Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. Kickstarter and Indiegogo may look and feel like online stores, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get something in return for the how Do I Make Money you pledge to a campaign. To make matters worse, there are a million things that can go wrong between the successful funding of a campaign, and the delivery of the final product to your doorstep. The creator could underestimate the amount of funding they need to finish the project.
Manufacturing issues could cause long delays. For these reasons, backing a crowdfunding project always involves some level of risk. How to avoid getting burned Over the years, I’ve backed dozens of different Kickstarter projects — but not a single one has failed to deliver. I attribute this long history of not getting screwed over to two things: a dash of luck and a heaping helping of careful consideration. Before I pledge support to a project, I look at a range of different things to determine if the project is likely to be successful. C: Consider complexity Some ideas are easier to bring to life than others. A machined titanium bottle opener, for example, requires only a simple CAD design and enough money to cover materials cost, machining, and shipping. Keep an eye out for real photos of the actual product.
If all you see are renderings, that’s a red flag. A robot that plays fetch with your dog, however, is much more complex to create. In addition to sophisticated hardware, such a robot would also require custom software, which the creators have to write, test, and debug before they can ship the product. Furthermore, this hypothetical robot would likely have lots of custom parts. Simply put, the more complex the project, the higher the possibility of failure. The only problem with this strategy, of course, is that more complex crowdfunding projects are often the most enticing. If you absolutely must consider backing a project that combines hardware, software, and other components that are tricky to manufacture, make sure that the creator has developed a functional prototype.
R: Research the creators This should go without saying, but if you’re going to give someone money, you should know who you’re supporting. This is important for two reasons. First of all, a creator’s presence or lack of transparency says a lot. If the creator remains anonymous, their reputation isn’t at stake if the project fails to deliver, and they could screw backers over without suffering any repercussions. Second, knowing the creator’s background will help you judge their competency and gauge their fitness to complete the project. Let’s say you’re considering pledging money to a Kickstarter campaign that’s promising an amazing new sleeping bag. You don’t need to stalk the person, but taking 10 minutes to look into their background, experience, and areas of expertise should always be on your pre-pledge checklist. A: Analyze their background After you’ve examined the creator specifically, you should turn your attention to their past achievements. Again, this will help you determine not only if the creator is capable of completing the project, but also how likely they are to complete it on time.
If the creator doesn’t have a track record of product development and delivery, approach with caution. If the creator has product development experience, and has successfully manufactured something before, there’s a higher likelihood they’ll be able to deliver on a new project. Bonus points if they’ve built something similar to what they’re promising in return for your pledge. Extra bonus points if they’ve produced large volumes of said products, and have experience manufacturing at scale. If the creator doesn’t have a track record of successful product development and delivery, you should approach with caution. If a creator hasn’t completed a similar project before, chances are good that they’ll run into hiccups somewhere along the line. For these reasons, second-generation projects are usually no-brainers to back — i.
Kickstarter to raise funds for the production of a new-and-improved version. C: Check the comments Most crowdfunding platforms provide some sort of comments section where backers can chime in with questions and get direct feedback from the project’s creators — often on a public forum that everyone can see. If you’re thinking of backing a project, these comment threads are a great resource that can provide tons of insight. For starters, the comment section can help you gauge how responsive the creators are. If there are tons of questions on the page and the creator hasn’t answered any, that’s a bad sign. If, however, the creator responds to most questions within a couple days, and doesn’t provide evasive answers, then they’re probably not out to scam everyone.
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On top of that, commenters often spot potential issues that you yourself never would have thought to inquire about. A campaign’s comments are a resource that’s available throughout the entire lifecycle of a crowdfunding project. K: Keep an eye on it Pledging your money is only the beginning. Luckily, most creators are relatively active when it comes to issuing updates and sending out newsletters about their progress.
After all, backers have given them the means to chase their dream, so the majority are very good about communication. If they aren’t, however, you should be proactive about checking up on things periodically. Visit the campaign page, check for updates, and take another peek at the comments. If the creators have gone silent, reach out to them and politely ask for a status update.
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. At best, they’re having trouble and there will be delays. At worst, the project has suffered a critical setback and is spiraling toward failure. If at any point you feel like the project you backed is headed in that direction, get in touch and ask for a refund. That’s not to say you should only check up on a project if you get the impression it’s floundering. Even if the project appears to be headed in the right direction, you should still keep an eye on it. What if it was possible to use a special chip to transform any surface into a touch-sensitive one?
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