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Businesses The Almighty Buck Technology

Most Kickstarter Projects Fail To Deliver On Time 179

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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  • Tech time lines (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @05:07PM (#42340599)
    First I plead guilty to the worst time estimating ever. I would probably guess wrong as to how long it will take me to make this post. I have had personal 2 week projects drag on for 6 months no problem. So if anyone has some great rules of thumb I would love to know. 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 have taken a great PMI course and would recommend it to anyone in tech. Yet the PMI stuff was great if the project was fairly straightforward. But most tech projects, especially those found on kickstarter, are not really building projects so much as R&D which by its nature delves into the unknown. So scheduling the unknown is either going to be very fuzzy or lies. Since most people insist on a fixed date they are insisting on being lied to .

    So I would be the last to cast stones and would doubt fraud until the fuzziness of R&D had been eliminated.
  • Common Sense 101 MIA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by epine ( 68316 ) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @06:23AM (#42345983)

    Where have all the smart people gone? I've read several dozen posts and not one has pointed out that the problem of promising a scalar delivery date before determining subscription level can't possibly optimize over a metric of on-time delivery.

    Kickstarter projects should be providing an estimated delivery date as a function of subscription level, where x1 (or less) is the number most projects now promote, but you also have numbers for x3, x10, x30, and x100. Out my ass, I'd guess you could fit a curve to existing Kickstarter data that would add six weeks to the deadline for each multiple of 3 in oversubscription level.

    The Pebble project actually hit x100, so a realistic ship date in my mind might be 4x6=24 weeks later than the originally promised early fall delivery date.

    The positive influence of having substantially greater funds to deploy (Pebble hired more people than originally planned) is wiped out and then some by the hugely increased risk level. If Pebble manufactures 85,000 watches, ships most of them out immediately, then discovers that 20% of the devices fail in under three months due to faulty moisture control or creeping solder whiskers, they might as well just blow the hole thing up.

    Who is going to show up with $2,000,000 to bail them out of a huge PR fiasco?

    One could say that the Pebble originally promised is late. Or one could say that the originally promised Pebble will never ship because it no longer exists. I tend to take the second view. The Pebble that ships 6 months downstream of the delivery date promoted during the funding cycle is not the same device. The manufacturing standards are higher, the QA standards are higher, additional features have been added (higher level BT standard, additional waterproofing), and the development environment should be further along (though I haven't seen any tangible evidence of this as yet).

    The whole problem here begins with the phrase "The Pebble". "The Pebble" people thought they were buying/endorsing ceased to exist as the subscription level climbed toward the first $1,000,000 (the x10 subscription level). Pebble went deep into the regime of "a Pebble" from a spectrum of possible Pebble delivery scenarios.

    The Pebble promoted was supposed to be manufactured in the S.F. region. The Pebble delivered will have been manufactured off shore in China. Until the subscription level was determined, we were truthfully talking about a Pebble modulo volume and risk. There's not even any point in totting up on-time delivery statistics without confronting the central fiction of the Kickstarter model.

    When I signed up mid-snowball I viewed it as a quantum superposition of two entrepreneurial stories: A) a relatively low volume run with mid grade QA, immature tools, and a small target market; B) a high volume run with high volume QA standards, somewhat mature tools, and a moderately large target market for app developers.

    The story was acceptable to me, either way. One watch, two stories. Kickstarter is not a single story engagement, even if the convention holds that only one of these stories is mentioned during project promotion.

    A person has to be in some profound eigenstate of stupid, uniformed, myopic, deluded, distracted, self-serving, or litigious to fail to figure this out.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN