A fantastic idea. Who wouldn’t want a website that helps people fund their creative projects. Of course, the funding depends on the involvement of friends and colleagues. So far so good. The problem, however, is that you have to know in advance precisely how much you can raise and in what time frame. If you don’t meet your funding requirements within the time frame you set, you earn nothing. The assumption is that if you earn only $2999 or $3000, you won’t have enough to complete the project, and so you’re back to where you started despite all your hard work raising funds. In the real world, you raise what you can and what funds you earn, you put towards your project. Additional funds may come out of your own pocket, but at least you’ll be in a position to apply funds once you get them and put them toward your project. You don’t know how much you might earn, nor will you know how long it’ll take, but at least no one’s imposing a deadline and telling you it’s all or nothing. Not only is Kickstarter all or nothing, it also involves up to a 10% deduction in your funding, due to charges by Amazon and Kickstarter. In the real world, you don’t have to pay for the work you put into raising funds from friends and colleagues. At Kickstarter, you pay a commission, as it were, on your own work. If the premise of Kickstarter is built upon your own work generating interest in a project and raising funds, why not bypass the middleman and just ask friends and colleagues to write checks or make paypal payments? Kickstarter does nothing to get you any closer to funding a project but providing a platform and perhaps a motivation to raise funds since you can be a dollar short and get no project. Yes, it’s a wonderful idea, and Kickstarter, if anything, is stifling it by holding you to your initial uninformed assumptions about your project and then charging fees for succeeding. In short, it’s still a great idea. I don’t know that Kickstarter, with its all or nothing approach to funding, is going to make it any easier for them to get projects funded. Why try to fund a project and fail at Kickstarter when you can bypass Kickstarter and campaign as long as it takes to raise funds.Fundraising is fraught with uncertainty. It’s a shame that Kickstarter doesn’t appreciate that. Projects aren’t all or nothing. They’re dreams that evolve into fact through commitment and belief, as well as the support of friends. If Kickstarter could lend support rather than imposing unnecessary hurdles, they wouldn’t potentially kill so many projects.
This review (Kickstarter Complaint) was originally published at Skeptic Files.
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