Delivery Fail: Learning Crowdfunding Lessons The Hard Way

on Thursday, Jul. 10th

Crowdfunding is the land of big dreams and bold promises, and when those dreams die the promises get broken and everyone involved gets very, very cranky.

Ars Technica has the story today of how one wildly successful Kickstarter project–for a USB key that would act as a secure storage for passwords–turned into a colossal failure that burned through cash before crashing and burning. Where did it all go wrong? Well it started with feature creep:

MyIDkey’s delays seemed to stem from the team realizing that the product, as prototyped, was woefully insufficient. “In building a breakthrough device, we’ve faced engineering challenges,” stated project update #12 on July 4, 2013. At that time, the team decided to switch from an A3 to an A5 ARM processor, as well as a new operating system, memory, hardware encryption, a different Bluetooth chip, and a larger redesigned case.

The full story does a good job of illustrating some of what can knock a project of its rails, and what kinds of questions backers would be wise to ask about the teams who set out to make tech products via crowdfunding.


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