As regular readers know, we’re kind of ambivalent towards the craze of crowdfunding (e.g. Kickstarter, IndieGogo et al), primarily because it’s still a very untested way of funding projects and products. Some projects are obviously worthwhile, have a great team and fulfill a definite need for society at large, while others offer more iPhone cases.
Two examples of this wide disparity of projects spring to mind immediately, because of their wildly different situations.
Example 1. Fullstop for iPad.
While we’re very skeptical about anything to do with iDevice accessories, this project stood out for us because of its sheer attention to detail. The team has done a significant amount of real hard core research and come up with a product which should minimize the shock effects of dropping an iPad tablet. The product features better protection performance than many of the leading rival cases, and will be priced at a reasonable figure on launch.
Current situation: Just $95 funded out of $9000 with 25 days left to go.
Verdict: We don’t understand why this hasn’t got more attention, unless it’s because it’s a New Zealand product as opposed to one dreamed up in San Francisco? Strange.
Example 2. Light by Moore’s Cloud.
An LED light, which is ‘intelligent’ ‘open’ and ‘connected’. The lamp has an integrated Linux computer, Internet connectivity and a full programmable interface. But, and this is the really important part, it’s still just a lamp. For which the team are asking a staggering $700,000 in funding. Yes you read that correctly.
Current situation: $248,078 funded out of the $700,000 requested with 3 days to go.
Verdict: What on earth were the team thinking when they decided to ask for that much money for an LED lamp project? And who stumps up over a quarter of a million dollars for this anyway? Sure, the product is going to fail (unless a rich inept billionaire steps in at the last moment) but even so, there’s some serious weird here.
Our advice to would-be funders of these projects in general is, take care out there, because there’s some strange stuff going on.