Beef in the Crowdfunding Game
Anyone with Facebook knows what it’s like to be solicited by some annoying friend for a Kickstarter campaign to fund their upcoming album or MFA film thesis. But beware: it turns out that sometimes, that spirit of charity can give way to compulsively giving money to every campaign that needs it.
“Backers” is a possibly upcoming documentary about compulsive crowdfunders by Ana Barredo, a filmmaker and production manager. She originally set out to take a look at why people give money to crowdfunding projects in general, but stumbled upon a subset of users who seem unable to stop donating to hundreds of campaigns at a time.
the future is now
Crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter can be a great place to make impossible dreams come true. Some campaigns are total pipe-dreams, sure, but they at least they often have a few working test models and a real plan. Others are simply empty promises and total trash.
The latest dubious campaign is the Kreyos smartwatch, which promised a waterproof, voice-activated wearable device. As revealed by Android Police late last night, the project founders never delivered on their promise, refused refunds, and have since made off with the cash.
Every once in a while, someone will share that obnoxiously photoshopped meme of the date in Back To The Future 2 when we’re supposed to have the flying cars and hover-boards. The truth is that our world looks much closer to Marty McFly’s 1985 than it does to the fictional 2015. But every once in a while, we get a small taste of that Jetsons-style future.
A Kickstarter to fund the first batch of motorized roller-skates, called RocketSkates, has gone well beyond their $50,000 goal to raise almost $500,000 — a milestone they’ll surely reach by the time the campaign ends in 7 days. Once the Kickstarter is finished, they’ll go into mass production, and the skates will be shipping “well before Christmas,” a company representative told Betabeat.
The Equity of the Crowds
Word of an up-and-coming campaign for a pen that would scan and instantly reproduce colors excited crowdfunding fans and artists alike earlier this summer.
After numerous delays, the Scribble campaign finally launched earlier this week, only to be pulled by its creators two days later after both backers and Kickstarter began raising questions. After all, it wasn’t clear exactly how the pen was taking colors from objects in the environment and changing the pen’s ink.
Crowdfunding began as a cool way for your college roommate to raise money to finally record his first album, but has quickly gone on to be a bigger part of how the tech industry does business.
CB Insights, a research analytics firm that bills itself as the “OkCupid for venture vapitalists,” has released the first study of crowdfunding’s growing role as a serious part of the tech business. The survey took a look at every crowdfunded tech hardware project on either Indiegogo or Kickstarter, which came out to 443 projects.
The Equity of the Crowds
It all started when Ryan Seitz and Daniel Skaggs were drinking beer and skipping stones in Texas this past Memorial Day, and started wondering if competitive stone skipping existed.
The pair, both directors with Highway Goats Productions, used the Internet to learn it does, indeed, exist — and is apparently really popular. Now, they’ve created a Kickstarter campaign to fund an adorable-looking documentary on what they describe as the “global phenomenon” of competitive stone skipping.
Quick, who is the first name you think of when someone says crowdfunding? We bet it’s Kickstarter. That name has become synonymous with using the crowd to fund projects that would otherwise never see the light of day. But the truth is, crowdfunding really owes its roots to Indiegogo.
They may not have the same notoriety, but Indiegogo CEO and cofounder Slava Rubin is having a great year. They’ve rebranded the site, raised a $40 million Series B, and as of this morning, launched their new mobile app.
THE INTERNET WE LIVE IN
By now, anyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows Kickstarter and similar crowdfunding sites have hosted some interesting campaigns (potato salad, largest dick drawing, etc.)
It’s also no secret that some of these than less stellar campaigns come with even less stellar homemade videos. For laughs, Betabeat has compiled a list of some of the worst.
With recent crowdfunding campaigns such as blowjob machines, potato salad and mystery products (recently revealed) making headlines, this latest Kickstarter is no shocker.
An unemployed recent college graduate by the name of Alex Wong is using his free time to “bring back the goals of [his] youth.” He’s crowdfunding the world’s largest dick drawing.
Since Solar Roadways reached full funding, many news outlets — ourselves included — have thrown serious shade at the idea that the country might eventually be covered with light-up solar panels.
The founders of Solar Roadways, Scott and Julie Brusaw, have responded to the criticism with a counter-argument/rant on the Solar Roadways site which they’ve titled “Clearing the Freakin’ Air.”