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Beef in the Crowdfunding Game

Beef in the Crowdfunding Game

Indiegogo’s ‘Scampaign’ Problem: Latest Crowdfunded Smartwatch Is Total Garbage

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 1.46.55 AM

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. Read More

Beef in the Crowdfunding Game

Crowdfunding, You’re Doing It Wrong: Twitter Bots and Spammy Emails Are a No-No

The original Kickstarter campaign.

Last week, we covered Vergence Labs‘ canceled Kickstarter campaign and relocation to Indiegogo. Kickstarter’s no-comment policy regarding suspended projects means there’s no way to know the official reason for the cancellation. But now it looks like someone–though it’s not entirely clear who–has embarked on a spammy promotional campaign for the Indiegogo project, blasting out emails from a “Sergey Grin” and blitzing Twitter with @replies linking to the new project.

Founders Erick Miller and Jon Rodriguez were unable to respond by publication time (despite multiple requests for comment), but it’s presumably either them, or someone who is very, very enthusiastic about their idea. Read More

Beef in the Crowdfunding Game

Kickstarter Suspends Social Video Glasses Project; Fundraisers Decamp to Indiegogo

The project at issue. (screencap, Kickstarter.com)

Despite all the enthusiasm for Kickstarter as savior of hardware companies, it’s still worth caveats all around. Backers should remember there’s still the occasional scam, failed project, and downright bad idea. And would-be money-raisers should remember that they are using someone else’s platform and therefore subject to Kickstarter’s oversight, like it or not. Last month, we covered the case of Tentacle Bento, a card game yanked from the site. Today it looks like another, less overtly offensive project got the ax: Vergence Labs’ social video glasses.

Vergence Labs proposed to build YouGen.tv glasses, which would (supposedly; we’ll believe it when we see it*) record high-def video, which users could then share socially. The project picked up some positive press at the outset, and as of earlier today, backers had pledged $63,790, exceeding the original goal of $50,000. But sometime this morning, the project was suspended and Vergence Labs’ profile deleted. Read More