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Kickstarter simplified its rules for projects, what does this mean for hardware entrepenuers?

Kickstarter removed the old criteria for hardware projects that requiredentrepreneursto show their work to backers, and to detail their background and how they will complete (manufacture) their project. Now, backers must decide whether or not a hardware project is feasible with less information. Could this lead to more delayed projects or the erosion of confidence in crowdfunding as a platform to invest in new products.

5 Replies

Sean McBeth
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Sean McBeth Entrepreneur
Chief Technology Officer at Highland Fundraising Solutions, LLC
Probably not, for the same reason I suspect they are removing the rule: because it didn't seem to have much of an effect in the first place. Projects were already woefully under-delivering or even completely falling off the radar. Perhaps, by removing the perception of control, it will encourage funders to be more circumspect in their selections.
John Anderson
0
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John Anderson Entrepreneur
Senior Mobile Developer at Propelics
I think that backers will need to have some common sense and a bit of reality in the complexity of a project and use that to gauge it's feasibility. I recently backed a fairly simple LED USB Charger project (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/idamerica/led-portable-charger), and as of right now it's right on schedule. I would guess more complex projects, such as 3D printers, will have a higher rate of delays...or worse.
Sean Murphy
2
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Sean Murphy Advisor
Founder and Product Engineering Director at Igor Institute
I think the change says more about competition between the crowdfunding platforms and Kickstarter's desire to stay in front. The review process doesn't scale well and as mentioned above it's questionable the impact it had on the quality of campaigns and their subsequent success rate.

In general I think CF platforms in a bind in that from a revenue perspective that want to be perceived as a storefront for gadgets, but they can't stand behind the campaigns. From a consumer/backer POV, the platforms are not an advocate; they take a cut of the money and refer backers to the campaign. From the entrepreneurs view, they have to wonder if the service they get from the platform is worth the cost. Primarily the entrepreneur needs to drive traffic and press coverage to the platform. When the campaign ends, they suddenly need to shift traffic they've been pushing to the platform to their own site.

It's possible the quality on KS will go down as a result of the change. It equally possible it will boost revenues and lower overhead. CF has always been about the idea that there's a huge supply of great ideas out there that didn't have an avenue to get funded. The platforms have helped HW development become fashionable, and that's bringing investors back to the table. That good news for entrepreneurs who have built a credible development team.
Shobhit Verma
0
0
Shobhit Verma Entrepreneur • Advisor
building an adaptive recommendation engine
It means more revenue for kickstarter!
Steve Owens
0
0
Steve Owens Entrepreneur • Advisor
Finish Line - A Better Way for Small Companies to Develop Products
My guess is that if you can not create some kind of credibility, either through your team, or a product development company, you are not likely to get any backers.
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