As many crowdsourced projects often fail to deliver (figuratively and literally), companies like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have started breaking down barriers between the platforms and their campaigners and backers.
When Mousr, an autonomous cat toy maker, raised $17k over the company’s $100k goal, the company took the money and got to work, setting an approximate shipping date within a year of launch.
But backers didn’t receive their toy until 4 years later (around a quarter of the average cat’s lifespan), meaning many of the cats had died before getting to play with ol’ android vermin surprise.
The reality is…
Crowdfunded gadgets are often delayed for months or years, sometimes never shipping at all.
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To address mishaps like Mousr (and too many others to count), Kickstarter and Indiegogo have made changes designed to keep backers informed, provide a fail-safe to campaigners, and ensure accountability if they do.
That’s enough from the peanut gallery
- Both companies have added third-party resources and tools to help get first-time hardware makers through the production process.
- Indiegogo told The Verge it will also launch multiple campaigns this year with an optional “guaranteed delivery” badge that tells backers they’ll either receive their product or get a refund.
- Under this model, founders won’t receive their raised funds until they begin to ship — which means companies have to already have enough cash to develop and make their product.
Doesn’t this defeat the purpose?
While it’s obviously good to have support, the very core concept of crowdfunding is the idea of risk and reward. Without those elements, what is it?