Vinli’s Dead End: The Hidden Negative of Crowdfunding

I’ve been participating in crowdfunding campaigns since 2011 when I backed a documentary about MMA fighter Jens Pulver. I’ve enjoyed participating in the process of helping to bring products to market – 45 on Kickstarter, 40 Indiegogo – and other than the times I’ve been burned by backing a project that never came to market (which is another blog post) it’s been a fun way of purchasing items.

For this post, I want to focus on the other side of the story: what happens when you get the product, it meets your expectations, you utilize it fully, come to rely upon it…and the company goes out of business or EOLs (end-of-life’s) their product. Many technology products today have a service/app element and that means your hardware has dependencies upon the business model of the company you backed. They brought the item to market that you wanted, but if their business model changes or they go out of business, that thing you bought might just stop working.

Continue reading Vinli’s Dead End: The Hidden Negative of Crowdfunding

The Harsh Reality of Crowdfunding Time to Market

The first time I backed a Crowdfunded project was in 2011. It was a documentary about MMA legend Jens Pulver and from that moment on I was hooked. It always bothered me that the only technology I could buy was whatever large companies decided was what would sell; dumbing down to sell to the general market doesn’t always generate the best products. It’s similar when it comes to movies and creative endeavours, though those artists have had a someone easier path of direct support since the dawn of the Internet age and electronic payments.

Since that first project, I’ve backed 20 more products on Kickstarter, and another 27 on Indiegogo; 48 total campaigns, mostly in the technology or entertainment realm. While only one has truly flamed out into oblivion – a D&D documentary project that got sued by, I think, another D&D documentary project – many are in the vague “we’re building it” phase. Continue reading The Harsh Reality of Crowdfunding Time to Market