Recently Kickstarter made some changes to their polices and those who had been happily using the service and enjoying the ability to raise funds for their project might have grown a little anxious wondering whether these changes would be for the better or for the worse, and how in general it might affect them. Meanwhile tech analysts and others might have been interested by these changes and why Kickstarter decided to implement them. Here we will look at the changes from both angles – what it means for you, and why Kickstarter have decided to change the rules…
The Nature of the Changes
Kickstarters new policies cover a lot of ground, but the overall idea of the move according to Kickstarter’s own site was to make users feel ‘less like they are using a shop’. In other words the changes were implemented in order to remind people that they are choosing to support projects that aren’t yet complete, that they aren’t just buying things. This presumably is to protect the buyers and the bidders and thus ensure the cogs keep turning on the site.
Thus the changes include:
- Creators must fill out a ‘Risk and Challenges’ section to detail the risks and challenges that they might face in the process of creating their project, and to detail while they think they are suitable for overcoming them. You have to remind users that this could still go wrong, but you will also be given a chance to fight your corner.
- Product simulations are now no longer allowed. In other words you aren’t able to show image of your product doing things it can’t yet do. So if you’re inventing a jet pack, that means you can’t make an animation in a 3D modelling package and then show people it flying around – because that’s a little misleading. Working prototypes are fine though as long as you show the prototypes in their actual current form. Using 3D printing then and injection moulding to create working prototypes just got even more important.
- Finally you can no longer offer multiple quantities of an item as a reward. In other words, if you are creating a car you can’t offer someone five cars if they pledge five times the amount. The reason for this is that it creates the illusion again that the person is paying for a completed object. The challenge currently is creating one instance of your project so it’s a little rich to start offering multiple copies already.
What Does it Mean?
For creators then it means making sure to spend more time coming up with your creation, and to spend lots of time thinking about the problems you might face and how you’re going to get around them. While it might seem like it means you’ll struggle more now to get people to back your projects, in the long run this is very good news for creators as it means fewer Delboys on there who might scare off potential supporters in future. Kickstarter are focussed here on building trust and that shouldn’t be underestimated…
David Harrison is a business blogger and shares his experiences through guest posting. He is a part of the team at Berkeley Sourcing group, world’s best injection molding manufacturers.