenly you're saked to build 10,000. Now you've got a problem because at 250 units, Design for Manufacture isn't an issue. At 10,000, it really is because complex assemblies take time and cost more, and you may seriously have to consider making it in China, too.

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