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Has Kickstarter Peaked? 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the novelty-only-lasts-so-long dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Kickstarter has taken off in the past year, raising big money for a wide variety of projects. Look at some of their stats: in June 2012, only seven projects raised more than a million dollars apiece; in the past nine months, another 16 projects have passed that threshold. Since the site began operations in 2009, several of the 38,000 funded projects have broken out as superstars, including the Pebble Watch and a new gaming console. With all this competition, has crowdfunding gotten, well, too crowded? Is Kickstarter peaking? As the dollar amounts have grown, so has the potential for abuse. Hidden amidst all these success stories and multi-million dollar payouts are some sadder tales. The majority of the nearly 50,000 unfunded Kickstarter projects received less than 20 precent of their funding goals, with 11 percent never even getting a single pledge."
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Has Kickstarter Peaked?

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  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @05:25AM (#43289421) Homepage Journal
    Has "Has X peaked?" articles peaked?
    • by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @05:41AM (#43289495)

      I just started a new Kickstarter project to create the next kickstarter. Please sign up.

      • "I want to create a vending machine that sells vending machines, but it'd have to be REALLY fucking big!"
        -- Mitch Hedberg
      • Indeed, I'll sign up in a heartbeat as soon as you show me your very own KS is backed by an ethical bank.

        As I'm not sure all of you know what it is, let's say these are very difficult to find (there is only one in my country*); in general they are non-profit banking associations thaf obviously won't even think about playing on stock exchanges.
        And yes they run, reasonably, and more importantly, in a very robust way.

        A Kickstarter launched by one such bank, I'd just love. I'd not invest in it: I'd donate. Yes.

        • by garyebickford (222422) <gar37bic.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @01:29PM (#43293943)

          non-profit banking associations thaf obviously won't even think about playing on stock exchanges

          Here in the US, they are called Credit Unions. Most CUs are ethical. They work by lending their own members' deposits to members. Some/most (all?) are managed in part by members, at least in the sense of having an annual meeting where whoever shows up can vote. Generally CUs must be tied to a particular group - employees at a business, residents of a certain area, etc.

          I use CUs for all my business where possible.

      • by Quirkz (1206400)
        If you called it Drop-Kick Starter, that'd sound really badass.
    • by Grashnak (1003791)

      Buy my new book, "How Peak Kickstarter Will Lead to the Apocalypse" - currently available on Kickstarter ;)

    • Well, bad grammar never peaks, it seems.
      • Yes I know that I should have used the plural form of the verb since the subject was plural, but I intentionally used the exact same format as the original article to prove my point... You know this wacky thing called "communication". You should try it sometime.
    • Somebody wake me when Facebook peaks.
      • by mcvos (645701)

        I think that's already happened.

        But Facebook is old. It's been top dog for a while now. For Kickstarter, it's rather premature to start asking if it's peaked. It's still busy exploding all over the place.

  • Does it matter? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gweihir (88907) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @05:25AM (#43289423)

    Kickstarter itself cannot reasonably be used as source for projects to be funded. If there is a project you are potentially interested in, you have to get it from some other source. But that is fine, first and foremost, Kickstarter organizes the "business" side, having "advertising" separately is not an issue. And of course there will be a lot of projects nobody is interested in or that have unrealistic goals or are otherwise "fishy". Again, so what?

    • by dkf (304284)

      Betteridge says "No". Kickstarter hasn't peaked, and it doesn't matter. Phew! Thought I might have to read the article (or even follow the links!) there, and we can't be having that.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      "Kickstarter itself cannot reasonably be used as source for projects to be funded."

      except it has been, continually, and successfully. We're talking multi-million dollar projects now.

      So in short, you are wrong - but the entire discussion isn't even factual or relevant. the question of "has kickstarter peaked" is an asinine question in the first place.

      • Re:Does it matter? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Baloroth (2370816) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @09:39AM (#43290949)

        "Kickstarter itself cannot reasonably be used as source for projects to be funded."

        except it has been, continually, and successfully. We're talking multi-million dollar projects now.

        He means "as a source to learn about projects to be funded", not "as a method of aggregating funding." Hence his mention of "advertising." He is right: it's almost impossible, browsing their catalog, to find which are good projects and which aren't, given how many projects there often are (you can do it, but it's quite a lot of work). The only real filter is by already popular projects, which means that project has already gotten attention from external sources. Every project I've funded on there I've found out about through a different site.

        • by gweihir (88907)

          Yes, sorry. Should have been clearer, I mean that browsing their catalog is pretty useless.

        • He is right: it's almost impossible, browsing their catalog, to find which are good projects and which aren't, given how many projects there often are (you can do it, but it's quite a lot of work).

          Interesting - one might call this the 'inverse network effect' - which would act as a damper on the growth of some types of social network activities, once the network gets to a certain size. An economist might be interested in research on how this relates to the much-vaunted 'economies of scale' model which has been so overused. IMHO most multinational companies are well past the point where economies of scale are overwhelmed by the costs (economic, social, externalities, etc.) involved in just being a b

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          The ones I've heard about (and I'm funding one) come from word of mouth (or word of net) rather than directly via Kickstarter browsing. Often these are projects the established company could do except that the bean counters are a bit nervous about breaking the safe mold. Ie, a company making an old school style game, an independent movie production, etc.

          The model itself seems a bit interesting for the ones I've looked at. For games, most of the investors aren't paying any more than they would pay if the

    • Re:Does it matter? (Score:4, Informative)

      by garyebickford (222422) <gar37bic.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @01:41PM (#43294059)

      My associates at Space Finance Group recently assisted National Space Society in their successful Kickstarter campaign, "Our Future in Space" [kickstarter.com].
      Without telling too many 'secrets', there are some fundamental ideas to keep in mind. A good campaign needs publicity, and a network of people who already know about the project and want help out, a great video and KS website page, and a killer set of rewards. There are some websites (kicktraq.com is one) that provide useful data about specific projects, and about how the whole thing works - sorry I forget the others. Basically, your project is going to depend very strongly on how many of your network are motivated to go to Kickstarter, sign up and pledge. And make sure the rewards appear to be 'worth it'. We just looked at an IndieGogo campaign where a $4 trinket was the reward for a $100 pledge. Sorry, nobody's going for that.

      And, assuming you succeed, be aware that KS takes 5%, Amazon takes 8%, and your rewards (if you have good, attractive rewards) are going to cost on the order of 30%. With other miscellaneous expenses, your real return will be close to 50%. (Funny, that's approximately the 'cost of sales' in most businesses.) Plan your project accordingly. Of course, if the reward is the product, then that helps your costs.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        Actually I hate the videos. I want to see something written down. If I'm at work and seeing the site at lunch time I will never watch that video, and I'll forget by the time I get home. Even at home I don't want to sit through 5-10 minutes of video when I could spend 5-10 seconds reading something instead. I just don't get what this fad is for having videos.

      • Great, insightful post. Would mod up if I had points.

  • Interest (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Not everybody is interested in everything and I am sure there are many projects that didn't get their funding due to not being known well enough with its targetted audience.

    Its not because you start a project that people should like it and fund it. Sometimes a project simply isn't good enough.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @05:30AM (#43289453)

    Kickstarter didn't really change anything. The success stories have been on the back of great marketing campaigns done by experienced marketeers. Hence, Elite and Ouya were able to make money, without really offering very much that couldn't have been done anyway (Braben couldn't get publisher money for Elite? Of course he could - but the Kickstarter money has fewer strings attached, and no penalty if he screws it up). Often, Kickstarters will already have funding and just need a bit more to launch - it's a pre-order system, and really does nothing to help start new ventures. And as with everything else, you need to get your head above the crowd. Not everyone can do that - by definition - so there's bound to be a majority of failures and a few stars. But the market already worked like that, so nothing has changed. Fundamentally you still need a business with a product that people want to buy, and you have to reach those people with marketing. Kickstarter doesn't help with any of that - why would it?

    Saying it's "peaked" is missing the point. It assumes that Kickstarter was meant to be something it never could have been anyway. Once you ignore the hyperbole of what Kickstarter thinks it is, and look at what it actually is, there's no case to answer. It's a website serving a purpose, and that purpose hasn't gone away, but nor is it greater than what it really is

    • by Vintermann (400722) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @06:39AM (#43289721) Homepage

      The claim that nothing has happened with kickstarter that wouldn't have happened otherwise is nice and untestable, as we can't run history backwards and try what would have happened without it. It's still silly and obviously false.

      What Kickstarter provides is a mechanism for overcoming a collective action problem. You might be willing to pay $15 to make a Veronica Mars movie, but you're not going to pay $15 for a Veronica Mars movie that's made on a $15 budget. Kickstarter lets you conditionally commit to something, the condition being that the product can be realized to an acceptable quality (as measured in budget. Not the perfect measure, but it's the one you've got). This is a service which has been able to large scale investors before, but not to end users/consumers/what you want to call us.

      Project starters on the other side, get a low-risk way to gauge interest in the product. A conditional preordering scheme is not the same, because they can't reserve the purchase amount. Companies that have conditional preordering schemes have had big issues with people committing to buy, then changing their mind when the product actually got produced. (The board game company GMT has had this problem. It has led to some flamewar/meltdowns on BGG.)

      This is a real, tangible difference which can be predicted to make a difference in market outcomes.

      This is also why the "flexible funding" schemes of sites like IndieGoGo is such a scam. They really do offer nothing new. It's just fundraising on a website. Crowdfunding without the threshold pledge mechanism is not deserving of the name.

      • This is a service which has been able to large scale investors before, but not to end users/consumers/what you want to call us.

        The "service" of not having your money kick in until enough of others' people money can be a clause in an investment deal, true. BUT, Kickstarter has nothing to do with investing. Kickstarter is NOT investing in any way, shape, or form. It's irresponsible to suggest that Kickstarter is investing because so many uneducated people would believe you.
        • In the more strict sense of the word invest you are right. It is in not a financial investment, but you are in a sense investing your money to get something you want, and you do get rewards that more often than not would cost you more than what you donate if the product was ready. You can buy AAA games for 20 dollars for example.
      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        It is odd that there's the impulse to spend more than you'd actually spend on the end product. An impulse to both get the product you want and also to support a good idea and give your "vote". Ie, nudging the market a bit more than it would have been if you had just waited and purchased the product at the end.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've contributed to a couple of kickstarted games (Elite, Star Citizen, Torment), and the main point for the authors seems to be precisely the lack of a publisher (i.e. EA), with the implied greater freedom to make the games as they want and not as the publisher believes they should be (thus avoiding things like the recent SimCity ridicule).

      Also, it's seen as a good way to gauge your potential audience in advance. A good kickstarter campaign probablymeans good sales when your product comes out.

    • by dintech (998802) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @06:45AM (#43289755)
      I am one of the backers for the Elite Kickstarter. I think the 'strings attached' bit is probably quite important for an elderly game like Elite. Lets say hypothetically that worst case, someone like EA was the publisher. Everything would be micro-transaction, autolog bullshit with an annoying soundtrack you can't turn off and a 'hey radical' southern-california commentator giving you a mind-meltingly droll tutorial on how to be the hottest, slickest new pilot in the galaxy with pats on the head every 5 minutes. It would need to be themed on a music festival, surf exhibition, frat party or some other 'down-with-the-kids' irrelevance. Of course there has to be a leader board from which some 16 year old ass-hat leaves an audio-message for everyone declaring his teabag is the biggest.

      You would have to deal with the fallout from some EA Exec demanding that every time you destroyed another ship, crashed in to one or came with a few metres of one, you get a 3 second cut scene that pauses the action because "it's more 'Michael Bay' that way". When you finally dock after many, many, wooshing, spinning, exploding menu options, you get the pretty much compulsory option of using real money to get rid of your wanted status or whatever, which is probably the only way to progress since like an Ikea store, there seems to be no way to circumvent what you don't want. Every couple of AU that you travel you'll get.... an achievement! Awesome! You will be able to buy 50 achievements with your real money and then sell them for new ships or some other weird artificial game mechanic, all while enduring commercials from "out trusted partners". This certainty was all but avoided because of Kickstarter. I rest my case.
      • by PhxBlue (562201)

        You made it all this way without even mentioning DRM [tomshardware.com]. I'm kinda impressed.

        Those dick moves you outlined actually sound more like CapCom than EA, though.

        • by dintech (998802)
          But wait, there's more! DRM is included later in expensive DLC for your pleasure!
    • The success stories have been on the back of great marketing campaigns done by experienced marketeers.

      Only if you define "success" as a project that "made a media splash" and "raised huge amounts of cash in a short period of time". I participated in a project where the only "marketing" largely consisted of an announcement on the creators blog, and an announcement on a blog the creator was already widely known on for the project he was seeking to fund*... word of mouth within the community accomplished the

    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @09:20AM (#43290789) Journal

      Braben couldn't get publisher money for Elite? Of course he could - but the Kickstarter money has fewer strings attached

      Braben is an artist. This gets him artistic freedom, which is exactly what game development has been lacking over the past decade. Same with Brian Fargo. You think he hasn't tried to get a turn based RPG made this century? I'm sure he has, but hasn't been able to for business reasons. Kickstarter made that possible.

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      The things that got kickstarted would propably have found other funding. That's true.
      But what Kickstarter has changed is that Joe Average could chip in. In the olden days all this stuff would have been funded by the usual suspects.

      In the case of video games I have to say that a lot of the things that got kickstarted had been ignored by the big publishers for decades in some cases. Those don't touch anything that's not Battlefries 5: Whatever. New Post Processing! More Polgons! More Emotion! A New Era For
  • Ad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Vintermann (400722) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @05:31AM (#43289465) Homepage

    This blog reads like a huge ad for the dozen various companies that have popped up to try to leech off would-be Kickstarter project starters. Some people are obviously taking the lesson about selling mining equipment to gold diggers to heart.

  • Lack of Publicity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @05:36AM (#43289483)

    Pointing the finger at under-achieving projects as evidence of some kind of peak is silly - under-publicity is more likely to be the cause there, especially for projects that get nothing at all. I seem to recall iTunes have a similar problem for a lot of it's artists, I can't find a link for it but a huge % of tracks on iTunes were reported at one time as having 0 purchases. IIRC it was something like a third. Looks like people are prematurely worrying this is a bubble, which is understandable considering the economic damage we've suffered over the past 15-20 years thanks to bubbles.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bobbaddeley (981674)

      Definitely this.

      We have a kickstarter campaign going right now, and we've posted some of our behind-the-scenes stats: http://portablescores.com/behind-the-scenes-of-a-kickstarter-project/ [portablescores.com]

      Our video has less than 2000 views; of course we're failing. We've done everything we can to get publicity, but we're doing something wrong, or we're just not lucky. Kickstarter failures are more a testament to one's ability to tell a story and get publicity, not necessarily to the product.

      Slightly shamed plug (I would be

      • Your scoreboard looks interesting and if you could get information in front of the 1000s of youth soccer leagues, it has potential. I have no proof of this but suspect that the kickstarter audience is (as a broad and biased sweep) NOT the athletic type and most are not the parents of 4-13 year old soccer players. This looks like a product that needs word of mouth in the RIGHT community.

        Have you all taken it out to soccer fields and shown it in action?

        Have you tried to get the attention of an organization li

        • You're absolutely right, joel.

          Yes, we've taken it to a variety of field sports and have always had great feedback, and some have wanted to buy them on the spot. Most of our beta testers are high school coaches or tournament organizers. We have a rolling stock of units that we loan out for a few months (it's time-consuming and expensive to make these units by hand, so we are loaning them out, though some have purchased them to keep them longer). We've had organizations preorder in bulk separately from our Ki

          • by Nidi62 (1525137)

            We've tried contacting local media many times but can't get them to pick us up. We've also been contacting various sports clubs, but rec sports have surprisingly few central media locations, so we're having to go to region by region and sport by sport.

            Try contacting officiating organizations. I am a member of the largest and oldest high school football officiating associations in my state, and I know a lot of our members work rec games on the side(not just football either), and some run either rec leagues or are in charge of the officials for the leagues. If you can find and get in contact with officials organizations, they can probably help spread the word of your product out to teams. You can try the state high school associations too.

      • but we're doing something wrong, or we're just not lucky.

        Or nobody gives a damn about your product. Or in a world swamped with smartphone related gadgets, one more fairly lame one isn't enough to grab any significant attention. Or your "branding genius and community builder" isn't actually all that good at her job. Or... There's a long laundry list and that just the stuff you have some hope of controlling.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Pointing the finger at under-achieving projects as evidence of some kind of peak is silly - under-publicity is more likely to be the cause there, especially for projects that get nothing at all. I seem to recall iTunes have a similar problem for a lot of it's artists, I can't find a link for it but a huge % of tracks on iTunes were reported at one time as having 0 purchases. IIRC it was something like a third. Looks like people are prematurely worrying this is a bubble, which is understandable considering t

  • by Xugumad (39311) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @05:41AM (#43289497)

    No.

    Seriously though, probably not. It's experiencing a dip after it's initial surge of interest. It's not a roller coaster, or a rocket, it's a company. It will have ups and downs. Demand will fluctuate over time. It can experience market saturation (those of us who have now kickstarter-ed so many projects that we need to wait for some to finish before we pay for more).

    Also; what's this nonsense about 50,000 projects and not getting near their total, as if that's a bad thing. It's not a magic money tree; most of those projects probably didn't interest people, so they failed at the first hurdle. That's not a tale of woe, that's someone being saved from spending months/years of their life developing a product that wasn't going to sell.

    • Putting a project on Kickstarter doesn't mean it'll magically get cash. It has to have a few things:

      1) It has to be something people actually want. Just because you think your idea is really cool, doesn't mean that anyone else does. If people don't want it, then they aren't going to fund it. This can be a real issue as many people seem to think a knockoff or redo is something that people should get all excited about. So it has to be something of interest first and foremost, or it'll never happen.

      2) People h

  • Sounds about right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @05:44AM (#43289509) Journal
    Most projects are bad ideas or don't appeal widely enough to be worth funding. The point of Kickstarter is to cut out the middle man between people who want a product or service and people willing to provide it. It isn't meant to fund things that there is no market for, it is meant to directly connect the funding for things with the existence of a market.
  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @05:57AM (#43289553)

    I mainly pick up games on kickstarter...and initially games were pretty cheap about $5, the companies got seed money during development, and maybe I get a game...all of a sudden those games have shot up in price to $20, its gone from funding development to payment upfront...I haven't funded a game in a while.

    • by Xemu (50595)

      I mainly pick up games on kickstarter...and initially games were pretty cheap about $5, the companies got seed money during development, and maybe I get a game...all of a sudden those games have shot up in price to $20, its gone from funding development to payment upfront...I haven't funded a game in a while.

      It's because of people like you that Kickstarter is failing. Shame on you!

      Of course not. Not every project posted on Kickstarter inherently deserves to succeed. There's a lot of crap posted on Kickstarter now, where people outright beg for money for nothing. ("Hey, I want to do X, never did it before, fresh out of college, show me they money")

      It's also mostly treated as a pre-order system - "Hey, give us X dollars for product Y today and you'll maybe get it when we build it" is a really dangerous propos

    • by IICV (652597)

      There's still $5 games on Kickstarter, it's just gotten big enough thay now there's $20 and $30 games too.

  • by InsaneLampshade (890845) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @06:21AM (#43289647) Homepage Journal
    Not every project can be successfully funded.

    If "the crowd" don't like your project then it's not going to be successfully funded. The site isn't an automatic "setup project receive money". The harsh reality is that most ideas don't receive funding, this is true whether the source of funds is a crowd of people or one very rich person.

    a) your idea isn't very good
    b) your idea isn't very well presented
    c) nobody sees your idea

    Blaming any of the above on the platform you use to get funded is silly.
    • by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @08:37AM (#43290443)

      The primary problem Kickstarter is having right now is that they let just about anything in, so it's flooded with crap. They don't even adhere to their own rules (like, no "fund my life" projects and no charities -- but just recently there was one to fund someone sending their kid to camp for a week). The other is a lack of vetting. When your entire business plan is "get a cut of funding given to successful projects", you need to make sure people feel safe and some degree of trust in backing things via your site. If you let in a flood of scams (and there have been a number) or things that are clearly poorly thought out from the get-go, you are damaging the entire crowd-funding concept. It may cost more money, time, and other resources -- but they need to start vetting people and projects. That you are who you say you are. That your project even makes sense, etc.

      The recent four or five "build the death star" and "defend the galaxy from the death star by helping fund the rebel forces X-Wing project" joke shit doesn't help, either.

  • by N1AK (864906) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @06:29AM (#43289673) Homepage
    Seriously who cares that 11% of projects got no pledges. The article implies this shows how hard it is for many to get funding. I'd suggest that it shows that it is easy to set up a kickstarter and that some people play about with it on non-serious projects etc. The utopian ideal some ascribe to Kickstarter is that it allows people to create things without having to battle through traditional funding models etc; does anyone really think that the projects that failed on Kickstarter would have had a better chance of getting funded otherwise?
  • Not the pop ads or TV commercial

    But the kind where you know a tech journalist and he or she writes a cool story about your project. Or you have a big social media following and spread the word. Or you hire a social media specialist to spread the word

    None of the successful projects got there by accident or luck
    All the unfounded ones are by people who don't know anyone who could help them

  • The one you STILL cant get... yeah, It's not a superstar until it's available for purchase....

    • Same thing with Ouya also.

      From the Ouya webite - "OUYAâ(TM)s first consoles will ship in early 2013." It's end of march. Time to change the line to - "OUYAâ(TM)s first consoles will ship in *mid* 2013."

      • by RKThoadan (89437)

        The last update said they'll start shipping on March 28th. That's still the first quarter of the year so I don't think it's too big a stretch to call that early 2013.

        If you check you'll note that on the original kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console) March 2013 was the estimated delivery date for physical consoles. I'm incredibly amazed that they're actually hitting that. I expect every kickstarter to deliver at least one quarter behind the estimated dat

        • by IICV (652597)

          The Ogre: Designer's Edition kickstarter is going to ship about a year after their initial estimate, largely because the amount of support they got was ridiculously over their initial expectations.

          Same thing with the Shadowrun Returns project, to the point where that was basically the first thing Jordan said in the first video update after the Kickstarter ended.

          You just have to take Miyamoto's words to heart - a delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is bad forever.

          • You just have to take Miyamoto's words to heart - a delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is bad forever.

            I'll counter with Daikatana and Duke Nukem Forever

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          Morrow Project is pretty much right on schedule. All of those that paid for the pre-release PDF got it this week. and the Pre-release books are going out the door in the next 2 weeks.

  • Kickstarter is a potential source of funding. In that respect, it isn't terribly different from partnerships, banks, and other traditional forms of investment. If you can't convince investors that your product will make it in the market, that you can produce the product, or that you have the ability to operate a business then you aren't going to convince a sane investor to give you money. Kickstarter does differ a little bit from traditional investments in that the customers are doing the investment and

  • There are a lot of outstanding KickStarter projects that are being waited on. Assuming these projects start to finish and depending on the quality of the end-products, the people waiting and other people watching will start to reinvest into other projects.

    Society as a whole isn't going to just keep throwing money at a relatively new idea until I gets more "proven".
  • by paiute (550198) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @07:08AM (#43289875)
    You mean that Kickstarter is so popular nobody goes there anymore?
  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @07:41AM (#43290065)
    The biggest issue I have is it is nigh impossible to easily find projects of interest. Often by the time I find them they are already funded or all the early adopter pricing is gone. I really don't want to do multiethnic searches with many non relevant results to find something worth funding.
  • Can someone explain to me how you browse projects on kickstarter?
    When I click on "Technology" I have an option to chose either "staff picks" or "popular this week", or "recently funded".
    What about browsing non staff picked/recently funded/popular? How do I find those?

    Could that be the reason that some project don't get a single contribution?

    • by Seumas (6865)

      Yeah, they're pretty shitty about that. I've been bugging them for over a year to provide a way to filter down your searches so that you can say "show me everything in the video game and table top gaming categories, ordered by submission date" -- and maybe offer an RSS feed of the resulting filter. To this day, all you can do is drill down and view a category by popularity. Or view them by "most recently added" (but there's no way to do this per-category, so you have to view a never-ending flow of shit with

      • During our work on Our Future in Space video project [kickstarter.com] we learned (I don't know how) that the entire Kickstarter team is, like 6 or 10 people, all of whom are running around with their hair on fire trying to keep everything running. They don't have a lot of time for improvements. Although with the money they're raking in (5% off the top), I would think they should be able to hire a couple more developers.

        • by pubwvj (1045960)

          This is what I learned too. They have too few people. I agree that with the tens of millions of dollars they say they have taken from their 5% cut of projects you would think they could hire a LOT of developers to improve the system. The inability to find projects is a huge limitation of the platform.

    • by RKThoadan (89437)

      I'm a bit disappointed in kickstarter over this as well. They're clearly doing quite well and really don't seem to be doing much to make their site better for either backers or starters.

      My method is to click on the category at the bottom of the page (or click Discover at top and then the category) and then to click "see more popular projects" below the "Popular this week" section. That's the only way I know to see everything, but you still can't sort/filter in any way.

      My impression is definitely that kickst

  • For the most part, this is a blanket article describing the pitfalls of crowdfunding. When you put a bunch of neophyte entrepreneurs in touch with a bunch of neophyte funding sources, there will be these problems. Are these unique to Kickstarter? No. You will find these same pitfalls in startups funded in a variety of other loosely regulated ways, and even in the more tightly regulated ones. Run of the mill fraud, charlatanism, misappropriation, theft, and a host of other abuses abound in "real" busine
  • I confess I'm not much of an expert on Kickstarter, but they only get their fee if the project is at least 100% funded, right? Isn't it possible that people are artificially inflating their targets to account for that?
    • by RKThoadan (89437)

      I certainly hope people are taking that into account (as well as payment processing fees) when setting their targets. If they don't take that into account then they don't have much business sense and I wouldn't want to fund such people. I have seen projects with expense breakdowns showing they have factored that in.

      • by asylumx (881307)
        Actually I was implying that they are setting lofty, unlikely-to-be-reached targets so that they never see a fee.
        • by j-beda (85386)

          Unless the target is reached, the project never sees any money. If anything, this is an incentive to put the target low. I don't know what incentives/disincentives other than a loss of reputation there are to not take the money and run once the project has been funded however. It seems like most highly successful projects have fairly substantial reputations going into the process.

          • by asylumx (881307)
            So Kickstarter won't charge me what I've pledged until the project is 100% funded? Sorry, I've never used it myself, just browsed it and thought it was an interesting implementation.
            • by pubwvj (1045960)

              That is correct, and clearly explained on the Kickstarter project and many (most? almost all?) project pages. Backers are not charged unless enough pledges have been made to meet or exceed the funding goal.

              Project creators need to include in their budget:

              1) Kickstarter's 5%
              2) Amazon's 5% (credit card processing)
              3) Marketing during the project funding drive
              4) Cost to produce products to give to backers
              5) Shipping costs to get products to backers
              6) Development costs of the product

              Wow! #6 might seem like the o

  • Digg/Reddit/Twitter all have the same common problems as Kickstarter. When they started there was a small but dedicated community. Now that each has hit a critical mass point when everyone wants their message to be heard. In Kickerstarter's case the message is 'give me money to build XYZ product.' But there is so much static (junk postings or just bad ideas) that they're downing out the good stuff. And much like Digg/Reddit/Twitter there are scammers or people with good intentions but woefully underest

  • When a Kickstarter project for a bold and ambitious project from Green Ronin, a publisher with a proven track record for making great products, is struggling to meet a reasonable target, I'm left wondering the same thing. Even more so when it's Freeport for Pathfinder ( http://kck.st/Z3Gu3l [kck.st] ), a product with a decade of background for the now de facto D&D game setting. How does that struggle to meet its pledge goal? It should be a slam dunk, IMHO.

    I'm sure Kickstarter will still have significant successe

  • what a particular company or organization does. "Kickstarter" isn't exactly a household name.

    First line of article re-write: "Kickstarter, an online pledge system for funding creative projects, has really taken off in the past year, raising big money for a wide variety of projects."

    • by Daetrin (576516)
      Yeah! How fare they assume that people on Slashdot read Slashdot and know what Slashdot has been talking about [slashdot.org] incessantly [slashdot.org] for the last year.

      I'm sorry if you just joined the site or something, but there comes a certain point where you have to stop explaining the really basic stuff in every single article.

      Next on Slashdot! General Electric (an American company known for producing a wide range of electric devices) is releasing a new toaster (a device for toasting (browning or melting with the application
  • Betteridge's law of headlines [wikipedia.org].

    Seriously.

    So, 11% of ideas were so bad (either inherently, or the execution of their campaigns) that they didn't get a single pledge. You mean Kickstarter isn't just a faucet for the infinite pile of money stored in the magic cloud?

    Taking the briefest of looks at the article, I see roughly 38,000 projects funded so far, and a shade under 50,000 not (or not yet) funded. That's a success rate of better than forty percent. (If you drop all of the egregiously dumb ideas, jo

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      Please rush me my portable walrus polishing kit. Four super brushes to tackle even the trickiest of sea-bound mammals. Yes, I am over 18, although my IQ isn’t.

      Kudos again go to Red Dwarf.
  • Some projects ask for way to much. Ive seen some bands say things like we need money for our new album, shirts & merch, put out the first single on 7", new bass amp and new tour van or trailer. Those project always fail, I want to buy the album, maybe a shirt at some time but not fund the bands entire existence. .
  • The majority of the nearly 50,000 unfunded Kickstarter projects received less than 20 precent of their funding goals, with 11 percent never even getting a single pledge.

    The failure of bad ideas forebodes what exactly? Oh right, this is a slashdot story summary designed to feed the gerbils.

    So much fail, so little time.

  • I won't believe Kickstarter has peaked until Netcraft confirms it.

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