The (Good) Problem With Kickstarter

What happens if you raise $1 million on Kickstarter and you never ship?

This is what happened to the first Kickstarter project I backed, a point and shoot iPhone attachment called Red Pop.

Well, it finally shipped after months of delay and tweaks. But even after if arrived and I installed it, Red Pop was janky and it took grainy pictures. I asked to return it and never heard back.

The problem in backing projects on Kickstarter is that the final product is usually not good enough. Kickstarter projects are fun to invest in, mostly because we’re betting our money like a VC. But sometimes these products are just half-ass and need to be developed by big companies with bandwidth and full capabilities.

I see Kickstarter as a training ground for products of mass consumption. After owning the Nike Fuel band I instantly wondered what a Smart watch would look and act like. A few days later I heard about The Pebble on Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is a reminder that all the technology we want is probably in development somewhere. But it’ll take years to see and perfect it.

Unfortunately we need big companies like Apple and Google to push innovation along and market adoption. When there’s market utility, there’s money to be made.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.