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Author Topic: Yet another reason why a Kickstarter project may fail  (Read 1753 times)

40hz

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Yet another reason why a Kickstarter project may fail
« on: December 21, 2012, 08:30:42 AM »
What is responsible for triggering the biggest Kickstarter project refund ($139,170) in history?

Hint #1 : arbitrary and ridiculous licensing - including licensing terms that haven't been announced yet.

Hint #2 : licensing rules that were changed after the fact

Hint #3 : Apple (Is anybody surprised?)

Interesting article over at Wired about how Apple killed a kickstarter project by once again changing its rules in midstream. Read all about it here and here.

Noteworthy item - the project is refunding 100% of the contributed amount back to the investors - and absorbing the 3% credit card fees plus Kickstarter's 5% cut on all contributions for a total out-of-pocket hit of $11,000.

Three things to take away from the above:

  • There's  still some sense of honor left in the world of business startups.
  • It pays (literally) to understand Kickstarter does not do what it does for free.
  • Any third party who is thinking of doing anything which involves an Apple product seriously needs to have his/her head examined.

And maybe it's just me, but for what little Kickstarter does, 5% seems like a lot to charge for merely providing web exposure.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 08:35:44 AM by 40hz »

wraith808

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Re: Yet another reason why a Kickstarter project may fail
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 08:56:52 AM »
And maybe it's just me, but for what little Kickstarter does, 5% seems like a lot to charge for merely providing web exposure.

I totally agree on that... and good on them for absorbing it.  I've had other projects that I've funded have to absorb fees from various things from Apple douchebaggery to vendor/supplier douchebaggery.  As of yet, I've not been burned.  But even though I've backed a totally silly number of projects, I've not been burned yet.

40hz

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Re: Yet another reason why a Kickstarter project may fail
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 09:13:54 AM »
^Been there too - although my track record for emerging unscathed isn't anywhere near as good as yours. ;D

Still, if nothing else, losing some investment money teaches valuable lessons in the exercise of due diligence and prudence.

But that's a risk you have to be prepared to accept (and be able to afford) if you're investing in anything. A startup is not a game for kids - be they entrepreneurs or investors. Like the old venture capital maxim says:

     "To avoid injury - never play hardball with amateurs."

Fortunately for its investors, this project's management was professional all the way.

Onward! :Thmbsup:

wraith808

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Re: Yet another reason why a Kickstarter project may fail
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 10:13:25 AM »
Well, looking at the comments, even with a full refund, a lot of them aren't happy.  :-\

Carol Haynes

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Re: Yet another reason why a Kickstarter project may fail
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 10:14:31 AM »
And maybe it's just me, but for what little Kickstarter does, 5% seems like a lot to charge for merely providing web exposure.

And yet Apple collect 30% for the same thing!

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Yet another reason why a Kickstarter project may fail
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2012, 10:41:43 AM »
Well, looking at the comments, even with a full refund, a lot of them aren't happy.  :-\

I'd say some of that might be emotional cost. If you are Kickstarting (aka contributing) you become excited and want something to succeed. Then when it crashes and even if you get your money back, you've lost that excitement, and too many times later, it becomes tiring.

40hz

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Re: Yet another reason why a Kickstarter project may fail
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2012, 06:26:32 AM »
In yet another capricious reversal, Apple changes its position once again.

In an article over at The Verge comes this news:

Quote
Yesterday we reported on the POP charging station, an iPhone Kickstarter project run by Jamie Siminoff that had announced it would not be going through with production because Apple's guidelines wouldn't allow it — but now Apple has responded, and that doesn't quite seem to be the case. Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr told us that the an earlier version of its iOS accessory guidelines had indeed prevented the use of both 30-pin and Lightning connectors on the same device — a selling point of the charging station — due to "technical issues," but that those problems had been solved and the guidelines since changed...

Or have they?

Quote
We spoke again with Edison Baby's Jamie Siminoff, who said that he was feeling "much better" after hearing the news about the changes. Should the current guidelines allow the POP to be built as originally pitched, he said, then "1,000 percent we will make it." Siminoff and his team will be talking to the factory they were planning to use to manufacture the product, and will make a formal announcement in around 10 days.

He did exercise some caution, telling us that "What we're hearing right now is Apple PR and not the MFi group." (MFi is the licensing program that controls accessories made for Apple's iOS devices.)...

Be interesting to see where this ultimately goes.


wraith808

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Re: Yet another reason why a Kickstarter project may fail
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2012, 06:50:22 AM »
Yes, it appears to be PR spin at the backlash.  And I'd take his words at face value, i.e. until they go through the approval process and they get a stamp of approval, don't count on it.

It does appear to be a cool device... not only charge all devices with the same device, but have backup power too?  Nice concept.

40hz

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Re: Yet another reason why a Kickstarter project may fail
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2012, 07:26:02 AM »
^Very. I backed it. And I still want one. :)