According to Kickstarter, 78% of the projects that at a certain moment managed to raise more than 20% of their goal ended up being financed successfully. Collective financing, or crowdfunding, has allowed the initiatives of hundreds of people to be financed regardless of whether a large investor takes the plunge. Now creativity is in everyone’s hands and anyone can collaborate. But for a campaign to achieve its goal does not guarantee the success of the project.
The reasons why crowdfunding projects fail are many: economic problems, disorganization with the money that is received at first, total abandonment of the responsible or even Chinese imitators. With the following examples you can have some idea of the reasons why this type of project does not always succeed.
The most recent case: The ZX Spectrum Vega +
A few days ago we reviewed the history of ZX Spectrum Vega +, a project that was recently stopped by Indiegogo because the company was upset to see that Retro Games accumulated delays in deliveries and that it provided little information to the sponsors of their product.
For those who are not clear about what this project is about, ZX Spectrum Vega + is a command with which users can play on any TV with more than 1000 original games from the legendary Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer.
Although for the moment Indiegogo stopped the financing of the project, that does not mean that it will be completely paralyzed and the consoles will not materialize. Retro Computers is currently updating the Indiegogo page and the latest publication refers to the sending of special units (white, blue and red) that they promised in a contest that they launched among the sponsors. However, it is still unknown the date of the first shipments of the console because, initially it was going to be in October, but then the date changed to February, a deadline that was also not met.
Ant Simulator: When the money was spent on what they should not
In 2014 Eric Tereshinski and his group of partners launched a project that promised to help us explore the world through the perspective of an ant. ‘Ant Simulator’ reached its goal of $4000 on Kickstarter but after five updates of the Alpha, its creators stopped offering the status of their development. Tereshinski explained in a video posted on YouTube that his associates spent money raised on alcohol, strippers and other activities unrelated to video games.
Although the entrepreneur had the initiative to continue with the project on his own, he assured that without them he could be sued. However, he confessed that he spent two difficult months in order to make this situation public, and said he wished to contact those affected to try to offer them a refund.
Skarp: How to shave the best Star Wars style
In 2015 a Kickstarter project promised to change the shaving segment, saying goodbye to the traditional blades to make use of a small laser that cuts the hairs of the beard, in order to achieve that perfect shave that all brands promise.
After more than 20,000 sponsors sent more than 4 million funds to the project, and given the lack of confidence of the skeptics, Kickstarter intervened noting that the company did not have a working prototype, something that violates the rules of its website. crowdfunding
After this fact, the company sent an email to the sponsors informing them about the situation and so far, no one has had the product in their hands nor have they been able to see it in action, beyond their promotional video.
Coolest Cooler: A refrigerator with lots of features, maybe too many
In July 2014, the world of technology gave much of its attention to Coolest Cooler, a multifunctional fridge that in addition to keeping drinks and food fresh, was announced by having a built-in speaker that worked through wireless connectivity, in addition to being water resistant, have a battery charger through a USB port, have LED lighting and even have a blender as an accessory. Of course when launched on Kickstarter, this refrigerator was a success because it got more than 7 million dollars from 35,000 people, in just over a month.
However, this story does not have a happy ending either. The company behind the project started selling its product for $ 499 at Amazon in 2015, as part of its effort to raise enough money to continue producing new units. This happened because, according to Coolest CEO Ryan Grepper, his company spent the 12 million dollars he earned from Kickstarter, because, among other factors, the manufacturer of the Coolest Cooler blender engine started a strike and the company He had trouble finding a viable replacement.
Despite making sales through Amazon, in April 2016 the company asked 97 dollars more to the taxpayers of their campaign, so they could receive the fridge in their homes. In case of not wanting to give the money, they would have to wait even longer to have it.
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Zano: When you promise something you cannot keep
One of the most common reasons why crowdfunding projects fail is the lack of planning. This was the case of ZANO, a partially autonomous mini drone, capable of taking pictures, videos in HD and that offered the possibility of connecting to the smartphone to be controlled from there. Although the project managed to raise 2.3 million pounds, the device did not have a happy ending because, apparently, its creators did not know how to produce the devices en masse nor were they clear about the budget they would invest in the project.
Although they were able to carry out a first order of drones, all the money was spent on it and they ran out of resources to make the corresponding shipments. Although Kickstarter did an investigation to find out if it was a fraud, because the sponsors never received ZANO, they realized that the reality was that the creators did not know how to develop the project.
Air Umbrella: The commitment to an invisible umbrella
The umbrellas are usually somewhat cumbersome and for that reason, in 2014 was born ‘Air Umbrella’, a crowdfunding project that proposed an umbrella that creates a space of air pressure, capable of generating an invisible protection, which diverts water and prevents the user gets wet. The project was gathering budget on Kickstarter for its realization, raising more than 100,000 dollars from 842 sponsors.
However, the creators never sent the product to their sponsors and in 2016 published an entry in Kickstarter assuring that they would return the money to all those who supported their project (although they do not mention Air Umbrella but some electric shoes). The conclusion is simple: no matter how attractive a crowdfunding may look, before investing we should know something about the trajectory of its creators, and distrust if there is little news about the status of the project.
GameStick: The smallest portable console of the moment
In February 2013 a group of entrepreneurs published on Kickstarter the ‘GameStick’, a small console that was the size of any USB device, capable of connecting to the TV to offer an infinity of free games to users.
This project managed to raise 647.658 dollars but it turned out to be a failure because, although it did manage to be manufactured and was distributed among those who supported it, many complained about the failures in its manufacture and claimed that it suffered from so many bugs, that after a while it was practically useless.
Smarty ring: The first smart ring?
At the beginning of 2013 a group of entrepreneurs presented the Smarty Ring in Indiegogo, a product that would allow us to view notifications and use some functions of our smartphone from the finger. In this way, it would be possible to control the reproduction of music, the camera or find our mobile phone in case of loss.
Of course the expectations were many, because it was a really interesting wearable. However, although Smarty ring managed to raise $ 297,000, it was a total failure. After trying many designs, the entrepreneurs showed their sponsors a completely different prototype than the one they had promised.
Triton: Breathing like fish in the water
One feature of most crowdfunding projects is ambition, an aspect that can be of such magnitude that even many come to propose ideas that in practice are not as viable as they were in theory. Therefore, among these crowdfunding failures we highlight Triton, a device that was created in order to allow users to breathe underwater.
What the company was saying behind Triton was that the device had the ability to “draw breathable air” out of the water. Of course this was not entirely true and for that reason, the company had to admit some time later that it deceived its sponsors of Indiegogo, so in total it has reimbursed almost 900,000 dollars.
Peachy printer: When the project fails, and not precisely because of its nature
Asking for money to take a project forward requires great responsibility. And this was precisely what the creators of Peachy printer, a 3D printer of $ 100 that managed to raise more than $ 650,000, a number much higher than initially needed ($ 50,000).
The problem was that in May 2016, after the company began to have delays, one of its creators announced in a video that they had run out of money because, when Kickstarter gave them the money, the company did not have a bank account in his name, so the deposit was made to a team member who, although he transferred some of the money to the company, the rest he used to build a new house.
myIDKey: Technology does take place … and sometimes too much
Another case in which the company spent all the financing money before manufacturing the product. myIDKey was presented in Kickstarter under the promise of storing and encrypting all our passwords of the registries of websites or services, this in order that we could access them through our fingerprint. The project managed to raise almost half a million dollars on Kickstarter, won prizes at CES 2013 and received investments of 3 million dollars.
However, very few devices came to light and with several problems on top, as they had several operational failures that made it practically unusable. This was due to the fact that due to its small size, the company had problems to include all the necessary technology to make it work perfectly.