Where Are They Now: Terrible Kickstarters

Kickstarter started out as a platform for group buys, low-volume manufacturing, and a place to fund projects that would otherwise go unfinished. It would be naive of anyone to think this would last forever, and since these humble beginnings, we’re well into Peak Kickstarter. Now, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and every other crowdfunding platform is just another mouthpiece for product launches, and just another strategy for anyone who needs or wants money, but has never heard of a business loan.

Of course there will be some shady businesses trying to cash in on the Kickstarter craze, and over the last few years we’ve done our best to point out the bad ones. Finding every terrible Kickstarter is several full-time jobs, but we’ve done our best to weed out these shining examples of the worst. Following up on these failed projects is something we have been neglecting, but no longer.

Below are some of the most outrageous Kickstarters and crowdfunding campaigns we’ve run across, and the current status of these failed entrepreneurial endeavors.

SOAP

A comparison between the first design images for SOAP (left) and [Bunnie]'s Novena laptop (right)
A comparison between the first design images for SOAP (left) and [Bunnie]’s Novena laptop (right)
It’s not just the springboard for [Billy Crystal]’s career; the Soap Home Automation Router promised to be one of the most capable WiFi routers in existence. With a touchscreen display, every radio imaginable, and a very powerful iMX6 CPU, this is the router that could do everything. Shortly after the launch of the Kickstarter, things started to fall apart. The first design illustrations for the Soap router were actually not of a new device, but lifted directly from the drawings of [bunnie]’s Novena laptop project. Furthermore, it turned out the iMX6 CPU couldn’t do Gigabit Ethernet. It was a mess, a project that launched about six months too early, and a project that was doomed to failure.

Shortly after the Soap router was exposed, I managed to get an interview with the creators, and things actually looked positive for a while. They hired an engineering team, refined their project goals, moved from a completely custom PCB to a System on Module, and generally made the campaign sane. It got worse from there.

SOAP collected $142,112 from their Kickstarter campaign and another $260,079 from an Indiegogo campaign. They made it out to CES early this year after one of the founders picked up a very nice ride. After that, SOAP put out a press release via a Kickstarter update with a tale of prescription drug addiction, skipping the country, and then finally creating one of the most advanced home routers in existence.

SOAP is dead, it’s not going to be released, and backers on Kickstarter and Indiegogo are requesting a refund.

The Batteriser

Discharge curves, courtesy of Dave Jones' debunking
Discharge curves, courtesy of Dave Jones’ debunking

Ahh, the Batteriser. This tiny metal clip fits over AA, AAA, C, and D cells to extend the battery life of your electronic devices by up to 800%. How does it work? There’s a small boost converter tucked into this metal clip that draws all the power out of a battery. It’s complete hogwash, as [Dave Jones] demonstrates most electronic devices already suck all the electrons out of a battery. Oh and, one of the failure modes for the Batteriser is fire, which is great if your design goal is to make a terrible product.

Since its launch, the folks behind the Batteriser have suffered the slings and arrows of people who know their stuff, forcing them to take to social media to defend themselves: “Batteriser proves to be effective on new devices! Here is a test we did with a new apple blue tooth keyboard“, says one post, demonstrating that just like their batteries, the Batteriser people only use 10% of their brains.

[Dave Jones] has since jumped on the Batteriser with the tenacity shown in his Solar Roadways teardown and has already posted a lot on the subject. Unfortunately, the Batteriser campaign is still ongoing, and this campaign will succeed. At least we got some great videos about testing battery discharge for our trouble.

Lix, The USB Powered 3D Printing Pen

Lix, the 3D printing pen that defies the laws of thermodynamics
Lix, the 3D printing pen that defies the laws of thermodynamics

There have been a number of 3D printing pens that have come on the market in the last few years, and for the most part they’re interesting tools. They’re not quite as cool as putting plastic filament in a Dremel and performing friction stir welding on your 3D printed parts, but these devices can be useful.

By far the sleekest 3D printer pen we’ve ever seen is the Lix. It’s barely larger than a normal 2D pen, and it’s conveniently powered by a USB port. When we called this pen out as being a scam, the reasoning was simple: you need a lot of power to melt filament at a reasonable rate, and Lix had a maximum power consumption that was about a third of what a 3D printer hot end sucks down.

The Lix Kickstarter had an initial delivery date of October, 2014. Now, in August 2015 the backers are going wild. Since then, a number of similar products have come on the market, including this little guy for $19. This is the challenge of backing unproven technology from someone who doesn’t know the relation between heat and power.

A Phone That Charges Itself

A ptototype of the Nikola Labs cell phone case
A ptototype of the Nikola Labs cell phone case

A cell phone case that can recharge a cell phone using energy from a cell phone. Wait, what? It’s the Nikola Labs phone case, and it doesn’t make any sense at all.

The best analogy for this cell phone case is a solar-recharging flashlight, with the solar panel right in front of the bulb. Yes, it will recharge itself, but as any 12-year-old with two electric motors will tell you, perpetual motion is impossible and there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The Kickstarter campaign failed despite an incredible early PR push. In fact, this is one of the true failures of all the Kickstarters we’ve covered and debunked: it’s the only one featured in this post that did not meet its funding goal.

Why didn’t the Nikola Labs campaign not meet its goal? If you look at the comments for the campaign, it’s because the Nikola Labs team wasn’t responsive enough. Midway through the campaign, communication from the team stopped. Would it have succeeded if the team kept going? That’s anyone’s guess, but the low number of pledges through the middle to the end of the campaign could have picked up if the team produced any proof that the device worked.

Let that be a lesson: if you’re going to scam people on crowdfunding sites, you need to follow through with the campaign. If you’re playing a confidence game, you first have to believe in yourself.

91 thoughts on “Where Are They Now: Terrible Kickstarters

  1. Some months ago I wrote three articles on actual “free-energy scams” on kickstarter:
    1- http://embedded-clovis.blogspot.com.br/2014/12/free-energy-projects-scams-on.html
    2- http://embedded-clovis.blogspot.com.br/2014/12/free-energy-projects-scams-on_15.html
    3- http://embedded-clovis.blogspot.com.br/2015/02/a-bit-more-of-kickstarter-scams.html

    I know there are many more (even live right now), and I’m accepting indications/suggestions on material to write another article on that

    1. Honestly, these aren’t at all interesting. They’re not so much a blog post as they are short list of links, with a tiny amount of copied source text. You say you’re an EE student, but offer no analysis on how the campaigns fail to live up to their promises, going as far as to say the reader should work it out.

      Props for the concept of your “articles”, but don’t get confused why one wants to read them

        1. Well, isn’t this what internet is all about? (citing info from someone else’s citations, and so on…). And the fact that I am an EE student doesn’t obrigate me to write scientifically-based blog posts.. !. But yes, I did my best to compile this “list of links” for whoever wants to read it; and I actually consider that to be an (at least) informative blog post, since you guys didn’t have to go over 1000’s of projects and find what you want to read.

  2. With the Lix pen, May 2nd was the last “public” post. The rest are all “backer only”. I am not surprised it has not been released yet but I keep cringing every time I see projects like these with flashy renders and graphics and poor underlying, well, respect of physics get tons of funding then inevitably disappointed backers but then really solid projects that are not as flashy but actually possible and very well engineered get passed over or not nearly funded anywhere near as much.

    Not always, but with surprisingly high frequency.

    1. I am a Lix pen backer, we get plenty of updates regularly. Sure, there are massive delays on the original delivery dates, but it is actually kind of interesting to see the (difficult) process of making something work in the real world as an industry outsider. It was an investment and a risk, and I’ll take the hit if it doesn’t pan it.

      1. I think it’s telling that all updates are posted only to the likely credulous people that stuck with them. If you watch the video carefully, you can find several slights of hand. Their story and what they promise included changed after people started doing the math and realizing it’s implausible as shown.

        1. I’m a backer. I noticed the discrepancy in the heating assumption and decided to give them a shot anyway. I remember at some point, they conceded that you couldn’t get it from a standard 500 mA USB2 port. It’s been a long time, so details are now fuzzy. I do believe they have switched to a micro USB 3.0 connection and are going to have their own dedicated PSU with the unit. They covered a ton of changes to their original prototype along the way in their periodic updates. They redid the main control board. They had issues with the extruder and had to redo parts for that. They released plenty of unedited demonstration videos, and one was done fairly recently showing the functional parts and extrusion speed. It seemed very good. They recently posted actual manufacturing line pictures and product pics. They focused a lot more on aesthetics than I would have, but I suppose this product is supposed to appeal to an artsy crowd anyway. I’m still not 100% sure if I’ll ever get the product, and it seemed like they were generally unprepared for the whole manufacturing and shipping process. We’ll see over the next month or so if it ends up happening.

          1. Just to be clear a classic usb 2.0 can deliver 1000mAh by connecting the 2 data pin together and almost 2000mAh by joining the negative to the ground. So yes a single USB port can supply enough energy for that kind of product I’m just afraid about laptop or any other portable device with USB port .

  3. “Oh and, one of the failure modes for the Batteriser is fire,”

    That’s no good, it puts them at a real risk of being sued.

    “Private parties, such as consumers or competitors, can file a complaint for false advertising under the Lanham Act. To establish a violation under the Lanham Act, consumers and competitors must prove the following: (1) the advertiser made false statements of fact about its product; (2) the false advertisements actually deceived or had the capacity to deceive a substantial segment of the target population; (3) the deception was material; (4) the falsely advertised product was sold in interstate commerce; and (5) the party bringing the lawsuit (plaintiff) was injured as a result of the deception. Injury is construed as a likelihood of injury, rather than actual injury.”
    http://definitions.uslegal.com/f/false-advertising/

  4. Even successfully funded campaigns suffer when the Creator works so hard to create situations that imposes new terms to even receive the pledge reward, it’s the creators duty to send out a survey, using the backer report. Kickstarter needs to be more proactive. Creators ask for help, and the backers end up shafted. Even worse when Kickstarter allows a 2nd campaign, to run while the 1st isn’t fulfilled.

    1. This really burns me, some idiot with no idea how to put something together just slams a kickstarter up with a few renders and pictures of commercial products and people throw money at it.

      Not to mention it will only store about a 10th of the power a Lithium Ion battery will and you have to stuff a joule thief in there.

      This is all possible but the devil is in the details, and you do not just throw together a graphene capacitor. There are about 10 other ingredients that are just as important. Not to mention the design cycles and testing I have been at this a year and am not much closer than I was when I started.

      I am back to the drawing board yet again.

    1. I backed Tile, and they were terrible at communicating their progress, however I did receive my reward, albeit somewhat behind schedule (I think it was 6 months late).

      I’ve had 4 Tiles for about 9 months now, and they still work fine; I guess I’ll see what happens in 3 months when the batteries die…

  5. I think Saleae’s newest logic analyzers could fit this category.
    True, the did, and still do, deliver hardware but essential software functionality is
    badly missing after many months of promises of “soon”.

    I will probably use my Logic Pro 16 for target practice.

    https://www.saleae.com

    1. Saleae wasn’t a crowdfunded project and they’re not a scam unlike the projects mentioned in this article. If software functionality is missing then you could complain about slipping schedules but lumping them in with the scam artists is a bit harsh.

  6. Even the most successful kickstarters have trouble. The Pebble Time Color still has not shipped the Steel watch to backers and the nutjob backers are whining like babies that they don’t have their new shiny.

    If the majority of people don’t understand that manufacturing problems and shipping problems can delay delivery, there is not a chance that the bulk of the population can spot the fake kickstarters that have zero chance of success.

    1. They have started shipping the Time Color Steel. I have had mine on my wrist since it arrived Tuesday.

      It did not come with the steel band that it was supposed to, however they were pretty clear that they had a supply chain problem with them, and they will ship separately.

    1. There’s a smart dildo company out of the UC Berkeley incubator, SmartBod. They are really riding a current social trend, and people are stuffing money down their throats. They are directly advised by people from Google X, so closely that it is essential a Google X project now.

      I submitted a smart sex toy for men to the same incubator and was flatly rejected. What a world!

  7. My absolute favorite terrible kickstarter is still the graphene super-cap battery thing.

    An abject lesson in knowledgeable people being called cynics for their attempt to expose a obvious and outright scam.

  8. My favourite is Retrievor – small GPS tracker. First version promised solar charging. They first stole photos from completely other products (mobile phone app was from real Chinese GPS tracker, while the schematic was from a completely different product). Then they skipped to Indiegogo, and had two additional campaigns, with slightly changed description. Almost 2 years later, no real product.

    1. Because the entire campaigns were fraud … seriously, how easy is it to launch a bogus campaign, shovel out a lot of BS updates, stall for more cash, additional campaigns, etc. and simply cash in on all the dummies lining up to “buy” products that don’t exist? Ummmm … easy?

  9. Batteriser main page says that devices use only 20% of the battery’s energy which is nothing but a lie. Devices usually use 90% of the energy and the remaining 10% are unusable due to internal resistance. They are using lies and wrong testing methods to advertise their product, Dave Jones exposes that with simple tests. I bet when that product hits the market tests will show that in fact it shortens battery life due to DC-DC efficiency and current leakage.

    1. Wel… if you flip the numbers a bit they can be made to look “true”. “The device” (refering to the Batteriser) uses approximately 20% of the energy of the battery (losses in the DC-DC converter – best case scenario) to harvest 10% more useable energy from the battery. A net loss, but still, more energy get squized out of the battery (and if your device is a heater it might be able to utilize the extra energy).

  10. I remember there was also a coin like thingy which can be tied to your items and help you find them later. They claim there is no battery required and last over a year. I forgot what it is called. What happened to it?

  11. How the hell this missed even a mention in the main article, I’ve no idea. This has to be one of the biggest (unfortunately, ingoing) SNAFUs.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/secretlabs/agent-the-worlds-smartest-watch/

    The Agent Smartwatch was supposed to be another contender in the post-Pebble funding explosion, produced by Chris Walker of Netduino fame. Except the entire project has gone completely off the rails, and Chris Walker continues a failed campaign of exhausting backer funding despite pleadings by almost all the backers to just give up and refund whatever cash is left. The comments section is filled with over 10,000 hateful rantings, and almost all the backers are trying to get the FTC involved due to suspicions of misappropriated funds and lack of production (despite statements in the Kickstarter pitch that indicated production was much closer than was actual situation).

    1. Yep I cannot believe that the AGENT watch by Netduino creator Chris Walker hasn’t got more attention. The project started with good intentions but is now being left to rot while Chris Walker (who FYI seems to have a good relationship with Microsoft) burns through whatever money is left.

      Some would say that he is a crook. I couldn’t possibly comment but his project seems very very fishy.

  12. The Airing Maskless CPAP device just completed its Indiegogo campaign in July, and isn’t near any of its dates yet, but I suspect it’ll be one to show up on lists like this in the future. No prototype, Indiegogo flexible funding campaign, lots of rendered images, utterly unrealistic manufacturing cost predictions and magic tech. Yet it still got a million dollars from 10 thousand backers. I can’t wait to read the excuses they pull out when their prototype isn’t ready on time.

    1. Wow, didn’t see that one. I seriously am amazed at the ignorance of people with money.

      I specifically love their nonsense statements about their expectations of an “abbreviated FDA clearance”. Really?!?! With the claimed knowledge/experience of the doctors on their advisory team, you would think they would have a clue about FDA approval processes. Plus, the physics surrounding air pressure driven issues with CPAP machines will be more prevalent in this design. The next 2 years will be very rough for them so the June 2017 target is grasping for the stars.

      Since when did real medical device manufacturers use Indiegogo anyhow???

      1. If they need a PMA for this, just submitting the paperwork will eat a quarter of their funds, and that’s assuming it gets accepted the first time around and they don’t have to resubmit…

    1. Brian.. Pay attention…
      This is the guy you owe an apology to. If you had any question about the impact of spewing your uninformed opinions on technology, this is a great example. Good job on actively promoting a scam, and then never retracting your silly opinion even after it was obvious to you too that you screwed up. Try taking some responsibility. It might make you a better tech article poster person.

    2. same boat here, I even used backerkit to back thinking that would offer some additional insurance (it didn’t) and not only did soap change the scope repeatedly (this hardware, no that hardware, now off the shelf hardware..now it’s an app), but claimed “we got harassed” (which really means people called us mean things that were accurate) and stopped ALL communication after the sob story about how the main guy was a druggie.

      Once they switched to “an off the shelf router, and a smart hub” I asked some questions and they had no idea….it was then clear just how outta their depths they were.

      But the scammer got a BMW outta the deal and I’m out $200.

    1. I backed the BE MAKER campaign. No communication since April, no estimated delivery date on the boards or kit. I was sucked in because I had backed the previous campaign from the same guy and I was very satisfied with my Arduino clones. Live and learn, I guess.

    2. Considering the super high % of funding on those, they are most likely a confidence scam. It’s pretty common, and I’ve described it to people dozens of times, and few really understand it or the power of it.

      On IndieGoGo, or Kickstarter, or wherever else, you can just buy your own product. One hand paying the other. IndieGoGo even allows you to simply wholesale donate money to a campaign, without any trade sale going on. So, you just pay yourself $40K, and pay the 3% overhead fee to IndieGoGo. $1200 for a campaign that appears to be so incredibly genuine that it is 8000% funded. As long as you dupe people out of at least $1200 in buy-ins, then you break even. Anything beyond that is profit.

      The Jibo robot is perhaps the finest example of this. They ran a $100K IndieGoGo campaign that was 100% funded within an hour of opening. Everything else was gravy, and it toped out at thousands of % of funding.
      The entire campaign itself was a sham, too, since it was an early concept that didn’t even show working hardware, and they were reporting a team of 10+ people for the project. That is *way* below operating or development costs for a project like this.

      Oh, it also turns out that there are *huge* pay rings on Patreon, too, which compromise confidence scams. I helped a colleague write up the scrape scripts, and there will be a paper on it soon.

    1. Their release date may have been overly ambitious, but they’ve kept us updated, their excuses seem plausible, the tech itself is more “why didn’t I think of that” than moonshot, they did ship betas and the first wave is supposed to start shipping next month.

      I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now (I’m in for £70 so I might as well). They’re normally quite good at notifying if they’re going to miss a deadline and it’s all quiet on the western front, so I’ll keep the faith.

  13. Startups And The Big Lie

    http://techcrunch.com/2015/07/25/startups-and-the-big-lie/#.ikwrpn:uzEV

    What will happen if they don’t deliver and how to you force that conversation?

    What people need to understand is that a Kickstarter is a startup with at least the appearance of a project and we need to understand why a startup can fail. What is the health of the company you want a Kickstarter from if they don’t have money? Have they ever been in debt? Have they ever been bankrupt? I’m not really sure that you have to disclose these things. The reason they are on Kickstarter is because they aren’t really established and companies that aren’t established can have troubles that would sink established companies. A lot of companies go into business but not everyone stays in business because it is risky.

    The question you could ask is if the product is so good, why doesn’t the business world want to finance it? If they could afford to build one working prototype then why do they have to have a kickstarter to sell it in quantities instead of sell them one by one?

    There are a lot of poignant statements and questions in the article.

  14. I have to mention Solar Liberator, over a year late:
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-liberator#/

    I do give them credit for giving me a partial refund. (Indegogo got to keep their share.)

    They claim to allow you to tie it to the grid by just plugging it into a wall outlet. Which is a great idea, until your house burns down.
    http://wp.josh.com/2014/01/07/not-another-fake-plug-in-grid-tie-solar-system/

    The infrequent “updates” consist of endless excuses and random photos of empty factories. The idea sounds great, sort of a mix of a solar panel and battery combo a year before the Tesla Powerwall… Except that Tesla showed a working demo.

  15. Nothing is more annoying than spending a couple decades as a software and computer engineer struggling to get projects off the ground off your own dime only to find out people who make 0.01% of the effort who just got in to IT and ‘maker scene’ with no real skills or experience got $10,000,000.00 for something either useless or that you could make yourself inside a couple months with no money..

    I guess this just comes with the Web 2.0 era though..

    1. Completely agree… and as for corporate backing… they don’t even want to see or discuss possible advances that aren’t takeovers, or from their own techs.
      “We do not accept unsolicited offers of IP”

      1. ‘No unsolicited IP’ is quite reasonable.

        If you’ve thought of it, it’s likely that a bunch of other people have too. (They may not have done anything about it, but that’s not the point.)

        It keeps the lawsuits to a minimum, and we can all agree that the lawyers have too much money already.

        Go raise your capital on Kickstarter like everyone else and stop trying to whore yourself out the ‘the man’.

        1. an interesting twist
          I just found it frustrating that corporates were not interested in future options that may work in their favour – unless they already thought of it!

          — another example is the proposition if you want to ‘suggest’ an idea to Apple. Go read the terms – not very inviting at all!
          Apple can do whatever they want with your IP, and have no obligation to credit you, or share any further correspondence with the contributor.
          I guess it’s upfront and honest of them.

          My problem is that the technology I have running is not a mass-market ‘retail’ offering, so crowd funding likely wouldn’t reach the right people. Oracle, Microsoft, etc that also have skill resources to scale my POC if they like it.

    2. You should spend some time around a college campus these days. It’s pretty intense. The near-uniform viewpoint now is: everyone has a fundamental basic human right to take the elevator to the penthouse.

      Some people get to do it, thus everyone should get to do it. Because of the paradox around meritocracy, where “equal work” is both held on high, but then the system that measures people by their work is decried, there is no longer any condition of time or effort.

      In 2008, people were wailing about the 1% and income inequality. Now, people are reduced to purely their salary, and anyone who does not act to maximize their salary before anything else is considered an irrational actor.

    1. Well here in the US we are lead to believe the investor is # 1 in the business model, so I can’t blame anyone for not understanding it’s all speculation, even if it’s all fair play. You win some, and you loose some.

  16. FastbotBBP was a 3D printer controller that promised to make the machines faster, though it doesn’t do anything that existing controllers couldn’t, in fact, it was based on an existing controller board and BBB combination, merged into one board and made dubious because of part placement choices. They stole an open sourced design, refused to give credit and refused to post the derivative design and stole old screen shots of OctoPrint. Many people backed out after seeing those facts and how defensive the campaign starter got but it was still funded.

  17. The book is *definitely* not closed on the whole self-charging phones and devices thing. Nikola was a total break-out celebrity success, everyone was talking about them with stars in their eyes. There will be more laps around the track on energy scavenging tech for phones.
    Some undergrad will learn about thermoelectric, and invest a case that “charges” you phone while you hold it.
    It doesn’t matter if it works or not, they will be rocketed to the front of every Silicon Valley line there is, and be CEO’s for the rest of their days.

    Literally every year, someone “invents” wireless power transmission. The publicity is always quite fun to see through, and know that almost no one else can read between the lines. For example, they’ll claim being able to illuminate a light bulb from “across the room”, but then won’t say how much power goes into.
    People will believe anything that they want to believe. I mean, jesus, look at the fake hoverboard site, and then the Lexus hoverboard that had already been previously done.

  18. My personal favorite is “Nope”. The project that asked people to pay 10,000% markup on 3m adhaseive backed magnets. $50,000+ in funding, people got their magnets it it broke their computers.

    1. That is awesome.

      My favorite part is they don’t put the adhesive on the magnet (way to keep down the production costs!), you need to fiddle with a small dot of double-sided tape and stick it on the magnet yourself.

      That sort of thing is just a little bit too DIY for the Apple / hipster crowd this is aimed at.

    2. Speaking of magnets, I’ve just reminded myself of this: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/magkey/magkey-smart-key-holder

      Unlike Nope, at least these magnets come with the adhesive already on them. However, just like Nope these are rather overpriced as well.

      Yes folks, jangling keys are no more. At last the nightmare is over, and we can focus on the next first-world problem.

      Do people really hang their keys off their pants? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do that…

      1. I hang my keys off my belt,plenty of people do. With stroke acquired hemiparesis I lost 50% of my cargo capacity. In the the clips have always bee sold in hardware store, I have to assume many abled body people use them.

  19. I would find an article that picked out the successful crowd funding analyze why they where successful more interesting. However that should be a task for those who profit from crowd funding, the companies that manage crowd funding, Kickstarter et. al. . While sector isn’t going to analyze why failures occur until failure hurts profit, that should be what Hackaday should pick up on, to assist the “rabble” in deciding if they should help out a project. Interesting how many jump on using the word peak as catch is phrase, not understanding the context of peak is :( . The peak that should have been described as peak crowd funding, not peak Kickstarter. Peak best used in regards to supply. Peak crowd funding as unlikely as peak venture capitalism is. No evidence that ideas from humans is in short supply. A reasonably free market will sort the good from the bad.

  20. 1. Go to kickstarter / indiegogo / etc.
    2. Select “technology” projects
    3. Pick literally ANY project from the list, as far as I can tell 99% of them are bad in some or all of the ways mentioned in the tirade of comments above.

    Go try it, see if you can find ANY tech project that’s delivered even close to what it promised within +50% of the original timescale. I’ll wait here.

          1. Of those you’ve backed, but then you have some modicum of expertise in the subject so probably chose wisely from projects which were better thought out & more realistic than many.

            I’m not trolling, but it seems like there’s so much uncritical coverage of most crowdfunding campaigns that the balance desperately needs redressing with articles like this.

            I regularly look in on kickstarter etc. to see if there’s anything interesting going on but it really does seem like for every good project delivered there’s 100 failed / failing / stillborn / scam ones. Add to that the multitude of wheel reinvention (“Hey, let’s build an ever-so-slightly-different 3D printer / drone / phone charger / fitness tracker / item locator…”) and there’s a hell of a noise:signal ratio there.

  21. Mu thermal imaging camera was a burn. He actually came up with a working finished item he showed at a trade show, then decided it was to expensive to deliver on the paid perks and just kept everything and “you get nothing”, John ( jerk!!! ).
    Discussed at nauseum by Dave and others. I bought in because of HAD showcasing it.
    I’ll never back an indigogo again.

  22. Hi,

    Please do take a look at my now-ended campaign. This was for a product called the Lifeboat: The world’s first universally attachable mobile phone emergency battery booster with integrated GPS panic button.

    The link is https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lifeboat-mobile-battery-pack-with-panic-button

    Though, I am sure I nailed the look and hence could have made it like a magic box, I didn’t. Similar products such as the Lifeboat got fantastic media coverage and funding –

    wondercube – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/wondercube-8-mobile-essentials-in-one-cubic-inch
    and
    gokey – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gokey-battery-memory-remote-all-on-your-keyring

    It’s highly likely that both these projects will never be able to deliver or deliver sub-standard products if they do. This is because they have over-promised without actually considering all the nitty-gritties that go into making a real product.

    1. You are a prophet…

      Dear Backers:
      I sincerely regret to inform you that GoKey lacks the funds to complete the delivery of a viable product. We ran into technical difficulties that we could not resolve. There are no funds left to cover claims of suppliers and others or to offer refunds. I have been exploring all avenues to raise additional funds so that we could complete and deliver the product, but we have been unsuccessful.
      I honestly fought with all I had to do good at the end. Tried so hard to raise a round or form a partnership to deliver. And there have been times where a deal was looking 100% certain. But the age of the product, the liability and the negative cloud hanging over it always prevailed.
      I am left with no alternative but to completely cease and shut down all operations and activities and consider filling for bankruptcy.
      I feel terribly shameful for letting you down.
      I am sorry,
      Doros

      What do yout think!

      Doros K
      San Francisco, United States

      $1,216,280 USD total funds raised
      2581% funded on July 4, 2014

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