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# 210260 20-Mar-2017 10:09
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I've used Indiegogo to back a number of projects over the last 2 years.

 

The first project was supposed to ship in April 2016.  Latest project updates show that the first 100 production units for the developer's local market should be ready about now and they will test these before ordering a second batch for international orders.  Slow, but I remain optimistic.

 

The second one was due to ship early 2016, but shipped early 2017 instead.  It works well.

 

The third one was due to ship April 2016.  The developers went very quiet about 3 months ago.  Reviews are poor.

 

The fourth one shipped a couple of months late, but works well.

 

The fifth arrived 6 months late, and sucked.  Reviews are consistently awful and promised firmware updates to fix issues made little difference.  The company's advise was to upgrade to their new and improved model for a mere 70% more than you have already paid, and throw away your original.  The original developer has gone to ground and the support team has just been fired according to some very angry Facebook posts from the staff, advising they were told to destroy all records before they left the building.

 

The sixth project announced last week that they had hit some unexpected issues getting their product certified by Apple, and had run out of money.  No product will be shipped and no refunds will be issued.  I respect their honesty, at least.

 

The seventh project has supposedly been shipped to me.  After 3 months, they said they would ship another one to me.  Requests for tracking links have gone unanswered.  Reviews are mixed.

 

The eight project I'm still awaiting delivery on.  Reviews are mixed.

 

 

 

Summary:

 

Successfully fulfilled projects that work as advertised: 2 out of 8 projects

 

Still awaiting items items, and remaining optimistic despite delays: 2 out of 8 projects

 

Money considered flushed down the toilet: 4 out of 8 projects

 

 

 

I backed these projects in a short space of time, and in hindsight I should have been more conservative.  Projects like this always carry some risk as product development is generally not yet complete and there can be a myriad of things that can go wrong.  If you cannot accept the risk the product does not ship or does not work completely as advertised, do not back the project.

 

 

 

I believe Kickstarter requires you to have a working prototype, where Indiegogo does not.

 

 

 

What has your experience been of crowdfunding?





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  # 1744341 20-Mar-2017 10:53
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I've only done Kickstarter and only three times. The first arrived on schedule (one was advertised as something like "will ship by end of August" and I got the notice on the 31st... followed by delivery three hours later). The second arrived a couple of weeks "late", but still well within expectations (and they kept me in the loop). The third is still outstanding, but it's progressing according to schedule.


neb

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  # 1744525 20-Mar-2017 14:02
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I've been really careful with any of the crowdfunding sites, firstly avoiding altogether anything that's still at the idea stage and then being very cautious with stuff that's at the prototype stage. For example on thing I backed was an earthquake sensor that was mostly a Raspberry Pi 3 and case, the custom hardware part was a geophone that they'd already done the hardware and basic software for, so there wasn't much to go wrong, and even that shipped slightly late. I've backed one from-scratch piece of hardware, because it was cheap (not much to lose) and because I'm in no hurry to get it, it's currently six months late but still moving slowly ahead.

 

 

The problem with most of these is that the people behind it don't have much, if any, experience in bringing a product to market, more specifically in going from prototype to mass production. They're typically not prepared for the fact that the first 80% of the process takes 80% of the time, and the remaining 20% takes the other 170%. If you follow the failures, or failures-in-progress, it's almost all manufacturing delays and unexpected holdups. Read Bunny Huang's blog for what's involved in getting something manufactured, typically in China, which is where most of these things will end up being produced.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1744548 20-Mar-2017 14:48
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When I'm looking at crowd-funding sites, I'm looking for people with an innovative idea for something they want to produce, that I'd like to own. So I don't look at Indiegogo nowadays... when I did look, it seemed overloaded with "projects" like "Help me buy myself a computer". 

 

I've backed several KickStarter projects, all electronic hardware in the Technology category, just because that's where my interest lies. If the software isn't complete and isn't something I'd be happy to do myself, I don't back it. I've lost my money on one, probably on another that is currently 6 months late, had a couple of garbage products, but also some really good ones. I think people underestimate their costs, so cheap items tend to be risky. I'm astounded at the number of people who offer perpetual motion electricity generators, water-fuelled engines, and the next essential social medium. And that some of these do get some backers. 

 

 

 

 


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  # 1744559 20-Mar-2017 15:06
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I don't really see the point of these types of websites, unless you are a product developer. Or if you are the buyer, you also end up owning shares in the company, to reward you for your support. In a way it is an easy and cheap way for investors to get investment without many of them giving away any of their ownership. But the person paying the money is taking the risk, and the only reward appears to be the product itself, but that is a gamble. I would prefer to buy when it is a mature product, and they have sorted out any problems with it. Oh... and they are also great for the website owners who take their cut.


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  # 1744603 20-Mar-2017 16:04
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mattwnz:

 

I would prefer to buy when it is a mature product, and they have sorted out any problems with it. 

 

 

Me too. But if there's no-one willing to risk their investment, you will *never* receive the cool gadget! And, typically, early backers get a cheaper price than later backers, who in turn get it cheaper than the retail price.

 

 


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  # 1744625 20-Mar-2017 16:26
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I haven't backed anything on Kickstarter or indiegogo yet, but I'm quite interested in the Bonjour Smart Clock. Anyone here backed this product? Thoughts?

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  # 1744728 20-Mar-2017 19:02
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I've done 5 or six projects on kickstarter and they all produced the product they pitched.

One was 6 months late and another got lost in post first time round.

All under $US100 and we're things I thought would be interesting but not things I would get upset about if they didn't deliver.

I find it interesting to see the development process.

A

 
 
 
 


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  # 1744738 20-Mar-2017 19:16
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I don't back things anymore, after pebble and a couple that are now over 3 years late my money is better in my pocket and I will pay the extra if the product ever comes to market.

 

I am out about 800US

 

 


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  # 1744905 20-Mar-2017 21:58
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I've had reasonable success on Kickstarter. I've backed ten successful projects, had delivery on 9 (last one is pending shipping "any day now"). Most have been late though.

 

One I backed outside Kickstarter (dedicated product website) has shown zero signs of being anything other than vaporware though. That one they didn't actually charge up front though, so I'm not out of pocket. 


neb

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  # 1745319 21-Mar-2017 19:05
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Oh, another thing to watch out for on the crowdfunding sites is that there are lots and lots of cool little gadgets that are just reinventions of something that mass-market vendors have been selling retail for months or years. The number of magic connectors/chargers/adapters/doodads I've seen that involve you taking a high-risk gamble on something eventuating a year in the future when you can order off Amazon or eBay from a dozen vendors right now is pretty scary.

 

 

Also, is there some Kickstarter/Indigogo requirement that every project has to be either the worlds smallest, the world's thinnest/lightest, or the world's first?

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  # 1745321 21-Mar-2017 19:19
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540trickzter: I haven't backed anything on Kickstarter or indiegogo yet, but I'm quite interested in the Bonjour Smart Clock. Anyone here backed this product? Thoughts?

 

 

 

This was the last one I backed before calling it quits


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  # 1745325 21-Mar-2017 19:28
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tripp:

540trickzter: I haven't backed anything on Kickstarter or indiegogo yet, but I'm quite interested in the Bonjour Smart Clock. Anyone here backed this product? Thoughts?

 

 

 

This was the last one I backed before calling it quits

 

 

Just had a look at it... ugh, they've waaay overextended themselves. If this was being brought to market by someone with the size and resources of Amazon or Google then I'd wait for about version 2 or 3 before buying one, at which point they might have gotten it into reasonable working order. Given it's being crowdfunded and developed by a small team...

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  # 1745334 21-Mar-2017 19:56
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tripp:

 

I don't back things anymore, after pebble 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pebble was a huge success though!

 

I've backed a couple of small ones on indiegogo and kickstarter. 

 

If I found something else I really wanted I'd do it again.

 

Most things these days are a rehash of something else though. Like a tent with solar power and LEDs, or a carbon fibre acoustic guitar. 

 

Who wants that junk? Apparently heaps of people because they're 1223% and 3027% funded already. SMH 


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  # 1746780 24-Mar-2017 07:21
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Hey @Dynamic, even the pros suck at picking winners.

 

For Venture Capitalists the odds are usually like this, invest in 10, 3 lose money, 3 break even, 3 make some money, 1 make a lot of money.

 

I've been involved in lending money to businesses for years as a commercial banker and invested a couple of times on the sharemarkets too. Books I recommend reading are:

 

1) The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, it's probably at your local library, although well worth owning. Graham was Warren Buffet's lecturer, former employer and mentor. Chapters 8 & 20 are the two key chapters to read.

 

2) The Star Principle by Richard Koch. Uses the 80/20 principle to invest. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Koch

 

and the classic money management book

 

3) The Richest Man in Babylon by George S Classon.

 

 

 

 


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  # 1746784 24-Mar-2017 07:45
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I have backed a few things back in the days, Mainly games and small household electronic items.

 

They always are too optimistic with their pitch and deliver about 50% of what they say for games from what i have seen, Some games just get cancelled and everything goes quiet. Steam greenlight is a better platform for these small developers.

 

The game Spintires was a good kickstarter at least. 
I remember the massive rave over pebble and the Zano. The zano was a sad failure. 

 

 

 

 


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