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The "Cool Kickstarters" Thread


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The "Cool Kickstarters" Thread
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2014-07-28, 19:27

It's become clear that Kickstarter is changing the way cool stuff gets made. There's so much stuff on Kickstarter that I think it would be neat to have a place to share our "discoveries," but the ever-flowing chronological nature of Twitter makes it hard to follow each project's own narrative. Then I remembered that we have a "webforum," which seems like the perfect place to discuss this sort of thing!

The only rule I'll set is that if you can't post your Kickstarter without disclosing that it's yours. Which seems obvious, but you never know...

I mostly back cool-looking indie games on Twitter. Recently I backed Temporus and The Deer God (both over and funded), which were both totally up my alley (I love the look of pixel art coupled with modern lighting!).

There's a really neat Kickstarter for a documentary about apps, the people who make them, and how they've changed the worlds of art, business, and of course technology. It's called App: The Human Story, and it seems like something a lot of people here would be into. As I write this, it's just under $10k away from its goal, with about 60 hours to go. (The way Kickstarter works is the project starters don't get any of the money if they don't meet the goal—the backers are never charged if the project fails.) I don't have any doubts that they'll get that last $10k, but the way they get it isn't by everybody waiting for everybody else to pledge, so I thought I'd share it here.

Voting with my wallet and getting stuff I like made feels good, but I also really like Kickstarter because I use it to find out about cool stuff that I'd never know of otherwise. Does anyone else Kickstart things? Anyone backing any projects that the rest of us might be into? Share it here!

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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curiousuburb
Antimatter Man
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: that interweb thing
 
2014-08-06, 04:55

Maybe the Solar Freakin' Roadways and HoverBike from the Daily News thread.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2014-08-11, 17:18

Tron Motorcycle Helmets

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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-08-12, 18:29

What about on the other end of the scale (as in "un-cool" campaigns)? Has anyone been following the infamous Harry Knowles/AintItCool Kickstarter fiasco?

Google it; it's kinda weird/interesting (not to mention infuriating if you contributed to the $128,000 of a $100,000 target...and have yet to see a single shred of anything a full year after the campaign ended).

EDIT: a handy run-down/recap (some of the info is slightly out-of-date, but not by much...all prizes haven't been distributed (as of August 2014), a year later. And whatever "updates" have been on social media have been the most vapid, bare-bones and uninformative ones imaginable.

And, no...I didn't contribute. I don't give money to man-child nerds or hipster techies. I've simply been following it because I think he's pulled a six-figure snow job and I want to see how this all turns out.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2014-08-13 at 12:45.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2015-01-07, 17:21

I finally backed my first Kickstarter project today! I'm very much looking forward to this thing being delivered too!

Zano - Autonomous. Intelligent. Swarming. Nano Drone.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2015-01-07, 19:08

Wow that drone is AWESOME!!


One of my circle of friends here in Atlanta did a Kickstarter for a drink caddy.

It was essentially a cylinder with 3 threaded ports equidistant around its base. You had to screw an empty plastic soda bottle into each port, thereby creating a stable base that would float in the water.

The concept was something you could use in the pool, the lake, or when tubing down the Hooch.

It did not reach its goal.

The guys behind it have their understanding as to why it failed.

My belief is that they didn't do enough due diligence to determine if there was a market for such a gizmo (one girl we know said "I wouldn't want something that looks like trash floating in MY pool").

It was fun to watch their campaign, and its demise was not unexpected, but it was still too bad for them.



...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2015-01-07, 21:44

I have to admit that I'd have a hard time supporting a project that seemed more like "trash floating" in a pool. I did almost support the Kickstarter for the Key Port or whatever it's called. I kinda wish I did in hind sight still. I don't have one but love the idea of one.

This drone though, it looks amazing in everyday except for the 5MP camera. While that isn't bad, it's not a awesome as some of the newer smartphones. It will still take 1080p and not need more to it. I love that. If it's half as stable as it looks, even Mrs T can fly that thing.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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iBrowse
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2015-10-07, 19:33

I haven't been active here for some time. I'm back for unrelated reasons, but I saw this thread and thought I'd post my crowdsourcing campaign I have going. I've been working on starting a sauce company for a little over a year now. I am very close to being up and running with three sauces going to market. Please check it out if you have a moment.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2015-10-08, 18:27

Sauce plz.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2015-10-13, 13:50

I thought I was being obvious above, but we need a source for your company. Linkity linkdelink. I want to buy sauce.
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iBrowse
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2015-10-14, 21:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709 View Post
I thought I was being obvious above, but we need a source for your company. Linkity linkdelink. I want to buy sauce.
Aw jeez! How did I not realize that I forgot the link? Even after reading your comment I didn't get it. Sorry, here it is.
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
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2015-10-15, 09:28

Friday the 13th game looks pretty awesome. Hopefully it's not disappointing and they add a single player mode but really looking forward to this.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2015-11-17, 00:50

Well poop on a stick.

I wanted my Zano.
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2015-11-17, 07:15

I remember seeing that one. Definitely was interesting to see. It was super ambitious, but it's sad to see that it's not living up to what they intended.

I just backed the Squire It looks like a super cool pen from the guys at Baron Fig, who make awesome notebooks.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2015-11-18, 12:41

Guess my project is officially a done deal. I'm really sad because I wanted the drone. I'm not as worried that it was scam from the start and all the other junk being said on the comments and forums. It is just plain sad. Oh well.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2015-11-18, 13:34

Was just about to post about this.

Definitely not my a scam. Just seems like they ran into some issues. Sucks.

Seemed like something I'd be interested in.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2015-11-23, 17:43

I got a message from Kickstarter directly today about Zano. It's interesting to say the least:
Quote:
Dear Zano backers:

We've heard from many of you in the wake of the Zano project's failure, and we've been reading your comments. Like you, we’re extremely frustrated by what’s happened with this project.

We learned the news of the Zano bankruptcy the same way that you did — through a bare-bones project update. We emailed the creators as recently as two weeks ago to encourage them to be more communicative with their backers, but received only a cursory response.

You deserve more than that, and we are committed to helping backers get to the bottom of what happened here.

Finding out what happened

Today we sent an email to the Zano team informing them of their obligations to backers, and asking them to share an open and transparent update on what happened with the project. We have asked them to post this update by Monday, November 30th.

If they do not adequately brief backers by that time, Kickstarter will independently pursue an inquiry into the Zano project. Should this occur, we will share those findings with you, the backers, once completed.

Kickstarter’s terms

Kickstarter’s Terms of Use set up an agreement between creators and backers that outlines what is supposed to happen if a creator is unable to complete their project. This agreement requires the creator to come forward and explain what happened and how funds were used, and to offer any remaining funds to backers. (Kickstarter does not issue refunds — the creator does so if there’s money left.) You can read this agreement in full here.

As of now, the Zano creators have failed to meet these obligations. And as our terms state, this failure can subject them to legal action by backers. In addition, creators who fail to fulfill, and who fail to meet Kickstarter’s expectations of transparency, are not permitted to launch further projects. The creators of Zano will not be allowed to launch another project on Kickstarter.

Failure is a possibility whenever someone tries to create something new. With open communication, this can be an unfortunate but acceptable outcome. But failure without honesty and transparency for backers is unacceptable. We are determined to help backers get the full account that they're entitled to and deserve.

Thank you for your time, and for being a member of the Kickstarter community.

Sincerely,

Kickstarter
It will be interesting to hear what comes of this in the end. I'm sure the short version is I just don't get my product or my money back.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2015-11-23, 20:36

That's really cool that they did that. This is a pretty high profile failure on Kickstarter so I'm sure they're feeling the pressue to make sure it doesn't happen again, or at least get a reasonable explination out there.

Thanks for the update on this. I'd be curious to see what comes from this.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2015-11-23, 23:36

Yeah, if you read the comments on the messages from Zano about this you would need to bleach your brain. I finally stopped after a few pages in hopes there would be some light of humanity in there. There were a few having normal comments and conversations but the rest were just horrid. I mean, it's like they think the people who did the Zano project actually read those comments now.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2015-11-25, 12:26

So I just got an update from the Zano people. It basically says they spent all the money and have nothing but unusable stuff to show for it. Nothing usable to all of us who sent them money and no way we are getting anything back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquing Group Ltd
Following our statement on 18th November, this is an update on the course of the project and the usage of the funds during the ZANO project.

Firstly, the board of directors would like to apologise for the lack of communication from the team following the last statement. We find ourselves in the position of having never pursued voluntary liquidation prior to the events of recent weeks, meaning that we have had to operate with caution to ensure that we have undertaken the correct procedural steps to wind up the company and are doing so with the best intentions.

Financials and Trading Standards
The pie chart below is a basic representation of the allocation of the funds utilised during the project in 2015. The figures presented are derived from our currently unaudited company accounts. We strongly refute any allegations made that may suggest that the board of directors have misappropriated any funds.
We have received first contact from Trading Standards within Pembrokeshire County Council and will co-operate fully.

Breakdown of expenditure


Prototype amendments and the testing rig
During the Kickstarter campaign certain upgrades were suggested, agreed and then implemented to the design.
These upgrades represented technical challenges which added to an already complicated project.
Ultimately these upgrades coupled with delays caused by the creation of a bespoke and automatic testing rig had significant financial and timeline impacts upon the project.

Hardware expenditure
Significant investment was made during the later development stages to provide improvements to the ZANO’s performance. The initial prototypes of the ZANO weighed approximately 55 grams whilst the production models including the upgrades mentioned earlier weighed 70 grams, an issue that had a repercussive effect upon the flight time of the ZANO. In order to combat the issue, lighter plastics and larger propellers were therefore procured to improve the flight time and overall performance.

Manufacture of product
Basic calibration between software and hardware was found to be successful during all prototype phases, however once the project moved forward into volume production, tolerances between these two vital aspects of the ZANO product has led to some unforeseen discrepancies and this resulted in difficulties calibrating the product in large volumes. This affected the basic performance of a high proportion of production units. This, coupled with the delays to the shipping dates and the extra costs incurred left the board with no option other than to wind up the project.

Closing statement
We would like to make a sincere apology for the understandable disappointment felt by all of those that have supported the project. We would like to reaffirm the significant efforts made by the board of directors and every employee of the company to try and bring this project to fruition and thank their unwavering commitment over the last 12 months.
In all I'm still not bitter or mad, just really disappointed. This was one of those projects that all the right things going from the start. Other than a lack of communication along the way it was what I was expecting. In the end though, I didn't get the Zano I wanted and am out $400. I won't swear off Kickstarter like many of the commenters on the back notices have, but I'll be sure I treat any money I throw at a Kickstarter, or other crowd funding project, like gambling money. I need to know once I send it I will never see it again.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.

Last edited by turtle : 2015-11-25 at 12:32. Reason: Had to change the image hosting
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2015-12-08, 15:03

Looks like Kickstarter isn't done looking at the Zano failure. I got this email from them:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickstarter
Dear Zano backers:

We're writing today to let you know that we've hired Mark Harris, a freelance technology journalist who has written for the Guardian and the Economist, to find out what happened with the Zano project.

We have asked Mark to look into the history of the project, how the funds were spent, and whether there were things that could have been done differently. He has written a post explaining the assignment here.

This will be an independent report — Kickstarter will not have any influence over what he writes. Upon completion of his research sometime next month, his findings will first be shared with you and then with the public. We believe that a full account of what happened will be helpful to you and to the wider community of hardware creators.

We encourage you to cooperate with Mark and this project. We have urged the Zano creators to do the same. He has set up a special email address for this project: zano@meharris.com. He says that while he may not reply to all messages, he will read them and is eager to hear from backers.

Thank you,

Kickstarter
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2016-01-20, 16:23

The current end of the chapter that was Zano has been published. Mark has publicly posted his results of research into the Zano rise and fall. It is a very long read, skip to the very end if you aren't really interested in his writing. I read the whole thing, at least all but a few paragraphs where I zoned out while my eyes kept moving across the screen.

How Zano Raised Millions on Kickstarter and Left Most Backers with Nothing

Kickstarter sent an email to us backers so we could see it first. Shortly they are planning to publicly share it. Since it's already not limited in any way I figured I'd let you all see it if you're interested.


For me, I'm not that turned off by Kickstarter or other crowd funding projects out there. I will view them more like gambling or "loaning" money to people. I'll just assume I'm never going to see the "reward" or the money back once it's parted my hands. That be nature means I'm going to have to be more cautious with what I'm willing to help fund.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
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2016-01-20, 16:52

Seems to me, looking at these failed Kickstarter stories, that Kickstarter should have an overfunding cut-off. Say, at 2x or 4x the requested funding (or, maybe at the top "stretch goal") then the Kickstarter is closed. These people seem to get in trouble when they have to produce in orders of magnitude greater than expected.

You can still buy one once it's a *real* commercial product, after all...
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2016-01-20, 23:32

Yeah, that's kinda the verdict I've come to also. Having to do something that massive on a scale when only expecting 1500 or less is a major undertaking. Not getting consulting to make it happen even made it worse in this case. Oh well.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
RowdyScot
Ice Arrow Sniper
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Great Bay Temple
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2016-01-26, 00:32

Mighty No. 9, delayed yet again.
  quote
kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2016-01-26, 07:20

I just had another update from the Hydrate Spark bluetooth enabled water bottle. Delayed yet again. Funded in July with projected delivery in December. Sent update the last month of December saying delivery was delayed until January.

Just the other day, another update stating delivery is now delayed until March.

The comments are clearly full of people who had never Kickstarted anything before because they say they ordered months ago and haven't gotten anything.
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
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2016-01-26, 10:08

I currently have three backed projects that are all past the estimated delivery date. I've come to realize that whenever they give you a target time line, double it at minimum.

Right now I have:
Coolest Cooler - Est Del February 2015
uKeg Pressurized Growler - Est Del October 2015
Floating Record Vertical Player - Est Del December 2015

I don't mind the delays if they have constant communication and keep the consumer informed.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2016-01-26, 16:49

See, that is what got me about Zano. They were really great about communicating what they were doing minus the issues they faced. They hid that completely and then all of a sudden when things were starting to go south they didn't say anything until there was suddenly a bankruptcy filed.

I didn't mind the delays at all either but let me know it's being delayed and why.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
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2016-01-26, 17:27

I agree. With the Coolest Cooler they have been pretty straight forward with their issues. First off, they ended up having waaaaaaay more demand then they originally planned on. That alone I could understand causing big delays. Then they had strike issues in one of the factories and then shipping takes a while. Yada yada yada. It all makes sense and they have been honest but they are still way behind schedule.
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2016-03-03, 11:12

Apparently the Coolest Cooler people are now looking for an investor to bail them out.

Did you get any message from them, Yontsey?

The water bottle I backed back in July is now scheduled to be delivered by the end of this month. Who knows if that will actually happen.
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