It’s you. Well, perhaps not you, but the majority of misinformed Kickstarter users whom backed the Pebble and other projects which have “failed to deliver” on the schedule they originally had.
Kickstarter is a funding platform, that means that it isn’t an online shop. All you’re doing when you back a project is helping the company or people reach their target that they need to be able to make their product happen. As an added extra, some projects will include rewards but they’re not a guaranteed product, you might get them, or you might not. Regardless of whether a news update has been released saying that production has begun on your reward or whatever, there is still a lot of room for failure which can be out of their hands. There are many reasons this may happen:
- The project gets a lot more interest than they first anticipated. Pebble is a great example of this, they expected to make around 1000 watches, they’re now making sixty-eight thousand watches. Eric and his team could never have predicted this. They quickly had to move to find a reliable production line and source more materials than they originally had planned for.
- Lack of resources, tagging on from the reason above, it’s always possible that the amount of resources a project could get their hands on for 1000 rewards may not be possible for 8000.
- Not enough structure in a team. Again, Pebble is a great example of this. Whilst they’re trying their best to keep everyone happy, there is a few loud mouthed people who feel they need to leave nasty comments on their forums because Eric hasn’t communicated enough about items he’d mentioned previously.
- Lack of understanding on what goes into a project on a scale they’d be working at. Made a few bracelets before? Great! But that’s not going to cut making tens of thousands of them. In thirty different colours and 10 different styles.
- The Estimated Delivery Date listed on each reward is not a promise to fulfil by that date, but is merely an estimate of when the Project Creator hopes to fulfil by.
- Project Creators agree to **make a good faith attempt** to fulfil each reward by its Estimated Delivery Date.
- Kickstarter does not offer refunds. A Project Creator is not required to grant a Backer’s request for a refund unless the Project Creator is unable or unwilling to fulfil the reward.
- Project Creators are required to fulfil all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfil.
- Project Creators may cancel or refund a Backer’s pledge at any time and for any reason, and if they do so, are not required to fulfil the reward.
Whilst Kickstarter try to ensure that successful projects fulfil their rewards, there are still matters outside of their hands that may prevent this from happening.
More people need to understand what Kickstarter is and that their rewards may not reach them by the original schedule. In a way, Kickstarter also acts as a learning platform for the creators of a project.