The Kickstarter Blog

FAQ: Guidelines for Hardware and Product Design Projects

On Thursday we announced new guidelines for Hardware and Product Design projects on Kickstarter, including prohibiting product simulations, renderings, and offering multiple quantities of a reward. Today we wanted to answer some common questions we've seen in response. Thanks for reading.

Kickstarter announced that it's prohibiting product renderings in the Hardware and Product Design categories, but "rendering" can mean a lot of things. What does Kickstarter mean?

To clarify, we mean photorealistic renderings of a product concept. Technical drawings, CAD designs, sketches, and other parts of the design process will continue to be allowed. Seeing the guts of the creative process is important. We love that stuff. However renderings that could be mistaken for finished products are prohibited.

Do the new guidelines mean that Kickstarter will only accept Hardware and Product Design projects with finished products?

Not at all. We simply ask creators to share with backers exactly what’s been done so far, show how the product currently works, and explain how it will be completed. In short, we expect creators to show their work. Backers have shown that they're happy to get involved in projects that are in earlier stages when the creator is clear about the remaining work and their ability to complete it.

Do the new guidelines apply beyond Hardware and Product Design projects that are developing new products?

No. The new guidelines only apply to Hardware and Product Design projects that are developing new products. These guidelines do not apply to Design projects like the LowLine and +Pool or Hardware projects like Stompy: The Giant Rideable Walking Robot. Why? They aren’t developing new products that backers are expecting in their mailboxes.

How will Kickstarter know whether something is a simulation or rendering?

We may not know. We do only a quick review to make sure a project meets our guidelines. If an obvious simulation or photorealistic rendering is spotted during that review, that project will not be allowed to launch. If a simulation or photorealistic rendering is discovered after a project launches, that project will be canceled. Everyone should continue to use their best judgment when deciding whether or not to back a project.

Kickstarter announced that Hardware and Product Design rewards could only be offered in single quantities. What if my product works best as a pair or as a set of five?

As we noted in the announcement, sensible sets are fine. If your piece of hardware is best offered as a set of five, that's okay, however you couldn’t also offer it as a single piece. Creators will have to decide what works best for their project.

Final thoughts?

We created Kickstarter so more creative work could exist in the world, and last week's changes are in service of that mission. We're confident that these updates will lead to an even better Kickstarter. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, and thanks for being a part of it!

Comments

    1. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Adrian Freed on September 25, 2012

      The single order rule makes Kickstarter too expensive for my own hardware projects so I will go elsewhere now. The time cost of managing relationships for low unit cost items will be too high. On the backer side I wouldn't have been able to support Teensy 3.0 under the new rules, for example as I wouldn't be able to get enough for my team or a small class to work with - to contribute back to the Teensy effort.

      Also, I have friends who like to back Kickstarter projects and receive enough to give as holiday gifts. All these use scenarios are nixed. Maybe they aren't ones Kickstarter wants anyway? If not there I imagine there will be new, crowdsourced angel-funding sites who will.

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      Creator Rirath on September 26, 2012

      "Today we wanted to answer some common questions we've seen in response."

      For what it's worth, I think you got well founded criticism in response, not questions.

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      Creator Twintec, Inc. on September 26, 2012

      I'm curious about versions. What if a project can be presented in several easy variances like a train set. One can make a future eight, another only an oval?

      Or a camera dolly with track. One backer only needs 15 feet but another can't live without 50? With only one configuration your limiting the range of backers, thus the chances of a successful project.

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      Creator Twintec, Inc. on September 26, 2012

      Sorry, "you're"

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      Creator WileECoyote on September 26, 2012

      I'll echo what others are saying, for no other reason than it's so plainly obvious and repetition makes learning:

      1) Banning renderings misses the point and damages a project's ability to thrive for no real reason. Just require renderings to be labeled as such.

      2) making stuff to single item only has the following effects:
      a: prevents people from understanding their market (retailers vs direct consumers)
      b: makes it more difficult to manufacture many things (quantity changes manufacturing methods)
      c: promotes adding additional crap a person has to produce in the form of alternate funding rewards. Which adds a burden on to the creator that should probably be avoided so that they focus on the product advertised.

      Summary:
      * Require renders to be labeled.
      * Allow volume orders and bulk order options
      * Consider dropping the other, non-project related junk people tack on to projects that make many projects feel like a street bazaar.

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Michael Jacob on September 26, 2012

      If you're so afraid of being a shop, then why not BE a shop? Set up a secondary website, a shop for finished Kickstarter projects. That shop would have no legal problems at all, it would be an ordinary webstore platform (think Amazon Marketplace). Then you can limit product quantities as rewards to 0 and instead allow shop credit as rewards.
      .
      That way the Kickstarter project would never sell any product, the sales transaction would happen on the shop website. And only after the product has become produced. People could pledge any amount (common reward text would be "Reward level includes X units worth of of store credit. Any amount pledged over the pledge level will be converted to store credit. Expected store price is $YY per unit, but may change after the project has finished funding.), and they could buy more product than they initially pledged for if they want to.
      .
      The only drawback would be that poeple who don't want the product anymore after they see it finished would be stuck with their store credit. But hey, that's no difference to how it is now.

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      Creator Andy Lundell on September 26, 2012

      I want to say again that I love the no-rendering rule. It will force creators to talk more about their work in progress, and refocus Kickstarter on creators who are legitimately makers working on a project that they're passionate about, and not dreamers and "idea men" who want to just use Kickstarter to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks.

      In the other thread there was someone who was all bent out of shape because now they might have to create an actual prototype of their CARDBOARD BOX, and do you know how much work and money that is?!?!?
      If such people are driven away from Kickstarter by this rule, then Kickstarter will be better off without them.

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      Creator FATHOM on September 26, 2012

      If you can create a rendering then it's not too hard to go a step further and create a prototype. Companies like FATHOM (www.studiofathom.com) can create prototypes in under 24 hours. The recent developments in 3D printing have made this very affordable and flexible - multi-material 3D printing is available on Objet printers.

    9. Missing_small

      Creator John Arne Birkeland on September 26, 2012

      James, please tell me. What is the difference between a photo realistic render and a 3D print when shown as a picture on a web page? A 3D print does not equate to a finished product any more then a design render. The 3D print is more often just a hollow shell showing a design concept, used to give the designer hand-on feedback.

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      Creator Andy Lundell on September 26, 2012

      John, There's a big difference. Even a non-functional design prototype is an important step in the development of a consumer product.

      Demonstrate form with that design prototype, demonstrate function with a much rougher engineering prototype, and you've got a nice demo that not only clearly shows your current real status, but shows that you're passionate and committed to making this widget, and gives at least some hint at your ability to actually produce the product.

      You can't get any of that from a render.

    11. Missing_small

      Creator Movisi on September 27, 2012

      As a product designer, I can say that prototypes are extremely important and have to be done prior to tolling or production. They cannot show everything though. And they cannot show full and detailed scenarios.
      Using renderings is a core tool in the product design profession.
      We are in 2012. Photographers use digital cameras and digital software. And yes, also product designers, architects ecc make use of technology these days.

      Suggestion: label renders so everyone knows it's a render !

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (last sentence says it all).

      Product design is the process of creating a new product to be sold by a business to its customers.
      It is the efficient and effective generation and development of ideas through a process that leads to new products.
      In a systematic approach, product designers conceptualize and evaluate ideas, turning them into tangible products. The product designer's role is to combine art, science, and technology to create new products that other people can use.
      Their evolving role has been facilitated by digital tools that now allow designers to communicate, visualize, and analyze ideas in a way that would have taken greater manpower in the past.

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      Creator Silikids, Inc. on September 27, 2012

      @Perry, Yancey and Charles - Hi Guys. Would love your feedback to this thread. As a creator who has been working on this for several months now we do have something in the pipeline being reviewed before we can launch, but we are still trying to understand the new guidelines (as we originally created our project based off previous rules and project examples).

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      Creator John C on September 27, 2012

      I'm sort of nonplussed, here.

      First, after backing a few hundred (gah!) projects, the projects that appear to have the greatest failure rate are books. Authors seem to drop off the grid for months at a clip (or never come back), with no apparent progress. Every gadget I've helped fund, I've either received or I know a lot about why it's delayed. People kvetch more about hardware delays than books, but the hardware people I've dealt with function far better than many of my employers have.

      Risk assessment...OK, but I kind of feel that the people who need Kickstarter are, almost by definition, unaware of the real risks. There's literally no way to know until production starts that your factory has taken on a bigger client and deprioritized you. It's hard to imagine companies shipping the wrong capacitor. Without a few months of overseas manufacturing experience, it's impossible to imagine the effect of Chinese holidays, with work stopping for a week or two and a large fraction of the workforce not returning. Then there's the potential for lawsuits by people who want to believe their patent is relevant, even if it's not, or a trademark fight. Anybody who knows enough to watch for all these AND has a solution probably has better access to funding than crowdsourcing.

      Renderings? I'm ambivalent. Personally, I'd rather see them, and I don't think they're "tricking" anybody any more than a physical mock-up would. I mean, you could 3D-print a computer case and that wouldn't be a rendering, and that's not in nearly as good faith. It would be better to dump projects seen bending the truth, I would think.

      The numerical limit, though, I don't like at all. I haven't bought more than one hardware thing often, but as other people pointed out, you often need that to get an economical price per unit manufactured. With an artificial sales limit, the result is (a) unit prices will skyrocket, (b) an enormous number of backers are needed, and/or (c) creators need backers who really, really love t-shirts and similar quasi-collectables. I think any of those three, let alone all three, means that almost every project in the field will fail. I fail to see how consumers, creators, or Kickstarter benefit from that. On top of that, the rule suggests that every product is going to be available on the retail market, which may be untrue for a variety of reasons; not everybody wants to run a manufacturing business, especially after their first taste of it.

      To me, these are actually opposed to the stated Kickstarter philosophy. By limiting these projects to people with experience and limiting sales, it's MORE of a storefront, not less.

      No offense meant at all, as I'm a programmer myself, but this is a stereotypical software-style solution to a social problem. People feel out of touch? Give them a social network. People complain about hardware projects? Restrict hardware projects. "We need to do something, and this is something." As a few people point out above, the only genuine solution is to hire (or request volunteer) engineers to review projects for viability and offer feedback and/or report their findings to the public.

      Not that I have any business poking my nose in, here, but if I ran the zoo, here are the changes I'd make instead (in addition to the review). Feel free to use them or discard them as you like. They're friendly suggestions, not know-it-all comments or demands. But they'd definitely make me more comfortable when I throw money around, and I do have a little experience in that regard.

      - Ditch Delivery Dates: They're wrong. All of them are wrong. We all should know this, by now. If you must keep them, guide the creator toward high-balling the estimate. What's the delivery date IF you need to find a new source of parts and your manufacturing center goes bankrupt and some idiot sues you because he thinks the device looks like his face on the same day? Does that anticipated Christmas delivery account for the fact that everybody in the world is trying to promise Christmas delivery? Besides, the title is nicely alliterative.

      - Educate Us: I knew better, because I read up on Kickstarter and the projects before my first pledge. But when we pledge, especially the first few times, make it unavoidably clear that we're paying to support a project and that a successful campaign carries a risk of losing the money with nothing to show for it. Make it clear that these creators may not be able to deliver, basically. And that should go for every category. Make us retype the statement, if need be, but make sure users know what they're getting into before we see the Amazon logo.

      - Reject Pre-Orders: I think the mental model that works best is the PBS model. We're pledging to donate money to get a project off the ground. If it works out, then the creator will have gifts for us. By contrast, "you've just bought yourself a Widget" rewards sound like a retail transaction and people get understandably angrier when it's late.

      - Require Transparency: Nothing's worse than a project that spams supporters with "please pledge more and spread the word" messages until the campaign ends, then goes silent until/unless shipping starts. I'd much rather see a weekly status update of, "none of our suppliers are budging" (or "I haven't had time to write the book") than have a product silently ship the day the money changes hands. A budgetary breakdown and provisional (updated) timeline would also be worthwhile. That transparency reminds us that this wasn't a purchase.

      (Ideally, though I know it's unrealistic, I'd love to see some kind of escrow system, where plans, contracts, and so forth, get copied to the backers in the case of a failure.)

      (As a minor data point, I usually only pledge near the end of a campaign. Why? Besides it being easier to make sure I didn't miss anything good, I want to look at the updates. If there are no updates or the updates are exclusively about how much money has been raised so far and how many days are left, I have no confidence in the proejct. So creators, transparency is good for business.)

      - Pillory the Scammers: If a creator goes rogue, make sure we know not to do business with them when they pop up somewhere else. Give creators a safe space where they can call out their crappy suppliers so nobody makes the same mistake. For all Kickstarter's strengths, there's no institutional knowledge, here.

      - Highlight Open Source: I noticed recently that the "open hardware" project category seems to have vanished in favor of "hardware" (or maybe I imagined it being there for two years?). This sort of connects to the escrow idea I floated up above, in that the Open Source people are generally better at communicating problems and will try to make sure the backers get SOMETHING for their troubles, even if it's a copy of the schematic for someone else to run with. They also have a larger pool of people who can help without signing NDAs.

      - Kill the Copycats: Lastly, I don't know how well they perform, but the number of projects that seem identical (iPad stands come to mind) suggests that at least a few of them are scams trading on the popularity of the niche. Fads should probably be investigated more thoroughly, because it's easier to hide. If I wanted quick money, I'd claim to be selling steampunk iPad stands with zombie stickers...

      As I said, please pardon the familiarity and being nosy for the spirit in which the ideas are presented. But, I think this approach would do a lot more to cover abuses and ineptness than saying that someone making a microprocessor needs to find a million people willing to donate a dollar.

    14. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Tabor Kelly on September 27, 2012

      I completely understand the stuff about the renderings, but what is the rationale behind the single quantities? Why is it good for projects or funders?

    15. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator จ่าสิบเอก บารอน ซิมิ on September 28, 2012

      So Retailer Level
      now against the rule ?

    16. Missing_small

      Creator LarryP on September 28, 2012

      I believe the single-quantity rule, even as (trivially) amended will drive both project starters and backers away from Kickstarter.

      Kickstarter, please LISTEN to your user community, or at least look at (a) the huge volume of comments vs. any other blog topic and (b) accept the overwhelming feelings AGAINST your single quantity rule. You may not like the community sentiment, but ignoring it or pretending to address it will likely hurt you and help other crowd sourcing sites. Your user community has spoken loudly and clearly. Listen or suffer; the choice is yours.

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      Creator Bruce C Jones on September 28, 2012

      The whole rational that you justified these measures under were that the creators appear to miss lead the backers with the renderings and promise of multiple units for higher pledges. I for one realize that the pledge comes with the risk that I might get nothing. Although I expect the creator to deliver, it is like an investment risk. The investor that backs new start-up company does so at the risk that his investment may return nothing, and that it might pay off and he receives a return on his investment. He knows that the money is at risk just like I do at Kickstarters. If you believe that the backers are treating it like a store front then do not punish and suppress the creators, instead continue to educate the backers by placing the notification of risks that require acknowledgment prior to submitting each pledge. I applaud the effort to provide the backers with more information about the risks and how it will be developed, but the root of the problem is educating the backers.

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      Creator Andy Idsinga on September 28, 2012

      I couldn’t agree more that kickstarter is not a store but…
      FYI, hallway discussions with friends/coworkers are mostly negative, these 3 things standing out:
      1) Prohibition of product simulations is BAD . Require better labeling by project creators but don’t limit the story telling.
      2) Put more education / click through requirements *on backers*, “there are risks – the project mail fail” [check box] etc etc.
      3) Prohibition of multiple quantities - yikes - this really helps drive down costs and propel a new business based on backer interest.

    19. N851950524_5171534_427.small

      Creator Jonathan Perry on September 28, 2012

      First: In just the last few days, the Blog link at the top of Kickstarters page has mysteriously disappeared. It used to be located between the "search bar" and "help". Now the only way to find it as a link is at the bottom of the page.... What is going on Kickstarter?

      I've been following this blog the past week to hear what creators and backers think about the new changes. I prefer to see full renderings along with current progress on prototypes. I want to see the vision, but also want to see where you are at. Transparency allows backers to understand a project better and will allow more backers to participate in the development of any project that is posted in Kickstarter. Communication is key. Creators should be required to communicate project timelines and progress to its backers. I understand the multiple item rule, but some as stated need this to hit production goals. I'd like to see a second tier of funding. One for the creation, with first run pre orders, a second for larger or bulk orders. Maybe even an early backer developer tier, where backers can help with the beta debugging phase before project is sent out to the masses.

      I've back a few projects and most have been fulfilled. But I understand that when someone raises $30k for an accessory, that sometimes the costs are greater than projected. That's the risk I take when backing. Some will be upset, while others should understand that this is not Amazon. Kickstarter is still a bit of a store, but you are investing in the success of the company to bring creative development to the little guys.

      I hope sometime that kickstarter will make more rules in the development of kickstarter pages to make the objective more clear for both creators and backers, however there should be no limit to what a creator can show to get their message across, renders or not. I know the project isn't finished, but I want to know what the vision is. Built in timelines/goals. If you are limiting preorders, why not allow backers to fully invest in a company they believe and allow creators to offer shares of a company? I know the SEC was changing that this year for smaller investments. Though there would be a background check sort of requirement for backers willing to invest more capital. But that could be an added service that Kickstarter could implement.

      Either way, Kickstarter is a community and things like this need to be addressed and established with the whole community's involvement. We are the ones creating and backing. We should work together to make kickstarter what we want.

      Once more: In just the last few days, the Blog link at the top of Kickstarters page has mysteriously disappeared. It used to be located between the "search bar" and "help". Now the only way to find it as a link is at the bottom of the page.... What is going on Kickstarter?

    20. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Christopher M. Whelan on September 28, 2012

      I too, went to check on the comments on this blog, and had to search for the blog button. I am not accusing Kickstarter of moving it in order to reduce comments on blogs like this, but it is interesting timing...

      I encourage Kickstarter to listen to the community at large in regards to their proposed changes, else I fear Kickstarter will cease to be the premier crowd-funding site.

      Thanks!

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      Creator Stijn on September 29, 2012

      What is the best alternative to kickstarter? The only result this single quantity only rule will have is that less good hardware or design projects will be able to get funded.

      It seems kickstarter has no intention to reconsider. So where do we go?

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      Creator Jonathan Perry on September 29, 2012

      strangely, they removed the blog button from the top, however, just right of the Kickstarter logo they added a new link "what is kickstarter". I guess its a step in the right direction, making it more easy for someone who doesn't know anything about kickstarter to understand the basics. I guess we will have to wait until they do a complete redesign for the blog button to return to the top of the page. As of now there isn't enough room for the both of them.

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      Creator M on September 29, 2012

      The hardware limitation… is still idiotic: If I want to back one and get another for a friend as a gift, I would need to make 2 accounts, and have 2 transactions doubling logistical work by both myself and the project. Also, projects that would have been backed might fail even if the threshold for demand is met if the higher demand comes from individuals.

      At least allow up to 2 or 3.

    24. Missing_small

      Creator Nate on September 29, 2012

      This is still a ridiculous rule change, regardless of the clarification. Yes, everyone understands why there are some issues with people I'm sure complaining via customer service e-mail that they are out hundreds of dollars since they tried to purchase 20 of unreasonable product X. Of course, this comes with any kind of investment, There are risks, which I full well agree with the risks and challenges section, but the rest of the 'Updated Rules' are ridiculous.

      There are certain products that indeed can function in a single quantity, take the greatly popular 'LiFX' that is currently sold out. Yes, this would work as a single bulb, but to actually gain the full value of this product it would make more sense to have a room full of these bulbs, or even a house full. So a 'pack' makes significantly more sense than a single unit. This can be said for a number of things.

      As far as "photorealistic renderings" are concerned, why is it not acceptable to be able to see the creators vision for the future of their product? Yes, it could change, maybe they are unrealistic, but that is why a nice "WARNING: RENDERING NOT ACTUAL PRODUCT" addition to any 'rendering' would be the most acceptable and understandable way to 'protect' consumers.

      In the end, this just comes down to the ingrained idea that consumers are simply a flock of sheep that see something pretty and throw money at it. Yes, there should be more warnings, and yes, a creator should be made to be realistic about the risks and challenges he will face. But, if someone has read and accepted this, why not let them take that risk? It makes no sense to limit great products and the creative minds behind them by not letting them fully represent the vision they have for a product, as well as not letting their backers support them further with multiple purchases or sets of products.

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      Creator Mark Nowotarski on September 29, 2012

      Unfortunately, these changes will not address the real issue with design projects, which is failure to manufacture. If Kickstarter really wanted to address this issue, then greater resources related to manufacturing should be made available.

      Support project creators, don’t hobble them.

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      Creator Andy J on September 29, 2012

      Gotta thank Brydge's iPad keyboard project for starting the policy. Thank you Brydge for being the most un-professional, design changing, money stealing parasites you are. Rot in limbo you scum.

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      Creator Michael D'Arrigo on September 29, 2012

      These guidelines are too restrictive and I will move the launch of my hardware funding project to another crowdfunding website. If an inventor is trying to raise funding in order to facilitate design of a product based on sketches and a 3D rendering, preventing this rendering from being used in the project completely ties the hands of the inventor. Even if the ultimately manufactured product has slight modifications from the rendering, you can't really think that an entrepreneur is going to have a successful career if he/she pitches a product to possible customers and delivers them something completely different. The rules don't make sense to me - allowing renderings of a innovative product or concept is exactly what separates a site like kickstarter from being a store-front.

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      Creator Joel Blair on September 30, 2012

      I would like to see Kickstarter create statistics showing which hardware projects would still have been successful under their new multiple quantities rule. Imagine that each supported pledged at the "receive one product" tier. Try it for yourself and see how some great projects may not have reached their goal.

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      Creator Jesse Clark on September 30, 2012

      Kickstarter is important and I want to see it continue. A full blown, s*** the bed failure from an Ouya, Lifx, Pebble, etc would hurt Kickstarter's reputation badly and projects would suffer. A flat out scam that makes millions just disappear would paint a bullseye on the site for lawyers and media hungry attorney generals everywhere. This makes it harder for a slick marketing team to represent themselves as a can't fail company with nothing more than a high production value video and good short term community management. The decision makes things a bit tougher for a subset of legit creators in exchange for some safety for the site; sucks that it had to happen, but it's a good decision IMHO.

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      Creator Amateurasu on October 1, 2012

      Jesse: Driving creators and backers away with overly restrictive and unnecessary rules seems to me to be a more direct path to failure than having the occasional project fall through (which is always going to be a possibility, with or without these new rules).

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      Creator WileECoyote on October 1, 2012

      I searched around on the front page for a bit looking for the blog, but missed the section on the very bottom. I got here by googling it. Just a user experience note for your web folk!

      So after giving this a lot of thought, I think I understand what the desire here is. Most other projects (with a few exceptions) have a total value considerably lower than the break out technology and design projects. I think this is just risk assessment on the part of kickstarter. They don't want the press and legal that goes along with multimillion dollar projects tanking.

      I mean pebble was a Ten Million Dollar project (pinky to lip). That is a lot of dough being tossed around. I can see why they would be uncomfortable with handling that.

      Limiting per user quantities means smaller projects, reduced goals, reduced potential liability. Even if it does mean the creators are going to get the shaft in the form of reduced manufacturing options, reduced project potentials, and having to set a lower bar for pretty much everything. I agree with "educate backers" rather than "handicap creators," so I still won't be siding with this one. Would love to hear more justification for this in case I am way off base. Us poor mortals are just speculating in the dark here.

      I'm still failing to understand killing renderings of something. I'd like people to understand what a plastic, papercraft, oil clay, whatever prototype is going to look like when mass production puts it in to its real life material. Anything less is cheating the backer from knowing what I'm making.

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      Creator Giulio on October 1, 2012

      the updated rules are still nonsense: for complex products, a 3D printed prototype will not give you a good enough idea of the finish, colour and quality of the product.

      Kickstarter for god's sake it's not that hard:
      1. Make prototypes compulsory, IN ADDITION to whatever rendering, sketches, designs a creator may want to post
      2. Have renderings be CLEARLY LABELLED as such

      And, as many stated above, the new quantity rules are just not good enough

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      Creator QFman on October 1, 2012

      Enhancing Rewards
      We are a software company that is creating a dynamic new GPS application that we plan to sell for only $5.00. Our challenge is creating “rewards” that will incentivize the greatest participation. KickStarter backers are often times well connected to giant Facebook or Twitter networks. When they like something, they like to share what they found with that network. We would like to reward those backers that are responsible for the recruiting the most subsequent backers.

      Would you like to offer a special reward to someone that was responsible for recruiting a 100, or 1000, or 10,000 other backers for your CD, Book, widget or application? It seems like a win-win for everyone.

      I don’t see how the concept could ever be abused since each person that pledges, is doing so on his own decision. In my case, I would be more than willing to offer a free iPad loaded with my application to someone responsible for recruiting XXX+ pledgers.

      A simple modification to the KickStarter pledge page could assign a special pledge code giving a particular person credit for all of his referrals.

      I would appreciate you expressing your opinion here and to KickStarter.

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      Creator John C on October 1, 2012

      As I think about this more, the more it bugs me. Speciffically, having a "hardware ghetto" raises the point that it's clear to the Kickstarter management that the rules really don't make sense, so they're only applied where people are complaining.

      Imagine not being able to talk about the contents of a book, because they haven't been written, or not being able to play music, because it's not what will be on the CD since it hasn't been recorded, yet. Or you can't buy multiple prints of a painting. How about enumerating the risks of releasing software on time, which is a HUGE problem.

      Right! Those same limits would be (and probably have) recognized as complete nonsense. So how does it apply better if you're making a calculator or a musical instrument, rather than a program or a song? Especially since artistic projects are so much easier to derail. Think about a movie, which needs all the actors, locations, and props to come through at the right time.

      I'd like to add a couple more possible solutions:
      - Crowd-Critique: Create a no-creators-allowed comment page, where people who smell a rat can say so and explain why (or if it's a great idea, say). If you can crowdsource money, why not crowdsource warnings that a hypothetical flying car project isn't going to make its deadline because it doesn't generate lift, or that a ship date is impossible due to Chinese New Year. As mentioned, you should hire people for this, but we're willing to pitch in, I think, which we can't do if a creator only allows backers to post comments--it's silly to pledge money to a go-nowhere project to say that it's bad.
      - No wholesaling: Again, I see this more with books, but if you don't want people to look at Kickstarter like a store, maybe the "bundle of ten at a half-price for resellers" should be eliminated instead of my wanting to buy two circuit boards to fiddle with.
      - No establishment: If a company or creator is established, what are they doing on Kickstarter? It's hard to say "Kickstarter is not a store" if you can pick up a gadget manufactured by Sony. This seems to especially be a music thing, with bands flocking this way, but while I don't want to name names, love the company, and am thinking of buying one, who let Xi3 in? Again, great product line and they may well get my money, but how is Kickstarter not a store when an established company wants to sell me a computer they're ready to ship? Me only buying one? Guess how many PCs I'd buy at a store...

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      Creator Justine P on October 1, 2012

      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE change the quantity rule!! I am/was in the middle of creating my Kickstarter campaign but there is no way I will be able to reach my goal if I can only offer kickstarters the option to back in single quantities.

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      Creator Zandr Milewski on October 2, 2012

      I will simply point out that I have backed three projects, of which three would have run afoul of these new rules. I don't think any of the three would have funded successfully under the new regime.

      One has made it to market (late as should be expected), I have received the two copies of the product offered as a reward, and I'll buy more directly.

      I think you're blowing it here. I see the problem you're trying to address, and you're doing it wrong. Plenty of more effective adjustments have been proposed in this thread, I won't rehash them here.

      Kickstarter seems magical, it's succeeded despite itself so far... let's hope that holds up.

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      Creator esotericist on October 2, 2012

      There's been a lot of comments already, but hey, another drop for the flood, right?
      The perspective I'm particularly considering when it comes to the 'multiple quantities' rule is whenever you're looking at a product that's of interest to developers, such as the Oculus Rift, or various input devices, or any other number of things that are kind of new, and might need support from a few different vectors.
      Offering 1 to consumers and offering larger quantities to studios makes a BIG difference in your targeting. If you've got a software house that wants to target the new widget, a single copy of the widget is probably not enough. 2 or 3 might not even be enough, depending on the scale of what you're doing.
      Are such companies to be expected to have multiple accounts for separate pledges? To play games with over-pledges? To make private investments out-of-band of kickstarter?
      None of these possibilities seems like a good idea.

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      Creator Matt Combes on October 2, 2012

      You really should have gauged user feedback on these changes via random surveys before just flipping the tables on everyone. The ideas behind these changes are understandable, but you take them farther than is necessary.

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      Creator Ben Edwards on October 2, 2012

      Kickstarter is over. I am sure alternatives like IndieGoGo and RocketHub are taking notes on how not to run a business like this.

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      Creator Mike Del Ponte on October 2, 2012

      As a backer and future creator I also want to echo the disappointment in the quantity restriction rule. I believe it will negatively affect the Kickstarter experience for backers and good creators. I hope it's adapted to something more sensible.

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      Creator Gregory Powers on October 3, 2012

      Allowing multiple items per backer is NOT what makes Kickstarter a Store. The actual cause is the lack of funding limits.
      The upfront costs and minimum production runs for new products are very real issues that Kickstarter is ideal for overcoming. If, in order to get my new and exciting product/invention/idea to market, I need to cover the costs for a 1000 items it SHOULD NOT matter if I can convince 1000 people to support me for 1 item each, or 10 people to support me for 100 items each. Both scenarios have the same end result: enabling me to get my new product to market via crowd sourcing. Where things begin to deteriorate is what happens to all the funds raised beyond the initial goal. Since all the upfront development costs have been adequately covered, any additional money goes to one of two things:
      1) Pre-Orders. THIS is what makes Kickstarter into a store!! People are now spending money to receive a product that has been essentially guaranteed to make it to market (having already reached its funding goal). Being able to "buy in bulk" may increase this problem, but it is no more “Store Like” than simply pre-ordering them one at a time.
      2) Product Enhancements. (AKA stretch goals) And this is the reason why simply putting a hard stop on campaigns once they reach their goal is an unacceptable solution. Stretch Goals are a beautiful thing, where the combination of excessive community interest, the economy of scale, and commitment from the developer to produce the best product he/she possibly can, the end result is now better than was originally intended to be. Being able to exceed expectations is an essential part of what makes crowd-sourcing such an amazing experience/tool.
      Unexpected over-funding is also a root cause for many project delays, from product enhancements, increased manufacturing times, and increased reward fulfillment obligations. So somehow restricting the over-funding would also help that problem as well.
      My proposed solution is to:
      1) Do not allow project creators to raise more money than they need. (I would cap it slightly above the goal to allow for unexpected costs and Credit Card declines, but you could require projects to factor that into their initial goal) This would force creators to better plan out and explain exactly how much money they need, which synergizes well with the new “Risks and Challenges” requirements.
      2) Allow projects to officially add stretch goals (before OR during the campaign, since enhancements are often based on user feedback), where they explicitly spell out what changes or additions they want to make and how much additional funding is required to make that happen.
      3) Allow people to be rewarded with more than one item.

      @ Kickstarter: If these, (or others) suggestions seems unreasonable to you PLEASE let us (the community) know why. We would all like to see Kickstarter improve, but revealing unexpected restrictions from behind closed doors isn't doing you any favors.

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      Creator John Reeves, aka the Grey Wizard Dude on October 3, 2012

      I have supported over 100 projects: I do not like the limit issue, aka only 1 per customer - BAD, how should this example project have changed their rewards?: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1838656053/nano-cache…
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1838656053/nano-cache Maybe I am wrong, how could this project have done ok under the new requirements. - I also don't see why design is singled out, many are items that cost less than projects with chocolate cookies as rewards, we are not limiting food projects to 1 cookie only. Could this apply to any category, I am assuming technology is also effected...maybe music if a CD is hardware, or cooking if its an implement, but not a cookie but what if it is an implement with a cookie? I think this will just lead to more $50 t-shirts instead of just multiples of the real project.
      renderings issue-don't care - just tweek the rendering. risk assesment-don't care, could take 2 minutes. I like kickstarter, need to change the quantity issue because it adversely effects low cost projects which are the ones more likely to succeed.

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      Creator Martin Kessler on October 5, 2012

      I find it a bit disheartening to see, that after all the comments/criticism in this post as well as the initial one there's been no proper response by the Kickstarter team. It seems they just want to sweep it all under the carpet by moving the Blog link to the bottom. Very disappointing to see that crowdsourced ideas do not mean much to the (still) number one crowdfunding platform.

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      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on October 5, 2012

      Considering what Kickstarter is, a place where risk capital is solicited and offered, any plausible or reasonable projection of the capabilities of a project should be allowed and "photo-realistic" renderings should be encouraged. This should also not discriminate against electronics projects.

      The quantity rule is almost crippling. Any serious user or backer of a new piece of hardware, whether it's "purely" electronic, electro-mechanical, or purely mechanical, absolutely has to have more than one. Even hobbyists often need several of something like a processor core, I have six that I have either purchased already made or that I have assembled myself, and three are identical.

      Would it help to turn on the caps lock? Any backer who needs a hardware item absolutely has to have a fair number. Look at the projects that were backed for as much as a thousand dollars a go for people who wanted a few dozen of an item. Please think very hard about this. There is a reason for it. Some of these backers might hand a few pieces each to half a dozen engineers. If they develop a new product around something that just came out and does them some good, they have to have several to be able to test the new product. Please change the rules back to what they were. The old rules were a lot better for the backers.

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      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on October 5, 2012

      I'll say this one again for emphasis: Any serious backer of a hardware project needs to be able to obtain several copies. Product development demands the use of several pieces of an item, not just one. Restricting it to just one severely limits the ability of a backer to evaluate the usability and safety of that project. So please go back to the old rules.

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      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on October 5, 2012

      I have several Arduino type cores for a reason and I just do hobby stuff on a small table in my bedroom. Even a hobbyist on a tight budget has to have more than one for practical reasons. One project may take several pieces of the same thing or the hobbyist may develop dozens of uses for one board in a very short time. You people simply do not know the business. People pay $500 for 20 of an item because they need 20 of that item.

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      Creator John C on October 5, 2012

      Thomas drives the point home well, but let me add a further nuance: You don't see people go to computer stores to buy seven motherboards. So which behavior is more store-like?

      I do, however, think that the far bigger flaw is established companies (or artists) using Kickstarter for outright pre-orders for something ready to ship. I see at least one a week, and can't imagine how the people reviewing these proposals don't see a conflict.

      Let me repeat, though: Of 340 projects backed over two and a half years, with pledges ranging from a couple of dollars to about a thousand (for a 3D printer), the biggest disappointments have been products ready to ship and books. Shipping products have no communication. Book authors wander off for months at a time, claiming THIS time will be different. My fault for backing them, in the latter case--I balanced a fun-sounding idea against no indication of ability--but the former is simply not what I'm looking for at Kickstarter.

      Lesser disappointments have been with film projects, where pledging in anticipation of a DVD for a "movie" often nets you an unlabeled DVD-R with a ten-minute short. Again, that's not a complaint, just the way things go.

      What's missing from that list? Hardware projects. When I pledge to those, I either own the thing or I know why it's late. Maybe that's because I choose better projects (I work with too much lighting to get sucked into the implausible lightbulb projects, for example), but I doubt it.

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      Creator Barry Beams on October 5, 2012

      These new quantity rules are killing my project. KS must allow us more time or to lower our funding targets, and add time. They push us to target 30 days, while not allowing time for metrics and analytics with single unit limits to accrue so projects can get realistic estimates of how many buyers we will get, to therefore project revenue. If I knew then what I see happening to my and many other projects, I would have set half the funding goal, because the revenue per backer is fat less than a normalized target based on before the one unit limit was imposed.

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      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on October 6, 2012

      Multiples are absolutely necessary for product development and fifty can be a reasonable number. These are given as gifts to backers and you would expect any backer who puts down $100 to $1000 to be interested in developing a product using that device.

      It really sounds like someone is trying to kill the hardware projects.