Kickstarter isn’t a store anymore

Over the past few months, we’ve seen an increasing amount of Kickstarter projects making it into the Hackaday tip line. We don’t mind all these emails from people trying to get their Kickstarter project off the ground, but reading through all the emails of people wanting us to pitch their stuff does get a little bothersome.

It looks like our problem of having to go through dozens of Kickstarter hardware projects a week is about to change. Kickstarter is implementing a few new rules for hardware and product design projects. The new rules prohibit product simulations. This means project creators can’t suggest what the product might do in the future. Only what the prototype can currently do is allowed in the Kickstarter project. Also, product renders aren’t allowed. The only pictures allowed on your Kickstarter project are photos as the prototype currently exists.

There’s also another catch for hardware and product design projects: offering multiple quantities of a reward are prohibited. Of course there’s a provision for things that only make sense as a set (building blocks, for instance), but it looks like funding an Arduino-compatible ATtiny85 board and getting multiple boards is out of the question now.

Of course Kickstarter is looking at the long-term, trying to dissuade project creators from taking the money and running off to South America. We’re wondering what the effect will be in the coming months, though; under these rules Ouya wouldn’t have passed Kickstarter’s litmus test, and smaller projects depending on Kickstarter funding for tooling and molds probably wouldn’t either.

The new changes are probably for the best, and will certainly speed up how long it takes us to go through our email. We’re wondering what HaD readers think of the change, so post your thoughts in the comments after the break.

Comments

  1. MakerDino says:

    Hmm good to know as I have a product I’m going to pitch there soon. :)

    Oh was that a plug? Haha,, yes it was… sort of. :)
    Thanks H-A-D.

  2. drakonite says:

    I’m confused. How does limiting it to only show existing products and not allowing speculative information make it not a store? If anything, they are moving more toward being a store and less about funding projects.

    • le samourai says:

      I agree with this. If all I could show on my kickstarter page was a cobbled-together, hand-built prototype and no renders that I’d make real once I received funding for tooling, etc., I have a feeling people wouldn’t read into page. This is how a VC meeting goes, you’ve got to wow your potential investors with the idea and the foresight, or you won’t raise a penny.

      • saul_goode says:

        People can still do what they do, they just have to put a little more effort into what they are trying to convey.

        Instead of just knocking something together in a design program and hitting [PrntScn], the have to go through the effort to actually build a prototype now.

        Just having an idea and a concept is not enough, now they have to believe in their own idea enough to invest something more than a couple hours hours with some software.

    • Caleb Kraft says:

      I agree also, though I feel like maybe some clarification from kickstarter might make things more clear. Maybe they mean that you have to clearly show a functional prototype, not JUST a mockup.

    • mstone says:

      It cuts out the vaporware and promotional fluff.

      For every designer out there trying to do real R&D, there are a thousand people willing to hire a graphic artist to render something that’s physically, technically, or economically impossible. It’s easy to write promotional copy that leads people to think a project is legit, but will then run into “technical issues” and either scale back what’s delivered or fail to deliver anything at all.

      • Pinky's Brain says:

        Why single out hardware and “product design”? The dangers of non or poor delivery of say computer games or feminist propaganda videos, with the developer pocketing most of the money, is just as high.

        Kickstarter is inherently an extremely insecure means of funding something which requires extreme faith, naivety or stupidity to put up your money.

        Any project on Kickstarter for which it isn’t essentially a store isn’t worth the money. For most of the projects I would want to have at least a small share in the profit, a contractual limit on how much of the funds the developer can tap over time and a voting right to pull the plug if milestones aren’t being met (ie. I want to be treated like a real investor, instead of the schmucks which most people putting money into kickstarter are).

      • WestfW says:

        Well put. I recently went through the list of “most funded” technical projects, and was pretty shocked at how many seemed beyond believable, and seemed to have been funded based on very flimsy “ideas.”

    • mstone says:

      Having built and shipped electronics, I can say with certainty that if you don’t have a working prototype, you aren’t ready to ask for production funding. It’s way too easy to order a run of boards and then find a missed connection or mechanical issue.

      I can also say from experience that you don’t need $20,000 to fund a run of prototypes. If you can’t raise $1000 to get a short run of products made, run a project for funding at that level. The rewards will have to be different (at $5, you get a picture of the assembled prototypes and a button that says, “you rock!”), but it’s a different pitch to a different audience.

      The point is that this forces designers to think about their projects in three stages: development, initial production, and retail. You need strategies for all three, and Kickstarter only wants to be the broker for the first two.

      As for the multiple rewards restriction, that’s just another spur to get developers thinking about their retail strategy.. I don’t see any rule that says you can’t keep a list of angel investors and offer them deep discounts through the retail outlet where you distribute the product. You can’t offer that as a reward (no coupons), but that doesn’t mean you can’t build some nice surprises into your retail strategy.

      I also don’t see any rule that says you can’t offer perks to people who invested in a previous stage of the project (“people who invested in the R&D project will get rewards one level above what they pay this time”). Again, you can’t promise it in advance, but I don’t see anything preventing you from being good to people after the fact.

      • With my project I had a very good working prototype, but that was not enough either. I’ve put much more work into transforming my prototype into something that I can produce at quantity than I did at creating the prototype.

      • different chris says:

        Getting funding for projects in phases is a properly brilliant idea. It lets people at the beginning know that they’re paying for realization of a prototype, then lets people later on see that you’re serious about delivering on it in its final form. I doubt that sort of thing is possible on Kickstarter anymore, but if they change their rules again that’s definitely something to keep in mind.

    • MorbiousStone says:

      yup no more idea funding only product sales

    • dude says:

      That is absolutely right. If you can only show the prototype than no one would invest. If someone wanted to make a very simple video game console for instance than I think a lot of people would not invest because what they are showing is a messy board with some chips and wire hanging off and a tv showing some floating characters. Which leads me to my next point. Even a “prototype” can be faked. No renders but a fake version of the final hardware. How is no renders going to help at all. It will only hurt the people who are relying on kickstarter to help them make their product. It will also loose kickstarter some money as well. My next point is of a legal point. Most of the time when someone is making a prototype they use what they can. What if this said video game console used a nintendo controller during prototyping and nintendo saw this and threatened to sue thinking they were copying hardware or similar. The developers would most likely have to close shop because they couldn’t possibly afford to defend themselves in any way. This is just one scenario where it would be bad to show the prototype. Another is somebody might be able to see what parts your using and either copy it or lambast it. Both not being very helpful at all. Also there are times when you can not even make a prototype at all before making a retail ready version. Think of all the people who want to make kits and not retail ready parts. Or a company trying to make a piece of hardware so small that there couldn’t be a useful picture of it at all. How could they make a prototype? “see this picture of a big breadboard? trust us we are totally going to make it 5 cm small”. I see no benefits to forcing only showing “real” protos and completely excluding renders. You are being hugely naive if you think this will in any way stop people from collecting money and not delivering. I think this is a short sighted very naive move on kickstarters part. Having it this way makes kickstarter much more of a store than it already is. Maybe that’s what they really want in the hardware division.

  3. woutervddn says:

    goodbye all great products that lost their only chance to get real now (thinking about 80% of hardware on kickstart) o/

    • Tony says:

      That might not be a bad thing.

      I think 80% of tech KickStarters wind up with comments pages full of “Update please!”, “I’m going to sue you!”, “Where are my glasses!”.

      Surely someone has a ‘grumpy backers’ blog – I funded a KickStarter and all I got was, um, guys….?

      It makes for entertainingly depressing reading.

  4. S says:

    My favorite example of the Kickstarter crap is “blink(1)”

    1)The guy already has extensive distribution – almost any major DIY-electronics store

    2)The guy already has plenty of variants and whatnot, proving that design/securing capital/handling production/etc isn’t a problem for him.

    3)The pricing was such that the more you bought, the MORE expensive it was per-item, despite the fact that per-unit cost drops as quantity in the order goes up. Which is why damn near most businesses offer quantity discounts.

    4)#3 was on top of the already absurd pricing.

    Another good example would be the 50,000 idiots trying to design a better bike light – and in the process, prove they’re completely incompetent (for example, designing lights that mount near the rim, placing them where they’d get dirtiest, wettest, the most physical damage, AND cause the biggest increase in rotational mass.)

    • Anders Frihagen says:

      (note: I am a backer of the blink(1))
      >”My favorite example of the Kickstarter crap is >“blink(1)”
      I think it is a neat piece of fun!

      >1)The guy already has extensive distribution – >almost any major DIY-electronics store
      So? That ought to be an indication that the guy will not do a runner..

      >2)The guy already has plenty of variants and >whatnot, proving that design/securing >capital/handling production/etc isn’t a problem >for him.
      Great! Now my chances for loosing my money is even less!

      >3)The pricing was such that the more you bought, >the MORE expensive it was per-item, despite the >fact that per-unit cost drops as quantity in the >order goes up. Which is why damn near most >businesses offer quantity discounts.
      Todays maths lesson: 1 blink: $30 a piece, 2 blinks: $27,5 a piece, 5 blinks: ok, $28 :-), 10 blinks: $27, 20 blinks: $27, 40 blinks: $25. Buying in quantity is not an extremely good business, the pricing is a bit strange. But is this supposed to be illegal? Immoral? Not good for business? Surely.. _Six_ people bought more than 10 blinks.

      >4)#3 was on top of the already absurd pricing.
      I found the pricing quite ok..

  5. SavannahLion says:

    When I initially read these rules, I was thinking this was really going to put a kink in a lot of project starters. But as I read into it more, it seems to make a bit more sense.

    I hate the renderings. Most of the time you can tell they’re renderings, but where’s the actual product? Looking at a beautiful rendering is one thing, and yes it does help visualize what the project may look like. But I want the real deal.

    I am disappointed in the product limits. Ordering 3 or 4 or 5 multiples of a particular product is very enticing and I have come close to backing such projects. In the end, I have not because I found better deals elsewhere for very comparable products at far better prices.

    That leads me into my next point. I’d like to see a step taken to stop repackaging and re-badging existing products like this one featured on HaD not too long ago http://hackaday.com/2012/08/27/theres-trouble-brewin-on-the-ol-kickstarter-site/

  6. Ben Wright says:

    Well it looks like Kickstarter will be falling off the map – for technology projects. If the projects have to be to the the point of working prototype and finished project to photograph – that would knock all but a couple projects off the site. Some of their best technology projects were based on simulations and rendering. The pebble watch – roy the robot – open beam. Yes these products had working prototypes – but what sold the ideal was the rendering and what the finished product could do. Bad move for kickstarter. From what i understand only a couple of the products have been delayed and CNN even had an artilce about how the site now warns backers to invest at their own risk.

  7. AdamOutler says:

    The worst kick starter type project I ever saw was one where you get nothing of value even if you donate $10,000… your name on a website, an invite to the corporate office. The worst part is the renderings were nearly impossible and if possible, fragile. I think this is for the best. This will force people to actually make something before asking for a years salary before they begin making something.

  8. RSH says:

    What bugs me is that the KickStarter funding model is not legal in Canada. I’ve spent 30K so far of my own, need 20K to finish. Not even sure if it’s eligible because it doesn’t really fit in a single category. Looking for someone really trustworthy and reliable in the US who can stick his/her name on it for say a 10% cut.

    • Tony says:

      “Invest” 40% for a 10% cut? No thanks.

      You need to offer a bigger cut, otherwise you’ll wind up with 100%, and nothing.

      • adcurtin says:

        he wants 20k from ks. the person would just be the front of the kickstarter, and get 10% for (and of) that.

        However, that person’s name would be associated with the project, not RSH, making it really easy for RSH to take the money and run (after he gets it of course).

        Also, taxes would be difficult to figure out.

      • Tony says:

        Ah, a KickStarter fowarding service.

        Hence the requirement for trustworthiness, can’t have them running off with the money before he does.

      • dan says:

        yeah, invest 40% of te money for a 10% cut of the profits…
        you only get 10% of the profits because you’ve invested 0% of the ideas, and 0% of the marketing strategy, 0% of ongoing running costs etc.

        too many people seem to think that all there is to a business is getting money, first you need ideas that work and are possible, then you need to prove those ideas, then you seek capitol.
        whether that’s through kick start, VC, or entrepreneurial funding.

        and they are all different things.
        as for what you invest, and what you get back, well it depends on the amount you invest as a percentage, and the amount of work you do as a percentage.
        money only backers get less, backers that bring both money and experience of how to run a business generally get more.

        if you seek funding and ask for 50% funding promising 50% of profits, when your investor will do 0% of work, then you’re an idiot.

      • Tony says:

        Ideas are cheap (hell, Kickstarter is full of them…).

        If you ask a VC for funding, odds are the going rate is 51%. Yep, 51% as in ‘we’ll give you money if you give us the company’.

        If offered, take it. 49% of a funded company is better than 100% of a broke one. You’d be an idiot not to.

      • dan says:

        @tony, whilst I agree that as the idea haver you’ve got a choice of taking investment and giving equity, or saying goodbye to whatever you put in already (indeed a 10% return on a 50% stake is better than a 100% loss). that does not mean that a 50% stake without doing work is worth 50% equity.

        Indeed bad idea might be cheap, but good ideas certainly are not. neither are the skills and expertise of good designers.

        but lets assume that you’re right.
        OK, find a good idea workable idea and offer to pay 100% of the start up costs.

        i.e it’s currently cost $10k to get a working prototype and $20k for the patent.
        needs $30k to get to mass market.

        That does not make the business worth $60k. -as the business worth has to include potential future profits, and those profits depend on the idea, and the ability of the idea haver…

        let’s just make up a scenario.
        in R&D costs, thus far, and patents lets say that the iphone 5 took $100M to bring to market.

        Does that mean that I could go in with $100M and buy the business? no. because the business is worth much more, assuming that they project that they will sell 1bn units (worldwide) at a price of $500 that makes the business worth in the order of $500M, so my $100M (cost to market) is most definitely not the worth of the business.
        and just because that is the cost to market, investing that should not get me a 100% equity stake.

        indeed that’s only 20% of year 1 profits, my $100M is likely to get me less than 10%.

        bad ideas are cheap. good ideas from respected designers, or those with proven track records certainly are not.

        playing out hypothetical situations it’s easy to see how a 100% investment stake in the right idea might only get you a 10% (or less) stake of equity

        however the reverse is also true.
        you might want to dangle a 50% equity stake in front of a VC whilst only asking for a 10% investment, but you’d also be telling them that you’re just a simple inventor, you will need to lean on them for teaching or rely on their experience of being able to streamline processes, you’ll need the help of their existing lawyers, you want to make use of their existing business contacts for distribution.

        the point is. (as it was the first time I made the post) 50% investment does not automatically equal a 50% equity. there are many factors to consider.

      • Tony says:

        Ideas are cheap, even good ones.

        @Dan, while what you say makes sense, that’s not how VC works. If you aren’t willing to give up most of you company, you won’t get funded.

        Without funding, you and your idea are nothing.

        Read up on Bob Metcalfe (Ethernet), he wound up with very little of his company, but realised that was better than 100% of nothing.

        Or Google ‘StarLite’, that bloke is so paranoid, and like you say, refuses to give people more than a few % equity that after decades of work he has nothing.

        If StarLite works, even if he gave up 99% of his idea he’d still be swimming in money. As it is he has nothing.

    • GaspingSpark says:

      You could look into setting up a US-based corporation in a low-tax state like Delaware or Nevada to handle the fundraising. In the US corporations are people.

      • Ed Minchau says:

        Corporations are considered people everywhere, dating back to the Roman Empire, which used literal straw men to represent the corporate “person”. The “corp” part of the word means “body”.

  9. AdamOutler says:

    When I donate to a kick starter, I want to see that you are competent at making things… not that you can render a 3d object. Anything is possible to render.

  10. Danny says:

    With the current affordable acces to 3D print services it should be no problem to create a physical prototype. If you can design a product and can create a rendering then you can also create a model suitable for 3D printing. If you are not able or willing to do the limited investment of something like that then it is also not reasonable to ask for other peoples money.

  11. Grazz256 says:

    Doesn’t this go against what kickstarter is all about? If you have a product already what do you need kickstarter for? Marketing?
    On the plus side, maybe this will make some space for sites that Canadians can use.

    • Tony says:

      A finished product is a bit different to a prototype.

      Money gives you the chance to change production techniques and crank out volume at low cost, not to mention the ability to purchase raw materials at wholesale prices.

      A metal part that was manually machine might go to CNC, then to laser/waterjet cut, or then even to die stamping.

      A plastic case that took hours to print on a RepRap could have a mold made so you can injection mold one ever few seconds for a few cents each.

      And marketing, of course.

      • Grazz256 says:

        This of course assumes you have the $6000 in machining equipment to build a fully functional prototype that matches the end product. Not to mention the time and money to run multiple versions to tweak it to a point that its functionality meets the end product.

        So if you have thousands of dollars and hundreds of free hours aka already employed building your product then yes, kickstarter will be perfect for you.

        If on the other hand you have a great idea and need help getting it off the ground, aka a kickstart you are SOL.

        That is of course speaking strictly to metal work, circuit boards can be prototyped substantially cheaper…

      • Tony says:

        $6000 buys very little equipment…

        Have money means instead of banging up something in your shed, you can outsource it.

        Same as your PCB, you can make the prototype yourself; with money you send the gerbers off and order 1,000 of them, those will be better and cheaper than anything you can make.

        Getting one made is expensive, 1,000 is cheap (per unit).

      • Grazz256 says:

        Yeah, I was just thinking a knee mill and a lathe, maybe a little bit of tooling.

      • Tony says:

        You really should have all that before you go to Kickstarter.

        I’ve got those sort of tools (little Chinese lathe & mill, laser cutter, powder coat gun etc) so I could run up a pretty good prototype. $6,000 can buy you all that.

        But I’m not going to make 1,000 of them after the Kickstarter, I’ll go to my local engineering shop and they can run them off on their fancy $2,000,000 CNC center.

        Sure, I’ll get a few test ones done first, and they’ll relatively expensive, but I can afford to do that now.

    • engineersteve says:

      For quantity discounts. I have a product I can proto for 100 bucks. If I put down 20k to get volume discounts I can build for 20 ra and sell for 30. It’s not worth buying if I charge 5x that…

  12. Chris C. says:

    You pay a certain amount, you expect to get a certain product or service in return. That is the very definition of a store, and exactly how Kickstarter is designed to work. Doesn’t matter one bit that they call the customers “investors”, or the products “rewards”.

    It’s already a very bad store, with shipping times and buyer risk that make fly-by-night Chinese sellers, and even mail-in rebate companies, green with envy.

    Making it even worse by setting strict minimum/maximum order quantities, denying customers at least a mock-up of the product they’ll hopefully be getting, and shouting “we’re not a store”; all does not change the fact that at its core, it’s still modeled after a store. And as long as it feels like a store, that’s how people will try to use it.

    • tedmeyers says:

      I totally agree. Kickstarter is a store, regardless of what they claim; they just want to be the type of store where customers send them money, and the customers may or may not receive their purchases at the whim of the project creator. Kickstarter already has shown that once they get paid, they don’t give a crap, this is just another excuse for them to brush off the ripped-off and angry customers. Don’t believe me, just look at some of their forums.

      • backSlider says:

        That sound more like a casino. I remember, when I first heard about kick starter, thinking “well I’m not an invester and this would be a stupid way to buy things, I guess it’s just not for me” then I started hearing about it everywhere and I thought “this will not end well, look at ebay now…”

  13. FDP says:

    My only problem with the new rules is the stipulation against product renders. Having to create a visually accurate physical model of an end-product can be a financial barrier to entry for small businesses and individuals. Having to photograph it adds another layer of cost. As any designer knows, it is much cheaper to use wood, wax, paper, styrofoam, etc. for prototyping than steel, aluminum, or properly finished plastic. While I really like that Kickstarter has stepped up to the plate to try to put in a “reality filter” for projects, I do think that projects should be allowed to show renders for the purpose of demonstrating final materials and look. Make the designer show the prototype, but then also allow them to demonstrate to the investor what will be expected in the final version! Let’s not keep someone from realizing their ideas because they can’t afford the hundreds of dollars of manufacturing costs needed to visualize a final product.

    • Tony says:

      If you can’t make a prototype, then there’s no way in hell you’re going to get a finished product done.

      The whole point of a prototype is to shake the bugs out, the ‘oh yeah, that doesn’t really work’ moments.

      • Phil says:

        Aye, but there’s nothing wrong with a prototype being butt ugly. Consider http://hackaday.com/2011/06/07/arduino-hits-the-battlefield-for-real/
        Does that look like anything you’d want your life depending on? The end product will be ruggedized and tested to within an inch of its life but expecting the team to make a single unit at full strength would have dooomed the project to failure.

        In that case the scruffy, arduino prototype isn’t a problem because they’re aiming for funding from people who are familiar with the process. But Kickstarters aren’t dealing with DARPA or Venture Capitalists; they’re dealing with schmucks like us.

      • Tony says:

        That’s ok for proof of concept, it’s further than most people get to.

        Grab a 3D printer, whip up a case, a dab of camouflage paint and put it up on KickStarter.

        That’d be more in line with what KickStarter wants, but given KickStarter has gone WYSIWYG, it kind of defeats the point of asking for money so we can finish it properly.

      • FDP says:

        I agree wholeheartedly that projects should have to show a prototype, this is a change that I support (I was hoping that would be made clear in my first post). I just think it doesn’t help communication between creators and backers to not be able to show product renders. Communicating intent is important, why limit the amount of information that can be transmitted to potential backers? A prototype, more often than not, looks like a prototype.

    • Tony says:

      Just remembered the perfect example for ‘renders suck – make a prototype’ – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1791911961/i-case-iphone-4s-and-iphone-4-bumper-case

      “Hey look, wrapping a chunk of metal around a phone kills the signal. Well, fancy that.”

  14. mofoq says:

    sounds like there will soon be a need for a competitor to Kickstarter….”jumpstarter”?

    • EtherMan says:

      There’s already plenty of kickstarter alternatives. http://www.indiegogo.com/ being the most popular one, and it has no country restrictions either.

    • kirillre4 says:

      Yeah, something full of renders and empty promisses. Should be called “Fakestarter”. Seriously, they should have done this long time ago. I’m not against using renders (for the finished, “retail” version of product – cause sometime you are building prototypes with stuff you get out of trash bins, and such prototypes ain’t pretty), really, but it should be allowed only with demonstration of working prototype.

      • EtherMan says:

        So because it uses renders it’s fake?
        http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coolminiornot/relic-knights uses several renders, so by your reasoning this is fake right? Well sorry but CMON are well known and trusted. Yet a project like that will no longer be possible on kickstarter. Hell the entire Board and cardgames sections will with this change… Die because they wont be possible anymore. Technology section will turn into a pure store and the open software section, will also die completely. Art, comics, design, all gone… These rules only hinder legit stuff. If the maker wanted to just make a fake project, do you REALLY think they couldnt make a prototype out of fricking styrofoam? Does not allowing to speak of what it will be able to do when its done, in ANY way hinder a fake from claiming their styrofoam box have any of those functions already? These rules will do NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING to stop fakes… They are made around assumptions that people actually FOLLOW rules, when at the same accepting that the people they’re trying to make up rules against, dont follow rules anyway. It’s just crazy.

      • kirillre4 says:

        EtherMan (sorry, doesn’t seem like i’am able to reply directly), first of all I’m not even sure that this restrictions will affect any sections you mentioned. It’s only about hardware and product design, so art and board games still can use anything they want – renders, kids drawings, watercolors etc.. Also, page you linked has a video and photos of actual products, so it’s completely legit (and I guess having renders for miniatures is pretty much 80% percents of work done – all what is left is to prepare models for 3d-printing). Also about styrofoam prototypes – at least they would be trying. Nowadays you don’t even have to do anything except renders. And I wouldn’t backup anything without video of prototype in work. Doubt that styrofoam model of new 3d printer can do actual printing. There still might be fakes, yes. But there will be less scammers, that’s for sure.

      • kirillre4 says:

        And to addition to previous comment. It’s not really big difference with comics and board games. I understand, when a comics running a fundraiser to print books – product is already ready, pages of it are already online and such campaign is completely legit. But funding dude with claim “gimme 500000000$ and I will draw you kewl comics about jedis riding raptors and fighting zombies with lightchainsaws”? That shouldn’t even be allowed to be posted. And miniatures. Renders might be awesome, all right. But you can encounter f*ing million of issues trying to produce them: they might not be able to stand due to shifted center of mass; you might not be able to produce them with advertised resolution and level of details – anything could happen and that’s why you should have prototype. Seems like main problem of kickstarter is that people don’t want invest in their own creations at all – they are planning to get everything, including prototype’s costs from others. It shouldn’ be like that.
        Also, another great name for competing buisness – “Kickscammers”.

      • EtherMan says:

        Indeed it does not affect those sections and that wasnt the point… The point was that those rules are killer for sections like it. And kickstarter obviously knows that since they dont apply it to more than the sections that “only” will get turned into 100% stores because of it… And you say “Also, page you linked has a video and photos of actual products,” Which sure, it has videos of SOME of the minis. The videos display a very limited range of minis, everything else, are concept art and 3d models. Also, models for such games arnt 3d printed… 3d printing cant even remotely get to the detail level that figure gamers are looking for. Come back when a 3d printer can print the individual chains perfectly on a chainmail armor of a 2inch figure. No they are molded so the 3d model, isnt even used for the finished product. What is left to do, is sculpt the master, make the master molds from the master, create the resin sources, and then make the production molds, and then you can start making the actual figures. So it’s just as far away from the finished product as any hardware project without any prototype.

        And for styrofoam… How they HELL are they trying to do anything by doing it as a styrofoam instead of a render? It’s the EXACT SAME THING. Do you know car prototypes used to build the prototypes out of styrofoam before 3d modeling? A styrofoam model, is NOTHING other than a physical 3d model and it offers NOTHING that a 3d model did not and it is in no way more proof of the product existing than a 3d model does. That’s just pure ignorance to think it does and will just lead to you getting scammed because of the new system because kickstarter instills a false sense of security because of the rules… And sure, YOU might not back up a styrofoam model of a 3d printer but then, how exactly did the old rules force you to fund such projects before? They didnt… Everyone can have their own set of rules for when THEY want to fund a project and when they dont. And no, there will not be any less scammers… The rules does NOTHING to prevent them. I just explained WHY they do nothing to prevent them and you STILL think it prevents them?

        As for you second comment, if someone wants to fund a project that wants 500 million to draw a comic… Why should YOU get to stop them? You have given no reason for WHY such a project shouldnt be allowed other than obviously, that you wouldnt fund it… Which isnt a reason at all. Kickstarter has never been your private little playground with only projects you wish to fund now is it? And yes there can be all kinds of issues with renders. That’s why the renders might now represent the final product and we as funders know full well that the design of it may change. As for resolution, well you dont know miniature games since as I explained above, they’re not printed, they’re molded and can have any resolution you want, and there are solutions for center of mass problems and all that as well if needed. As for not investing in their own creations at all… Im sorry, was kickstarter suddenly renamed kickfinish? And even if we assume they’re not investing themself… Who are you to say they even CAN? If a collage dropout living in his moms basement, has a super idea… Why should he not be ABLE to get funding to realize that idea? But he would obviously not have anything to personally invest in the idea except the work, which requires funding. People cant live on air you know. Without funding there would be no project. I see nothing wrong in that and you have given absolutely no reason why it’s wrong either other than “it shouldnt be like that” which isnt at all a reason, it’s just an incorrect statement.

        • dan says:

          but whether it’s 3d printed or carved from plaster.

          a proper model, (not a render) at least proves that what you can make is makable, and that any centre of gravity issues are resolved.

          and to be fair, if you are artistically unable to make/carve the models, what are you doing trying to get money off of people saying that you are launching a range of models!?

      • EtherMan says:

        1. Minis are makeable in any form or shape.
        2. Center of gravity issues have multiple ways to fix and are never any actual problem for minis. But even if it was, we as backers understand that renders are just that, renders, and may not represent the final product. There’s no promise that it will be exactly like that.
        3. Showing the finished master, does not show you can carve the model. Nor does it show you cant by not showing. And if as an example, they show 20 minis out of 200 minis to be produced… Well the new rules would prevent that as well (if applied to that category) because you couldnt speak of the future so they would only be allowed to show those 20 minis and say nothing about the other 180 ones that are planned…
        4. As for what they are doing asking for money.. Well isnt that obvious? To get funding to be able to start the project… Your questions actually suggests that only millionares are allowed to post on kickstarter because seriously, that’s the only people that could quit their job to work on something for kickstarter, long enough to be able to fullfill the requirements in that case.

      • kirillre4 says:

        >>A styrofoam model, is NOTHING other than a physical 3d model and it offers NOTHING that a 3d model did not and it is in no way more proof of the product existing than a 3d model does.

        Exactly my point. That’s why it should require a video of working prototype. And I pretty much sure it will require that.

        >>That’s just pure ignorance to think it does and will just lead to you getting scammed because of the new system because kickstarter instills a false sense of security because of the rules…

        Well, it will. At least partially. Because right now it’s “Hey, I just put together two cubes in Maya/AutoCAD/whatever, I shall put this on Kickstarter, write that it cures cancer and wait for free money!”. And there will be someone retarded enough to back it. And with new rules it will be like “All right, to scam this people I should design something believable, made a reallife model, paint it properly, make good photos…”. Too much hassle, half of scammers will give up after “design smth believable”. And if prototyping will require to demonstrate working prototype on video – there will left only thoose scammers who would’ve scammed you anyway since they have working prototype.

        >>As for you second comment, if someone wants to fund a project that wants 500 million to draw a comic… Why should YOU get to stop them? You have given no reason for WHY such a project shouldnt be allowed other than obviously, that you wouldnt fund it…

        Because it harm site and idea itself. It already have not that good image, and when someone retarded enough will fund it (and ffs, there is always someone retarded enough) and gets nothing out of it? He will start law suits. And most probably first will be for Kickstarter itself.

        >>As for resolution, well you dont know miniature games since as I explained above, they’re not printed, they’re molded and can have any resolution you want, and there are solutions for center of mass problems and all that as well if needed.

        Right, I just have a little WH40K army to play with friends sometimes and not really into their production process. But i do know about molding. THough I do know that there is printers with high enough resolutions to print 2 inch miniature. For example resin-based 3d printers. And I know that Games Workshop already start suits against people putting 3d-printing-ready models on the internet (it was here on HaD. Or maybe on Make, I’m not sure). Putting those two together we might suppose that it’s not too much surreal. Of course it’s too expensive and slow for mass production. But for prototype? Doable. But anyway, this restrictions are not for art, minis, comics etc.. It’s for hardware.

        >>As for not investing in their own creations at all… Im sorry, was kickstarter suddenly renamed kickfinish?

        Shoul have been long ago, at keast hardware part. Then, probably, I would have separated projects only in two categories, suc as “want/don’t want” and not into “fucking retarded/plain retarded/still retarded, but at least believable/available from china for 50 cents per lot/seems legit/might be actually good/want”

        >>And even if we assume they’re not investing themself… Who are you to say they even CAN? If a collage dropout living in his moms basement, has a super idea… Why should he not be ABLE to get funding to realize that idea?

        Well, I’m already scanning my “huge book of ideas (by me)” to put it up on kickstarter. Everyone have ideas. And lot of them suck, just like lot of mine. You know how I found out about it? Tried to build it. Some just turned out impossible, some was too huge and not userfriendly. Some were not working. Most of the time with really good ideas (at least with one which are looking good at the moment) you can’t say for sure if they will even work. And if you need funding just to lift your ass from couch and check if your great ideas are actually working? You might as well keep them to yourself.
        And about dropouts. I’m not that rich myself. And once I needed quite a lot of custom details printed. And I can’t afford printing (and details carved of wood wouldn’t have worked). I’ve been digging through trash bins around the city to get required parts for primitive 3d-printer for 3 months. Every night I went out and shuffled around in smelly organic trash to fulfill my own ideas. I’m not meaning that everyone should go dumpster diving. I’m meaning that they should at least put some effort in their work. There thousand and one way around fund issues – dumpster diving, thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets – it all can provide you enough material for prototype for very low cost. Hell, some electronic companies even will send you free samples (I’m getting some of thoose myself because it’s just impossible to buy anything in my city my city and companies don’t want to sell in small quantities).
        And after people have proven that they have working prototype (and if it works – it doesn’t matter if it’s ugly and made out of crap and duct tape), which means that their ideas are possible at least and they are capable to make them work – then they should have all the funding they need for further research and production. But until that it’s all just ideas. And most of them tend to suck if not proven otherwise.

      • EtherMan says:

        “Exactly my point. That’s why it should require a video of working prototype. And I pretty much sure it will require that.”

        Ok. Working with what? You forget that this also applies to the design category and there’s no much “working” to be shown for designs. Even for hardware section, you’re assuming there is something that is able to be shown. Ok you can show a breadboard with lots of shiny components, which you then “connect” to a monitor to show something awesome… Except what is being shown isnt from the device… Videos are EASILY faked like that and has been done for years and years.

        As for scammers giving up because of these rules.. Well you my friend are fricking retarded if you ACTUALLY believe that… And you DONT believe that in reality and you KNOW it… The rules will give a small sense of false security, which will make it even MORE likely to get high profiles scammers in there. It might reduce the number of projects where the creator fails because lack of skill, but it wont reduce the number of actual scams one bit.

        “Because it harm site and idea itself.”

        Umm… Kickstarter has never benefited the original idea behind it… As the idea was to fund the start, to get you going with the idea… Then came the move to only fund production cost, and now, only fund the refinement process. They’re already sooo far away from the idea. As for it harming the site… I cant see how it would harm the site. They’ve operated without those rules and have a great reputation so far even without the rules. Not applying more rules CANNOT harm the site. That the rules would somehow improve the site, is something you could argue, but it’s nothing you have provided any reasoning behind other than extremely flawed understanding of psychology.

        “It already have not that good image, ”
        Oh really? It might not have a good reputation in YOUR mind. But outside “kirillre4 world”, it does. Sorry, but it does. If it didnt, people wouldnt be funding any projects on the site.

        ” there is always someone retarded enough) and gets nothing out of it? He will start law suits. And most probably first will be for Kickstarter itself.”

        Ok. Then I can inform you that kickstarter with this move, actually made themself MORE of a target for lawsuits. The stricter your rules are, the more you’re responsible for what gets through those rules. And even if someone is retarded enough, there wont be enough to fund the projects. And even if we assume there was, so what? They’ve made the choice to fund the project. Im all for informing more about the risks involved in funding a project but if they want to fund knowing those risks, that’s THEIR choice and not yours.

        “Right, I just have a little WH40K army to play with friends sometimes…..”

        Right ok… The fact that you think even low quality stuff like GW figures can be printed just shows how little of 3d printing you know. Seriously… Do show any 3d printer that would be able to accurately print something like http://www.coolminiornot.com/shop/cang.html but indeed, it’s not for those sections… And that’s because they know those rules wouldnt be possible in those sections AT ALL. For the sections they’ve chosen, it’ll “just” result in it becoming a wasteland by comparison to the old…

        “Shoul have been long ago, at keast hardware part. Then, probably, I would have separated projects only in two categories”

        Right. That clearly shows you think kickstarter is something of a personal thing for you. Sorry, but kickstarter is actually public and it’s just as much for me, as for you. But somehow you think your choices should be universal and it’s sad to see people believe so little in basic human rights.

        “Well, I’m already scanning my “huge book of ideas (by me)” to put it up on kickstarter. Everyone have ideas. And lot of them suck, just like lot of mine. ….”

        Uhuh… And your point is? If I want to fund someone researching an idea. Who the f*** are you to tell me I cant? As for your not getting out of the couch… You have no idea… Some ideas might require people to actually quit their jobs to work on for months to get to a point where they have a prototype… And you’re saying they’re not even allowed to ask for funding for that step.. That means that no projects like that will ever get started because seriously… Noone is going to quit their job, just to see if there’s any intrest in their work at all… Well noone that is actually capable of finishing any such project is going to atleast… Unless as I said before, they’re millionaires already in which case they dont really need funding later either anyway…

        As for your ideas on funding. You think of every cost as the cost of material… Can I dumpster dive for rent you think? Can I dumpster dive for feeding my family? No? Sorry then impossible for me to even begin a project, let alone keep at it long enough to get a prototype together… And sorry but your whole idea about funding tells actually quite a lot of your social situation and Im sorry you are in such a position, but not everyone has it like that. Diffrent people have diffrent situations and you’re assuming that to be good you have to sacrifice everything, and you dont. There’s plenty of alternatives to kickstarter and if kickstarter cant offer a service for such thing, there will be others to step up in their place since that path has been proven to be highly successful by kickstarter already.

        Also as a note… A person or company that has a working prototype of something. Have no need for crowdfunding to begin with. Those are actually the projects to be very wary of because such a company could have just gone to the bank, or any real investors to get the money to take it into production. Yet they are going to crowdfunding which suggests there is some problem they’re trying to hide, or that they have fincancial problems already.

      • kirillre4 says:

        >>Ok. Working with what? You forget that this also applies to the design category and there’s no much “working” to be shown for designs.

        Yes, I forgot about design section. My bad.

        >>Even for hardware section, you’re assuming there is something that is able to be shown.

        Yes, I assume that. There are items, where you can’t show working process properly, but in most case it can be done – mp3 player in the form of the bracelet as prototype must at least work and fit on hand, innovative charging device – charge devices etc..

        >>It might reduce the number of projects where the creator fails because lack of skill

        Whatever the reason of fail, if there is no output after sucsessful backing – it’s still scam. And that’s what i was talking about.

        >>As for it harming the site… I cant see how it would harm the site.

        I might have said it wrong. Hurt owners of service, which might lead to the end of service. All what they are trying to do is to protect themselves (and I doubt that they haven’t discussed changes in rules with their lawyer so they will cover most of threats), since they might be considered as party liable for damage in case of scam. Can’t really judge them for that.

        >>Oh really? It might not have a good reputation in YOUR mind. But outside “kirillre4 world”, it does. Sorry, but it does. If it didnt, people wouldnt be funding any projects on the site.

        Try to operate something abit more difficult than black and white. “Not that good” doesn’t stand for “horrible”. Some people trust Kickstarter, some don’t. Scroll through comments for this topic and see for yourself.

        >>but if they want to fund knowing those risks, that’s THEIR choice and not yours.

        No need to be that agressive. It’s choice of service owners, which I support and you don’t. And as I said, I’m quite sure that they know what they are doing, from legal viewpoint, at least.

        >>Right ok… The fact that you think even low quality stuff like GW figures can be printed just shows how little of 3d printing you know.

        B9 Creator (ironically, crowdfounded on kickstarter): “The layer thickness is typically 100 microns but your model can be sliced even thinner if you need even higher resolution.” As I said, all i know about miniatures is GW stuff, and according to what i have, it might be printed with such resolution. There are others DLP projector-based printers around with same resolution.

        >>it’ll “just” result in it becoming a wasteland by comparison to the old…

        It’ll “just” turn them in actual store, where you pre-order interesting for you stuff, with lesser probability of it being put up by someone, who can’t do it. Fine by me.

        >>Right. That clearly shows you think kickstarter is something of a personal thing for you. Sorry, but kickstarter is actually public and it’s just as much for me, as for you.

        What are you getting at? That everyone has opinion and this opinions might be different? I do know that and I’m just expressing mine. Basic human right.

        >>But somehow you think your choices should be universal and it’s sad to see people believe so little in basic human rights.

        Not mine. For some reason you forget that kickstarter is owned not by community, but by certain people. Who seems to be afraid that they might be considered liable for damage caused by scam of any kind – be it professional scammers or just incompetent makers.

        >>And your point is? If I want to fund someone researching an idea. Who the f*** are you to tell me I cant?

        Again – not me.

        >>Some ideas might require people to actually quit their jobs to work on for months to get to a point where they have a prototype… And you’re saying they’re not even allowed to ask for funding for that step..

        Well, you are right about that one. Some project do require that you start them as a separate buisness. Though for quite some time people were able to do that without Kickstarter. But you are right – I was considering only hobby-level projects. By the way, could you please link me to some of such projects in hardware section?

        >>As for your ideas on funding. You think of every cost as the cost of material… Can I dumpster dive for rent you think? Can I dumpster dive for feeding my family? No?

        Try working. Working pay your rent, feed your family and might even give you enough funds to do prototyping (though, as mentioned earlier, some of such projects take up enormous amounts of times and would take years if combined with work, yes. But a lot of kickstarter projects can be combined with work without problems).

        >>And sorry but your whole idea about funding tells actually quite a lot of your social situation and Im sorry you are in such a position, but not everyone has it like that. Diffrent people have diffrent situations and you’re assuming that to be good you have to sacrifice everything, and you dont

        Well, I don’t consider it “sacrificing everything”, it’s just “putting a little effort into work” – not going right out from the start for help, but doing something first on your own. When I was a student – it would involve dumpster diving for parts. I just can’t see reason, why prototyping can’t be done. Lot of items I see on Kickstarter are not that hard to prototype that it would require months of work. Refining might, though, but by the time you will have the prototype.

        >>Also as a note… A person or company that has a working prototype of something. Have no need for crowdfunding to begin with.

        Depends. Some prototypes you could sell to the government or military, some might attract investors and some might be interesting, but risky investment which might or might not have success. Latter might become a huge success or failure of comparable magnitude, and it’s hard to predict results. it’s hard to find investors for such project fast enough.
        Also, not everyone want to deal with investors. Because having investors mean responsibility in case of failure. And you will have to share in case of success. It’s easier with crowdfunding.

      • EtherMan says:

        Ok so not only do you not understand human psychology, you also dont understand english which you prove by “Whatever the reason of fail, if there is no output after sucsessful backing – it’s still scam. And that’s what i was talking about.” because that’s not a scam. If it fails, it fails. It’s only a scam, if the developer have no intention of fullfilling the promises. Anything beyond that simply is not a scam, period.

        “I might have said it wrong. Hurt owners of service, which might lead to the end of service. All what they are trying to do is to protect themselves (and I doubt that they haven’t discussed changes in rules with their lawyer so they will cover most of threats), since they might be considered as party liable for damage in case of scam. Can’t really judge them for that.”

        And no. Im a former lawyer in exactly that area, business law. If they’ve discussed it with their lawyer or not I cant say, but this move does not protect them in ANY way. It to a very small degree protects people who think they’re capable of outputting their project when they’re not, by simply not allowing it in the first place. But in no way does it improve things for Kickstarter themselves.

        “Try to operate something abit more difficult than black and white. “Not that good” doesn’t stand for “horrible”. Some people trust Kickstarter, some don’t. Scroll through comments for this topic and see for yourself.”

        And I am exactly doing that. Kickstarter’s reputation is overall, fairly good. There are certain communities where they’re more shunned, but that’s a small minority. It’s like saying the reputation of money is not that good, because hey, we have a small minority that dont like it.

        “No need to be that agressive. It’s choice of service owners, which I support and you don’t. And as I said, I’m quite sure that they know what they are doing, from legal viewpoint, at least.”

        No. You missunderstand. Im all for Kickstarters right to make the change. It’s IMO a bad move, and nothing you or anyone else have given any reason to make me think otherwise (though actually several more to consider it a bad move), but it’s their business and their choice how to run it and I have not said anything against their right to set the rules any way they like.

        “B9 Creator …..”

        Right ok. And there we have it. That 100 microns sound really REALLY small doesnt it? Except it’s 0.1mm… On a 2inch figure, that’s VEEEEEEEEEEEERY visible and it’s not something you can even REMOTELY think would come anywhere NEAR figurine worthy. To print something that’s worthwhile for figurines, you’re gonna have to come back with something that gets atleast close to 1 micron. Shesh. Do you even realize how fuzzy even a fricking space marine would look with a 100micron thickness? You could probably print something like a land raider and stuff that would look quite ok. But the units, nope. Not gonna happen on such a printer. Seriously… http://thingiverse-production.s3.amazonaws.com/renders/72/0d/93/52/8c/P1020418_display_large.jpg would you even remotely consider something that looks like that as a gamer?

        “It’ll “just” turn them in actual store, where you pre-order interesting for you stuff, with lesser probability of it being put up by someone, who can’t do it. Fine by me.”

        A store with by comparison a very limited stock yes… That wasnt what kickstarter used to be like and its sad IMO to see it go that way.

        “What are you getting at? That everyone has opinion and this opinions might be different? I do know that and I’m just expressing mine. Basic human right.”

        What Im getting at, is that you obviously thought it was ok for your choices to limit others.

        “Not mine. For some reason you forget that kickstarter is owned not by community, but by certain people. Who seems to be afraid that they might be considered liable for damage caused by scam of any kind – be it professional scammers or just incompetent makers.”

        If they were afraid of that, they wouldnt make this move which makes them more liable. As I mentioned, the more rules you put into place, the more liable you become for stuff that slips through those rules.

        “Again – not me.”

        Except that’s what you’re saying. While you may not realize it, but by condoning the rules, you are effectively saying that.

        “Well, you are right about that one. Some project do require that you start them as a separate buisness. Though for quite some time people were able to do that without Kickstarter. But you are right – I was considering only hobby-level projects. By the way, could you please link me to some of such projects in hardware section?”

        There are other sources of funding beside Kickstarter yes obviously. Im sad to see what was actually diffrent in kickstarter to turn into the same type that has always existed, with the only diffrence being who the money belongs to. The original concept of crowdfunding was that if everyone only funds a little, then there’s less risks if projects fail so there’s a lot more potential to explore areas that are more risky, because risky projects are exactly the type of projects that the old funding channels wont even consider.

        “Try working. Working pay your rent, feed your family and might even give you enough funds to do prototyping (though, as mentioned earlier, some of such projects take up enormous amounts of times and would take years if combined with work, yes. But a lot of kickstarter projects can be combined with work without problems).”

        Ok so you already acknowledge then that these rules WILL limit perfectly legit projects then?

        “Well, I don’t consider it “sacrificing everything”, it’s just “putting a little effort into work””

        You’ve already said that some projects require you to run it as a seperate business. That means sacrificing everything else to do it because a business in development, generates no revenue to pay wages with.

        “not going right out from the start for help, but doing something first on your own. ”

        Ok. Define “something”… Because the kickstarter rules now, means do EVERYTHING yourself. The ENTIRE production cycle, except retail is done when the kickstarter comes in with these rules.

        “When I was a student – it would involve dumpster diving for parts. I just can’t see reason, why prototyping can’t be done”

        I’ve already told you and you’ve even already acknowledged that point… Lack of funding for the time. If you work, you dont have time… if you dont work, you cant pay rent or feed your family. THAT stops A LOT of projects right there…

        “Depends. Some prototypes you could sell to the government or military, some might attract investors and some might be interesting, but risky investment which might or might not have success. Latter might become a huge success or failure of comparable magnitude, and it’s hard to predict results. it’s hard to find investors for such project fast enough.
        Also, not everyone want to deal with investors. Because having investors mean responsibility in case of failure. And you will have to share in case of success. It’s easier with crowdfunding.”

        Ok so you’ve never sought funding for any projects then either, atleast not outside crowdfunding I see… If you have a working prototype of a new hardware product… You WILL have investors if it’s a product that will sell to begin with… As for fast enough… You just said they should be dumpster diving for months to get the parts needed… Obviously time would not be an issue for that then… Or have time suddenly become valuable for you now and so you no longer have time to waste dumpster diving and hoping?

        And no… You dont always have to share in case of success. Most investment works on a return policy rather than shares of the company. As an example, if I make a prototype of a product and seek say 100k in investment. Let’s say I expect to earn say 300k a year in profits from it. Then the investment will either want something like 300k back, or something like 20% of the company or similar. The exact numbers all depends on risks involved and the profits expected if a success… Crowdfunding is however not so diffrent from the return on investment principle. The major diffrence is basicly that you’re getting the return in form of finished products, rather than money but essentially it’s really no diffrent.

      • Tony says:

        Holy slabs-o-text, Batman!!

  15. qwerty says:

    Seems fair to me, still some people don’t seem to understand the HUGE difference between a prototype and the final product. The prototype is ugly, big, clunky, unoptimized, expensive and slow to manufacture. It is just a first step to a marketable product, albeit a big one in the right direction if it works, but a lot of research (= time = money) is still needed to make it into a product people will actually want to buy.

    Just think about electronic parts for example. It’s not just about price but availability: will that IC be here 3 years from now? Or am I better designing something around a slightly more expensive part which I’m completely sure it will still be around in 10 years, thus saving the money needed for redesigning that circuit for a different part in 3 years?
    And what if I plan to sell no more than 10000 units and suddenly it comes the opportunity to get like 50000 obsolete and out of production but still good chips at a huge discount?

    Everyone can make a render, while a fully functional prototype and what will follow
    needs careful planning and more research, which translates in time and money.

  16. hardcorefs says:

    There are some really gash products on kick-starter, some I have seen already available in Shenzhen China.

    One project in my opinion is just so lame it is unbelievable, and yet it can pull in over $40,000usd from a request of 3k.
    How the hell can someone justify something that is and has been available for YEARS as a “fresh” product?

    There is a real need to start tightening down on the cowboys who are just trying to shift ‘dead’ product at a huge margin.

    • EtherMan says:

      And this move by kickstarter, is going to do nothing to help that situation, only make it worse. At best, it wont change anything. At worst, it will turn entire kickstarter into nothing but that. Though most likely, it will be somewhere in between.

    • Haku says:

      “How the hell can someone justify something that is and has been available for YEARS as a “fresh” product?”

      Apple have been doing this for a long time. I bet there are people out there that completely believe Apple invented the portable mp3 player (and compressed digital music) :(

  17. Coligny says:

    So it’s finally the end for these crapfests:

    http://hackaday.com/2011/07/19/rc-transmitter-does-everything/

    YAY !!!

    • Haku says:

      That is below the belt, mate.

      That guy has created something quite extraordinary in the world of RC comms, and spent a lot of time+money creating it. Sure the first pictures were renders but he now has a fully working unit that looks just like the rendered images. The main reason he’s not put it on Kickstarter is because he’s not in the US.

      • rasz says:

        dude, he put $50 chinese android tabled in a case with some UNLICENSED transmitters and wants to charge >$500 for it. Calls it open source while not providing any sources and moved his scam to his own site so he can scam more efficiently.

    • His indiegogo page is now locked in “Draft mode” and “hidden from the public”, whatever that means for the OSRC project…

  18. escott says:

    The _reducto ad absurdum_ argument goes something like this: you know all those dudes on the replica props forum? So now we’re going to be seeing light sabres, flux capacitors, and R2D2s on kickstarter? Because, you know, those are prototypes, not renders.

  19. J Harton says:

    I think these new guidelines/rules are a bit silly, since my impression of kickstarter was that it was supposed to help you get something started (hence kickstart), not push forward on something you already have. Granted that it’s understandable to be concerned about the many equivalents of vaporware, but it feels like a place where inherent risk ought to be expected. No risk, no gain.

  20. rasz says:

    I like those rules. People that dont like them should check in a year and talk to suckers that lost money on Ouya. Or maybe they should talk with suckers that paid for hexbright half a year ago, or suckers that paid for HD camera glasses, or… I could list fail projects all day long.

    There is a difference between invention (engineer designs something) and an Idea (random dude makes a rendering of something possible and hopes chinese factory will magically make it for him).

    • quasi says:

      Wait.. of all the examples you could have picked (like Eyez, or Hanfree), you picked…
      HexBright – which is coming along just fine, the project Creator sends updates frequently, etc. Yes, it’s running late (by a year, not half a year) – welcome to the world.
      and
      Ouya – which is not even running late (yet). I guess if you’re going for a “called it in Sept 2011!”.. congratulations in advance?

      OUYA would only be hit by the ‘no product renderings’ rule and instead show the prototype and some sketches, and HexBright only by the ‘no multiples’ rule (which has many workarounds anyway). Both projects would still have launched.

      After the rules changes there will still be plenty of projects that don’t deliver, that deliver way late, that deliver something that doesn’t live up to what was promised, and there will still be Backers on one side complaining, demanding refunds and manhunts and on the other side shrugging it off and saying KickStarter is a great platform for helping realize somebody’s dream. And KickStarter will still be using their hands-off approach.

      • Tony says:

        The problem with hi-tech stuff is that after a year it isn’t hi-tech any more.

        On Candleforums there’s a similar pile of fail; by the time the guy ever delivers the people would have paid $$$ for what is now pretty ordinary.

        “Yeah, I got one like that on eBay for $9…”

        • quasi says:

          A $9 candle had better have a pretty long burn time ;)
          I know what you’re saying – but those complaining (and blue line forums seems a better example than CPF) are people who only pledged because it was a bright flashlight in a relatively compact body. It still will be, but yes there’s other flashlights now that are bright and compact. There’s also ridiculously bright not so compact ones, and less bright keychain ones. But they won’t recharge over USB, or have an accelerometer, or be programmable, or be open in general. If those aren’t even remotely part of the reasons for backing, then I’d say the Backer in question didn’t actually read the project description. ( Different for those who pledged for the Prime. )

          Really, though, if by the time the HexBright gets delivered there’s a similar product on the market for cheap, I’d say it’s thanks (in part) to the HexBright – so it would still have been a worthy project ( even if some people might complain – as people do ;) )

      • Tony says:

        Lol, yeah that’s CandlePowerForums.

        If you look on DealExtreme, you’ll find $7 bike lights. You need to replace the plastic lens with glass (DX sell those) but for the price they are excellent.

        They’re only a 1W Cree (or clone by now), but at one point that was state of the art.

        Once production ramps up of the new & shiny, the price drops pretty quick and then everyone is making them – and cheap too. If you want first mover advantage, you actually have to move – and fast!

        As you say, unless it’s got some gimmick no-one else could be bothered to add (the Hex body has been around for a while now), your torch will be obsolete by the time it arrives (or at least vastly overpriced).

        That’s where that Nano (or whatever) guy is on CPF, and probably the HexBright is there too.

  21. KillerBug says:

    That one-per-customer limit is the real killer; it will hurt devices like the Teensy 3.0++ and future WiFi shields…many will only want one of these, others will want a dozen and will have the code written for the project using all of them at once before delivery…or they would if they could order more than one. Nevermind people who bought two or three of something they only needed one of and gave the extras away as gifts.

    As for Ouya, I don’t think they have actually failed yet…they promised an underpowered android gaming device that could play a handful of indie games, and it appears that this is what they will deliver…with OnLive to go with it. It isn’t meant to be a PS3 killer, and at $95 with controller, it isn’t even meant to compete with modern $500+ HDMI-out Android phones. If I didn’t have a good phone, a PS3, a 360, a computer, or much cash then I might have considered one.

  22. Sam says:

    This defeats the purpose of many projects on kick starter. If I already had a prototype of something created I would need kick starter funds to make it. The only purpose of kick starter now is to fund an already made project’s production.

  23. anomdebus says:

    Anybody here who doesn’t like rendering heavy projects was perfectly free to pass on them under the old rules.
    Personally, all of the tech projects I have backed have had functional prototypes, though a couple have also had drawings. The only project that didn’t have a sponsor made prototype also didn’t have any renderings, but did have an older model that they were trying to reproduce (product design).. The only one of mine (from these two categories) that doesn’t look like it is making progress is already doing business with a similar product.
    I think one thing that would benefit Kickstarter is to have feedback ratings. That way, a screwed up project will be easily seen and be tied back to a given sponsor.

  24. NewCommentor1283 says:

    you cant kickstart a vechicle that doesnt even have wheeles. anyone arguing with that is making a pathetic cry for attention (trolling)

    ive never visited kickstarter. and probably never will. but this news means theres now a 1% chance i may visit it one day! :)

    now maybe, just maybe, there will be a bit less “guff” on that site.
    someday in the near future, kickstarter will be taken more seriously, thanks to these new rules.

    PS: you want 25000$ to kickstart your simple little electronics project? how about i do it for 750$ ? hahaha

  25. ggrammon says:

    So, under the new rules, this would never have been acceptable? http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/93832939/makerslide-open-source-linear-bearing-system

  26. Even the hugely successful Oculus Rift violates multiple of these new rules. The kickstarter page only showed a render (not a photo of the prototype), and it had various funding levels in which the “donor” receives multiple units.

    And yet, at the trade shows and forums and blogs it has a lot of photos, video, and development details. What really made it a huge hit was Jon Carmack’s blessing. :-D

    It would be nice if it had both real photos of the current prototype (which you can view elsewhere) and the cool looking render. Are *no* renders really the rule?

  27. Paul says:

    Much as I’d like to believe these rules changes are purely to protect backers, the “not a store” policy is probably a reaction to the Hanfree lawsuit.

    Kickstarter would probably prefer ordinary (consumer protection) law and case law regarding contracts and sales of tangible goods to not apply, or at least not make themselves a party liable for damages.

    In the Handfree case two of the backers, Neil Singh and Chris Thompson, sued Seth (the project creator) who obviously was unable to issue refunds and decided to just ignore all his backers.

    The part that might have prompted the Kickstarter rule change can be seen in Neil’s comment on July 27:

    Quote:

    “… my legal action …. seeks 3 things from the court: ….. (3) a judicial declaration that we, as backers, were simply customers who purchased a pre-ordered unit, as opposed to the fuzzy “backer/pledger” nonsense that has been peddled here in the comments by various individuals.”

    • Tony says:

      Could well be.

      The lawsuit hinges on the wording the creator used – “you are pre-ordering…”.

      In other words, give us money and we’ll send you one. Looks like a store, sounds like a store…

      He shot himself in the foot by not using enough weasel words – he should’ve talked to a lawyer earlier.

      Still, others (like the infamous Eyez) mention pre-ordering as well, but not in the wording of the pledges.

      • quasi says:

        It’s actually not just Seth that shot him in the foot – but launching on KickStarter in the first place. KickStarter’s policy is that a Creator must deliver or offer refunds;
        “Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.”
        Of course KickStarter doesn’t enforce this themselves, but both sides (Creators and Backers) essentially agree to a contract, subject to contract law (in most jurisdictions).
        The “pre-order” mention doesn’t help, but it’s not what the suit hinged on. Neil can fill you in on the details, but if you read his comments in the Hanfree project, you can see what he argued, and why he argued it.

      • Tony says:

        I thought it basically boiled down to “I have the product, send me money to get one”. You weren’t funding development, merely material costs.

        Maybe I should read that failfest again.

  28. LordNothing says:

    ive always preferred the no budget approach to hacking. what you dont have you buy, what you can buy you steal, and what you cant steel you make out of duct tape. having people give me money to do what i can do anyway regardless of my cashflow would leave a sour taste in my mouth, and id probibly blow it all on crack anyway.

    • cantido says:

      The problem with no budget in my experience is that it’s really hard to get decent parts or the parts you want.. I.e. I needed 10 CPLDs to do some testing of some decoding logic.. If I had budget I would have just ordered them from Digikey. But because I’m trying to do everything on the cheap I bought some from China off of ebay and they are probably fakes or busted as not a single one of them works… it wouldn’t be so bad, but I have about 4 or 5 other different parts that I sourced cheaply that I haven’t tested. It might turn out they are all fakes. And when choosing the parts I had to go with what I could get cheaply in small quantities and as a result there are 1.5x the number of parts as there would have been if I had the budget to get more suitable parts. So, long story short if you have something you think others might want but need the budget to do it right kickstarter is a good idea, the problem is it attracts too many people that have nice ideas but no ability to actually implement them.

  29. xorpunk says:

    I’m a dropout who wants to make satellites and flying cars I thought about 5 minutes ago.. free money please..

  30. Brian says:

    I’m really disappointed as it eats at the core of informed backers taking a risk on a product concept they believe in. Sounds like Kickstarter got too large and is going down the “corporate risk adverse must protect ourselves mode”. Can’t really blame them, but I think this “not a store” pitch is just PR to explain a change to limit their exposure. If you look at what is really happening “Not a store” now equals:
    1) Only support products that have fully developed or almost fully developed designs they can show in photos. That means anything hoping to be polished must have the expensive tooling and prototypes behind them.
    2) Only support products that don’t depend on quantity builds to meet costs or already appeal to the mass market. No longer can products get the support of multiple unit backers like niche stores, websites, hacker spaces, or others who have the resources to take a shot on a cool product concept to help get their numbers up.
    3) Force product developers to take alot more expense and risk on before they can test the market for the idea and get funding. So they either have to give up, or got back to traditional funding sources that Kickstarter was supposed to be an alternative to.
    Sounds alot closer to my local Target store than Kickstarter was a month ago.

    This will likely kill much of their revenue generating projects, but the great news is that since they have proved the model with several 7 figure successes, others are guaranteed to “get it” and step up to provide what the techie backers want.

  31. jaybee says:

    I am quite on the fence here, between protecting users from “vapor ware” and limiting technology progress.

    IMHO, by having these new rules, it became more of a store and less of a place for technology progress…

    • rasz says:

      How is “I saw it on Discovery Science once so im sure its possible, this crayon drawing represents my vision, now give me money so i can research if its really possible to do at all” progress? This is exactly how half of the multiple thousands of dollars scammed out of gullible unwashed masses hardware projects look like.

      • KillerBug says:

        There are people like that, but there are also others that have the abilities and simply need funding. Product development isn’t cheap, especially with complex projects. Suppose you are a programmer, a really good programmer, working for some multi-national corporation about 70 hours a week. After travel, food, sleep, etc you MIGHT have about 20 hours left, assuming you have no other responsibilities.

        Now, imagine you have a great idea that will take about 6 months of man-hours to complete…doing it in your spare time, it would take you about 21 months to complete it, by which time you would probably either give up or get beaten to it by someone else.

        Kickstarter (as it was) could be a great solution…sell enough copies in advance to pay for a 3 month leave for you and a fellow programmer, and have a completed project in the hands of the public at the end of those three months. Even if you actually had the money to do this on your own, it would be a huge risk when you don’t know that it will actually sell…I speak from experience there; there is a big difference between the number of people who say they would buy a product at a certain price and the number who actually buy it at half that price.

        Sure, maybe you are a scumbag that would take a long vacation instead of working on the code, but that is the risk in almost any venture capital project…and venture capital is the whole point of kickstarter. If you just needed funding for the first run 60 days before delivery, you could do one of those “delivery in 6-8 weeks” gimmicks.

        I’m sure kickstarter has their reasons, but I’m also sure that they are creating their own competition.

  32. Dra says:

    I’m rather sad, under these rules, none of the kickstarters I’ve actually been really excited about would have been launched when they did…if at all.

    Sure, there are projects that could have used better management, for example the Iron Buds kickstarter which went rather well, and still hasn’t shipped the final product months afterward… But they HAVE shipped a set of three piece interchangeable headphones while they iron out the kinks with mass-production of the yoke for the 5 piece. I’m very happy with the headphones I have so far, and the kickstarter was launched with only 3d renderings. As a result, it’s taking a bit longer to get things working than the designer expected. But not any longer than I’ve been expecting the whole time.

    As for the ban on bulk orders…that’s even worse. When ordering bulk electronic parts, the more you source, the cheaper it is. If someone wants to buy a hundred pack of a product for retail sale, it improves the odds of the company actually making enough forward progress to actually sell the product.

  33. n0lkk says:

    In the event Hackaday is getting so many emails that are about projects at kickstarter why not create a section over at the forums, and institute policy that that kickstarter items are to be placed there with the understanding those items will be reviewed by the staff as time allows. Being place in the forums increase the amount of exposure, maybe? As Kickstarter goes they are going to do what they are going to do. Not a site I visit unless I’m made aware of a a project there. I have nothing to sell, nor do I have the money to be a backer.

  34. Zmaster says:

    I belive that:
    1) You must present a working prototype to show that you are able to make it
    1) Renderings should be allowed with a clear warning that’s just a rendering
    2) The limit on items doesn’t really make sense on cheap things where you want to get some of them (say micro-duino, rgb modules and stuff like that)

  35. Telepath says:

    None of the projects I have supported would have been allowed under there rules.

    • rasz says:

      and how many actually shipped? were they more complicated than a pipe and 3 screws? (altho even a metal pipe and couple of screws fail hard on kickstarter, just look at the ipad stand)

      • quasi says:

        I can’t speak for telepath, so I’ll go for the projects I backed.

        I have backed a total of 23 projects that fall in the Hardware / Product Design categories.
        Of those projects, 18 would run afoul of the new rules if launched now. The majority of which due to the ‘no multiples’ rule, the ‘no product renderings’ takes second place.
        Of those 18, 11 have been delivered, 4 of which late.
        Another 4 have not yet been delivered and are running late (anywhere from 2 weeks to a year and counting). Of those 4, 3 have indicated why they are late and the reasons seem.. reasonable. The last 1 has gone completely incommunicado. I’m guessing that money has vanished.
        The remaining 3 are slated for delivery in the future, of which 1 has already mentioned that they won’t be able to deliver on time because of political and national unrest in China affecting a supply chain. Whether that is true or not I can’t verify. But then I couldn’t verify that any of the 7 that delivered, on time, would do so. It was a gamble, based on their pitch and what they had to show. Which, yes, were more complex than a pipe and 3 screws – although that depends on how you qualify complexity. Is a 2-piece food-grade plastic object that is made through simple injection molding deemed ‘more complex’? It’s certainly not something you can whip up in your tool shed.

        The other 5, that would fall within the new rules? 4 as of yet undelivered, 1 not slated for delivery until later.

        Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, but if you think the new rules are panacea for weeding out iffy projects and protecting Backers from themselves, think again.

  36. hans says:

    It seems that kickstarter is suffering from its own success. There have been some nice project that got a ton of funding (“order of the stick” springs to mind). Now everyone has smelled the money, and as a result idiots have invaded the place. I was browsing the site just yesterday, and boy what a load of BS are they trying to sell! Better be careful who you trust.

  37. BobFeg says:

    How about making the kickstarter user create a couple of working prototypes and then sending one to some trusted group for testing and evaluation?

    How about sending them to HaD for testing and write up!?

    Sounds sane to me… and there would be a lot of cool evaluations to read about here on HaD :-)

    • quasi says:

      Some guy I know who is trying to launch an electronics project actually told me that KickStarter wants to see a functional prototype before they approve his project. So it seems that there is already some minimum checking going on there.

  38. Alan says:

    Hey, I’m an old hackaday Fan and never had a complain, but the phrase “running off to South America” is quite offensive.

  39. xorpunk says:

    I’m not surprised people are trying to justify vaporware..

    I know talented people who have to work to get funding and have working prototypes. If you want free-money at least make an effort.

    I actually feel sorry for the people who invest only to find out the source isn’t capable or abandons it all together..

    If more industry influences did this you’d see a decrease in drop-outs and wasting in countries with staggering evidence of it, like America who owes trillions in USD and pays people who most days don’t even go to work or are unemployed and don’t care..

  40. Slanderer says:

    There’s a lot of speculation that this is a direct result of the amount of hype Ouya got–despite the fact that it showed no hardware, showed a video of someone playing the “prototype” where it was clearly a video playing that was not unrelated to someone mashing a controller, a “prototype” that was just a tegra 3 dev kit, and renders of a controller.

    That, and every analysis of the BoM of the Ouya, based on the cost breakdowns from buying in bulk, show that actually being able to make a profit at $99 is basically impossible without another funding source (ie, game licensing, outside investors to allow them a much larger initial run for better pricing on components, etc). If (likely, when) it’s revealed that the Ouya will be delayed and raised in price (if it actually comes out), there will be a huge negative impact on future kickstarters.

  41. Michael says:

    I am disappointed in the new rules. For many of the projects I have backed, the product was obviously something workable, like a carrier board for an AT Mega, or some other part that making a prototype made no sense for. Those entire projects were simply getting the people who were interested to put forth the funds to have stuff made in silicon, which would have been too expensive to do in small runs.

  42. dan says:

    previously, you may have an ugly prototype that will look nothing like the end product, (lets say your prototype uses through hole components, and your end product will be outsourced SMD enclosed in a nice small case. (therefore you necessarily need a render to show what the finished product will be

    The rules were, kick start is for gathering funding to start your project.
    And crucially, a business is not a project.

    now, the rules appear to be you must have a prototype, and if renders are not allowed, clearly, prototype. (in the case of electronic devices at least) must mean simile of final product. assuming you can’t do board production and SMD at home this means that your prototype. (to look like your finished product) actually is your finished product, and you’ve had to fund the first production run, (perhaps 100pcs) yourself from own funds.

    Well…. firstly, the whole point of kick start was meant to be that people were able to gather funds to make those first production runs.
    secondly, you don’t really have a prototype, not you actually have a finished product and are trying to make money selling it.

    i.e. you no longer have a project, you have a business that you want to start.

    I think the problem here, (and perhaps it’s very specific to hackaday readers is that it’s difficult to think of finished, professionally made products that are still prototypes. (by the time you’ve ordered a batch of boards, had them populated, and cased and send to you, it’s a product more than a prototype.

    However, I can see in the case of hardware products (meaning metal items) how this may actually be possibly a good thing.
    earlier someone mentioned an ipad stand.

    there is no way that should have ever been invested in without a working prototype.
    regardless of how messy it my have looked. the simple fact is that the seller there should have been able to make a prototype before they had the idea of selling it.

    a messy hand welded frame that took a week to make would have been a good prototype.
    the kick start funding then would have gone to make jigs that could have been used to speed up production.

    basically, my thoughts are.
    for electronic projects, I just can’t see this working. my view is that this changes the site into a store, (you will be purchasing this at that price), and changed the project, (which finishes when you have your final product) into a business, (which is against the rules).

    however, for strictly mechanical, (be that ipad stands, or figurines) these changes are positive, it ensures that all homework has been done, that the product is possible etc.

  43. Paul says:

    This defeats the purpose of kickstarter IMO. The whole purpose of kick starting something is to get funding for things you can’t do on your own. That may include prototyping. If you can only kickstart to get a product out then all they are is a store.

  44. Chuckt says:

    Kickstarter’s site is already slow. This decision could slim the site down and make it work faster.

  45. Ragnar says:

    So does that mean a project like the 99 parallel processors CPU with a 750.000$ target wouldn’t be possible anymore, just because you can’t pull such a processor as sample for, I have no clue at all, under 500.000$?

  46. Johnson says:

    If one were to have a rendered video for an exploded view, why can’t that be used if the rest of the video the item is shown in real life…every other company in the world uses rendering to display their products.

    Heck, even subway has used a rendered tomato or two. Every computer company, every toy company, every product I know, has been rendered and shared either on their website or their commercial.

    This is nothing new, the difference is, a startup may not be able to match the quality of renderings, while a multi million dollar company can spend the money on R&D. The risk is implied and should be inferred by all backers. The whole nature or a backing is to help a young gun get the chance to be a game changer. Sometimes they don’t have the money to make a prototype. Hence an online resource vs going to Angel investors.

  47. rob65 says:

    up to now I have not backed any of the kickstarter projects. Why? Just because I have no good feeling about all these mockups. Anyone can make a mockup or do a nice rendering and run away with my money once it’s in the bank …
    It is just too easy to have an idea, make some nice renderings and then wait for me to give you the money to (try to) create your product.
    To give me some confidence about a project I want to see a prototype and you have show me that you are willing to invest something yourself.

    In all the VC meetings I’ve attended this was always the case. You will never find a VC investing money in a project that’s just an idea without having a good feeling about their investment.

    My own products always start this way: First I create one prototype (breadboard style) that shows what the final product will do. Then try to fund a small production run that I can still manage myself. This has proven to be a successful strategy and I now found a few small private investors that will even fund some projects I have without having seen a thing yet – but at least the know that I’m worth their money.

    On kickstarter I have seen too many projects ending in questions from customers when their product will arrive: very soon now, next week, in a few days … all answers that are being posted week after week after week after …

    Next thing they should do is to put a stop on those mega-funded projects. $ 2,111,155 pledged of a goal of $ 100,000 ??? $830,827 pledged of $25,000 goal ??? These projects are doomed to fail under pressure to deliver …

    • EtherMan says:

      If you dont want to bet on something without a prototype, noone is forcing you with the old rules. There were plenty of projects with prototypes on there as well. That’s NOT an argument for why this is a good thing. That’s just your personal choice and does nothing for the rest of us about OUR choices which are in no way bound by your choices. Also your argument that overfunding leads to failure under pressure, is not a claim that you can in any way prove. There has been plenty of projects that has been VASTLY overfunded that has still delivered without a problem. Poor planning is what kills dooms a project if its overfunded and that has nothing to do with the overfunding itself.

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