The Kickstarter Blog

Is lateness failure?

Kickstarter projects are great at a lot of things, but meeting deadlines isn’t one of them. This isn’t just a Kickstarter thing. All creative projects, whether they’re on Kickstarter or not, often take longer than expected. What’s unique about Kickstarter is that everyone gets to see how things are made and exactly how long it takes to make them.

A research project from a Wharton professor earlier this year sparked a conversation about how long Kickstarter projects take to be completed. The research found that just 25% of surveyed projects delivered rewards by their Estimated Delivery Date. In other words, many projects were late. (The professor also found that only 3.6% of surveyed projects failed to deliver. This got much less attention.)

Occasionally art is known for how long it took to be created. Sometimes for better (the Sistine Chapel) and sometimes for worse (Guns ‘N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy). But with few exceptions, the amount of time a creative work takes to be made has little relevance to its audience. If anything, the longer the period of creation the higher esteem the work is held.

The focus on lateness within Kickstarter brings three problems. 

First, it incentivizes creators to take shortcuts to hit their deadlines. As legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto recently said, "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” 

Second, it ignores what makes Kickstarter so unique: getting to watch a project come to life. The opportunity to see how something is made and to have a hand in its creation is a special thing. If a creator turns the creative process into a story they share with backers, delays don't have to be bad news.

Third, it presumes that Kickstarter is a store. Sure, it's unacceptable for a store to ship something late. But Kickstarter is not a store. The Estimated Delivery Date is the creator’s best guess at how things will go, and it’s made at a very early stage in the project’s life.

We at Kickstarter know quite a bit about lateness ourselves, funnily enough. Our original plans had Kickstarter launching in April 2008, but a variety of obstacles delayed the launch an entire year. Does this delay make Kickstarter a failed project? We hope not. Ultimately the creative process takes as long as it has to take.

Comments

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      Creator Matthew Campbell on December 18, 2012

      I think some cases are made worse by the fact there isn't that "coming to life" transparency through regular updates to the project page or a public website. I would gladly pay for many of my supported projects just to see an inside look at how they are made as it happens - the end product is just a bonus. I want these projects to exist, so I supported them. And I can't be the only one - several successful projects have come with documentaries about the process to keep people in the loop. Is there a way for Kickstarter to encourage project owners to make frequent updates?

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      Creator Deva Mirel on December 18, 2012

      As a creator of 2 funded projects, I have to say that the first project was a huge learning curve. It would be great if business plan software was integrated into the KS experience for creators.

      The creative process, at least for design projects, should be complete when the project goes live--that is my understanding, according to the new guidelines that only allow you to post what you have actually prototyped.

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      Creator hassan samad on December 18, 2012

      people really have no idea how long it takes a project to go from concept to completion. there are a lot of variables. My first Kickstarter project i supported was th Pebble watch . It has been incessantly delayed..Am i disappointed that I havent received it yet?Yes. Would I have been even more upset if i got it in september and it didnt function as the creators envisioned? yes.

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      Creator Julius on December 18, 2012

      Lets put it this way: lateness is not failure, lack of communication is!

      If your backers now what is going on, if they know what kind of unexpected problems you are facing with the delivery of the that essential paint from Fiji, they will keep supporting the project.
      If on the other hand you leave them in the dark, they feel the project has come to a complete stop, just because they don't know what is going on.

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      Creator Yancey Strickler on December 18, 2012

      Well said, Julius!

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      Creator Mandos on December 18, 2012

      Absolutely agree. The worst thing that can happen is a lack of communication. I backed a project in another crowd-source website and despite the project being 2 months behind schedule there were no updates which generates frustration and annoyance. In this particular case the project creator has completed the project and sent the rewards but still no updates at all sent to the backers. Guarantees I will never back his projects again however awesome the result was.

      Really cannot stress it enough to Project creators, a short update that says very little still passes along the vital info that you are still working on the project and you still care about you backers.

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      Creator Enrico Lauro on December 18, 2012

      When it comes down to it, creating something should be about delivering the absolute best that you can for your audience/fans/customers, and so if I'm being completely fair, I prefer to wait on a superior product than for a product to ship earlier than the developer/publisher/manufacturer are comfortable with and be left with a product that isn't quite what you were hoping for.

      That said, if you say you're going to eliver in a year or two, and wind up delivering ten years down the line, there's hardly an excuse for that, but that's an extreme example! :D

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      Creator Nate Gilmore on December 18, 2012

      I think as backers we have a lot of patience and understanding. Most of us realize that the project creators have to overcome a lot of unforeseen hurdles. Some of these projects really push the boundaries. Often successful projects have to overcome the challenges of scale.

      I think as part of the community there needs to also be a contributed learning. If projects keep hitting the same delays, then how do we grow the community intelligence to overcome those hurdles? In that vein, Shipwire (where I work) took a look at a lot of past interactions we've had with backers getting their product designed, packed, imported and ultimately shipped. We came up with some best practices and blogged it.

      Tips: http://www.shipwire.com/kickstarter

      Blog post if you want to share it: http://www.shipwire.com/w/blog/kickstarter-fulfillment-shipping/

      Covers a lot of crazy hurdles that some great project creators have overcome. Please comment on the blog is you want to see us expand on anything.

      Nate
      Shipwire team

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      Creator Yancey Strickler on December 18, 2012

      Those are great resources Nate. Thanks for posting them.

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      Creator A.J. Tarnas on December 18, 2012

      The study was referring to a narrow slice of project from the design category. But the record there is even better than the 3.6% failure rate cited: out of those 381 projects "3 projects had issued refunds, and 11 had apparently stopped responding to backers. The direct failure rate, therefore was 14 out of 381 products, or .036 [3.6%]. Further, the projects that were not responding totaled just $21,324 in pledges, compared to nearly $4.5
      million for the remaining projects." That's only 0.49% in money down the drain -- a sign of an incredibly efficient system. I wanted to say, Kickstarter should perhaps try to spin off a business that helps creators make things in a more timely manner, but if this little slice of data is any indication, the current system is exceptional.

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      Creator Elroy Project on December 18, 2012

      With all due respect, I think Kickstarter should consider applying the communication aspect to it's own operations. I've had a project pending now for 5 days. There seems to be no way to get an update. I am completely blind as to whether I'm going to hear back in the next 10 mins or 5 days as to whether my project will or will not be approved.

      I know this sounds like complaining on my part but I'm honestly trying to offer it up as an insight into the world of project creators. In my (pending) project I make a very clear statement that communication is critical to managing expectations. I've backed a couple of projects and I've watched several dozen as they have played out. Communication is almost always where project creators get tripped up with their backers.

      The same works in business. I have 20+ years experience in business and the exact same thing is true. Communication is the key to managing expectations. It's a phrase that should be etched into the brains of every entrepreneur. It would be a tremendous enhancement if Kickstarter could find a way to calculate when projects will be reviewed as a ways of helping to manage expectations.

      Rob Honeycutt

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      Creator David Pennington on December 18, 2012

      Although I very much agree with the spirit of this post (particularly the intangible value of transparency and communication of a work-in-progress project), I think quoting Mr. Mollick’s findings here are misleading.

      “The research found that just 25% of surveyed projects delivered rewards by their Estimated Delivery Date. In other words, many projects were late. (The professor also found that only 3.6% of surveyed projects failed to deliver. This got much less attention.)”

      Assuming that is true within the context of his study, the 471 “surveyed projects” (just 1% of his 47,000 project dataset) that he used to arrive at that percentage were limited solely to the Design and Technology categories (thereby omitting the other 11... Perhaps a further study might explore whether all categories in fact behave similarly?) and only 381 of that small subset had “clearly identifiable outcomes”.

      I think that begs the question of whether the behaviors of projects that amount to less than 1% of the projects he surveyed (and less than one half of one percent of the more than 80,000 projects launched to date [according to your stats page]) are an adequate, statistically significant cross section and indicator of the overall delivery performance of Kickstarter projects?

      Probably not. Although it’s a curious starting place, I think there’s still a lot of analysis left to do before arriving at any definitive rate at which projects fail to deliver, late or otherwise. I do however appreciate that Professor Mollick’s work (along with Jeanne Pi’s contributions, and Kickstarter’s own forays into data availability and analysis) invites further academic scrutiny and exploration.

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      Creator michael wallis on December 19, 2012

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      Creator Charles Waugh on December 19, 2012

      I commend Kickstarter for this blog post!
      Educating the backers as to the inherently messy process of the development of a product AND business is critical.
      Kickstarter is NOT a store, and yet Kickstarter seems to put all the onus on the creators to make it act more and more like one, while letting the backers keep their mis-guided assumptions about exact delivery dates, the lack of any possibility of outright failure, and ignoring the reality of the troubles of small companies learning and improving themselves as they grow.
      We had 2700+ backers on our project and we delivered late due to the original design not quite working out in production and having to re-make injection molding tooling and a problem with packaging.
      Most of our backers were fine with that. Yes, they were disappointed, but they understood as we kept them updated.

      But... 1.5% of our backers were livid. They posted nasty comments, calling me a liar, a thief, an amateur (yup! that's what a start-up is!), etc. Some threatened legal action. Sigh... what a distraction!
      And, to top it off, we've had troubles with international shipments getting completely lost in Poland, the Netherlands, and (oddly) Canada, while others are seriously delayed in the UK and Australia. This is MULTIPLE shipments that have gone awry, shipped from a fulfillment house of long standing reputation. Again, many backers are OK with this and understand, but others have torn us a new ____ over it, leaving outrageous comments on our project page.
      The reality is: we're STILL learning about how to do business. Huh! We're not perfect.
      PLEASE: TEACH the backers about the messy process of development. And THANK YOU for using yourselves as an example of the realities of business not aligning with our expectations.

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      Creator Ryan Hicks on December 19, 2012

      The only way a kickstarter can fail is if they don't deliver what they promised. I'm still waiting on a couple things that according to the estimated time of delivery should have arrived months ago, but as far as I'm concerned as long as I EVENTUALLY get my rewards then everything is all "good n da hood" if you catch my drift. The only way lateness of a reward could be a failure is if the time of the delivery is somehow directly related to what the project is. Say for instance if there was a kickstarter for a movie and they wanted to show it at a film festival and they got funded but by the time the film festival came around they did have it finished then that would be a failure to me.Sure they could still make the movie but they wanted to be featured in a film festival and now they can't so kind of a fail. Thats the best example I could think of where lateness could be considered failure.

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      Creator Andrew Martin on December 19, 2012

      Very touching blog entry, but I personally believe the growing discontent with crowd funding has as much to do with seeing more and more projects that resemble 'established businessman reducing his risk when releasing a new product by using YOUR money' rather than the more idealistic 'helping the little guy fulfill his dream'. I'd almost feel better if a project had to prove 'financial need' before they start. :) Missed deadlines just add insult to injury when you are already feeling this vibe.

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      Creator Bryce Baird on December 20, 2012

      The problem is is that promise dates are used to lure "investors" or "buyers" or "backers", whichever nomenclature you prefer. The dates are definitely used to induce support, and since there are no reprecussions for missing deadlines, those seeking funding are encouraged to either outright lie or at best make baseless assumptions about when the product will be released. All of the reasons you mention, regarding quality and not wanting to release a product that is not ready were known to the people seeking the funding, and should have been taken into account. Those seeking backing know that if they fail to provide a product date, and only state sometime in the future, they won't get the funding they want, so they make a false promise, knowing that there is no consequence to failing to meet the promise

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      Creator mark on December 20, 2012

      It is a failure of Kickstarter not tot have processes in place for delayed projects and enforcing rules upon the project leaders.

      For more than 8 months I am now trying to get my SolidWatch. The projectleader has promised me in writing delivery but he fails to do so. When I approach Kickstarter about this, they simply do not even respond.

      By creating a platform for projects, allowing them to use the platform and taking a cut Kickstarter should accept some responsibility and enforce certain things on the project leader.

      By failing to do so Kickstarter is creating more problems than it should do. By not communicating appropriately with funders of a project Kickstarter tend to show an attitude of only being interested in a cut and nothing more.

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      Creator John C on December 21, 2012

      The flaw in the Wharton study is simple: There's no context.

      How many corporate projects run late? How many funded startups run late? If Kickstarter projects are disproportionately late (hint: they're not, by my experience), then there are two possible reasons. One is that crowdfunding is the last resort of high-risk projects, which is fine and welcome. The other is that Kickstarter attracts scammers and/or sets projects up to fail, which means there's work to do on your end.

      I agree, though, that communication is the biggest flaw, and I think it's something Kickstarter should encourage fixing. I will never pledge to a project whose updates are "10% Funded! Woohoo!" and never say a word about the project, because I know what will happen if they make the money: Radio silence until the package shows up at the door. (The same goes for campaigns run by corporate entities--if you're not putting your name and face on the project, there's less incentive to keep in touch and a tendency to drift into corporate-speak.)

      But, then there are others. I want to ask for a refund every time a creator puts down someone complaining about being late with something like, "well, I'd be glad to see whatever project you've created," as if that makes problems OK.

      I also HATE the projects that are offered additional funding after the campaign ends, especially books. Invariably, this means a huge delay and format change for the new master, and nothing said to avoid damaging the negotiations.

      However, if it was possible (and I do, where it's possible, like when the creator opens a storefront), I would double my pledge after the campaign to any project that educates me. The "Type-A" pen was horrifically late and caused a lot of people to complain bitterly and throw around all sorts of accusations, but the stories they provided along the way were easily worth five times what I pledged (and the pen is darned nice, too).

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      Creator Serhend Sirkecioglu on December 21, 2012

      The maxim of Kickstarter is not a store is so true, but I feel that the genie is already out of the bottle. In the early heyday of Kickstarter the backers were more in it to be helping out a young man or lady with a dream project to get it off the ground, but now there's a stagnant air of cynicism within this embittered backer community. They just want "cool" stuff, it has little to do with helping people now since consumerism has...consumed altruism. There's this demand for high quality production values and rewards to the point the success of a project is more in favor of a semi-established professionals than the underdog with a dream.

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      Creator Janice Flanders on December 24, 2012

      I think that Kickstarter itself is aiding to the problem in how it is structured. When you go to the Kickstarter homepage, you get hit by a barrage of "staff picks". Many of them are WAY overfunded, or have been funded weeks/months ago. Yet there they are, STILL sitting on the front page of Kickstarter, for our perusal. While this makes sense that it would help generate more money for the developer/artist AND Kickstarter, this tactic is a huge detriment to projects getting shipped out late. When projects are funded, they should be relegated to the "back shelf", if you will to make room for new projects. Then the developers can work on getting their projects completed, and not get up to their eyeballs in a backlog of "undelivery". There should be a rotating method of ALL projects showcased, so that the hand picked ones by the staff are not shoved down our throats. As a new Kickstarter backer I prefer to find my own projects, I don't go NEAR the staff picks, and I have found some great projects that I feel good about supporting.

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      Creator Nguyen Trung Kien on January 3, 2013

      That's good!

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      Creator Kevin Blackburn on January 3, 2013

      Good Stuff and this can be a painful truth

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      Creator Kouture Crochet on January 3, 2013

      I just launched my first project. It is easy to see how projects come to life and how delays happen. but delays dont mean failure, but lack of communication is. I have backed projects that have been delayed and I was kept in the loop, and while some others backers were not pleased with delays, as look as I was kept in the loop

      Janice Flanders I agree 200% with you. even if it was something like once a project is 200% or 300% funded it gets at least moved to the bottom of the staff picks and lets unfunded projects get there. I understand that may people perfer project to be already or almost funded to back them but again kickstarter is not a store and we cant encourage that. MYself, i have been much more willing to fund projects in the earliest stages of funding. and yes that means some projects that i grow attached to dont get funded thats the breaks.

      I also think that kickstarter is added to the problem by requiring project to have a video to get and traction. my project again has no video. why? because my goal is only $900 and spending money and time on getting a "decent" video together would take money (and most importantly time) away from the project and i would rather use money on the project, like say buying fiber for the project. so because of that my project is not featured in the "small projects" section. fun. so i hope kickstarter will consider instead the overall project proposal not just wether there is a video in the future.

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      Creator Brad on January 6, 2013

      Maybe we could get some type of tracking that is publicly shown for shipments, sort of a percentage like the goal is. Percent early and Percent late. That will then stick with that person through their whole Kickstarter Career. I'm in the middle of my first project, and this is all a great learning experience.

      Thank you Kickstarter and all of my Backers!
      Brad

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      Creator Sarah Vee on January 7, 2013

      I was thinking about this recently, and Julius' comment above ("Lets put it this way: lateness is not failure, lack of communication is!") perfectly sums it up for me. Examples:

      I had paid a small amount ($20ish) for a project that I thought was nice but didn't care that much about, but I was really upset when I didn't receive my package and the creator failed to respond to messages or make any updates for months. I was starting to think he was a scammer - it was a bad feeling, thinking you've been taken advantage of by some crook. Finally a message on his Facebook page got him to come back and let us know about the production problems they were having that resulted in not being able to send out the product as planned.

      The flip side of the coin is a project like Order Of The Stick, which was delayed heavily by the project raising far more money than the creator had anticipated (something like $1.2 million on a $50k project). But he gave us updates. He made granular charts of exactly how much progress he was making with different rewards categories. People got shipping e-mails with tracking numbers. It was all really professional in spite of him being more or less a one-man shop. We heard about every glitch along the way, including another major delay due to an injury to his hand. He couldn't type, but did that stop him? No, his wife typed in the updates and posted a picture of his bandaged-up hand. We even got an update or two on his physical therapy and how he was progressing towards being able to work again. THAT is how you handle a late project. There are no complainers on his Kickstarter page. I'm expecting my (quite expensive) rewards to be up to a year late, and I'm fine with that, because I understand exactly why the delays were unavoidable and unexpected. If you're ever looking for an example of how to run a Kickstarter campaign, both when the going is good and when the going gets tough, just look OOTS-ward.

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      Creator Brad on January 7, 2013

      Good point, but I have to say, if you manage your rewards correctly you can prevent being late to an extent. Kickstarter will allow you to add extra rewards with different dates, you can also change the limits on them at any time. You can't edit any wording of them, only the limits. So say you want to ship in Feb, but never set a limit, suddenly it explodes with backers, so you put a limit on it, and start another reward for march and put a limit on that, etc.. I 100% agree with you about communication, but there are ways to prevent delays. Management of a project will make or break it, maybe not the persons current project, but their future projects.

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      Creator Sarah Vee on January 7, 2013

      The OOTS project did add on a second set of rewards that would be due 6+ months later. And they had all of the books and swag printed up mostly on time. The real delays were because it just takes a long time to pack and ship 15,000 packages when you were expecting maybe 500 or 1,000. No one quite realized just how long it would take until they started shipping. But that's part of the Kickstarter process, project creators are learning as they go... and as backers we need to understand that, at least to a point. Someone who has never had to ship thousands of packages is not going to know precisely how long it will take to ship. Almost all of the packages were shipped maybe 1-3 months late (not bad!), and I think there are just a few hundred left waiting for his hand injury to heal (things like autographs that can't be delegated). There were also some freebie stretch goals that are going to be very late (also waiting for his hand to heal), but I don't think there was ever a deadline on those anyway.

      As a backer I would say that first-time project creators should automatically add a couple of months to what they think they can do, because almost none of the projects I backed were on time! Better to surprise people with an early delivery than disappoint with a late one.

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      Creator Brad on January 8, 2013

      The problem with adding a couple months of built in delay is that it turns people off, most of the things we talk about are hindsight., and it's always 20/20. I feel the person needs to get a feel for kickstarter and understand better project management skills before jumping in. I agree 100% about "Better to surprise people with an early delivery than disappoint with a late one", as that is almost exactly what I have said. Things happen and I understand that, and your right communication is a big part of it, you keep going back to one project, over and over, and I'm sure it's a good example, but I'm interested in the other projects you have had late and what their reasoning is.

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      Creator Matthew Belsaas on January 8, 2013

      As a previous employer once told me: "What you're not up on, you're down on."

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      Creator Sarah Vee on January 9, 2013

      Brad: "I'm interested in the other projects you have had late and what their reasoning is."

      That's the problem really, mostly they don't communicate and there is no reasoning at all! One company had production problems (after months of delay/silence we were told, basically, "it's just not coming out right and we don't know why, so please pick one of these alternate rewards") and another told me that they had just been really busy (and they later posted that they'd lost/forgotten some orders), another showed up four months late with no explanation... another I assumed from the beginning would be late because it was being fulfilled by 19-year-old musicians, and it showed up eventually with a note handwritten on a torn piece of music paper :-) By and large I have no idea why most of the projects didn't fulfill stuff on time. They just didn't.

      I may have had worse luck than most on late orders, statistically speaking, because IIRC about a 2/3 majority of mine were at least a couple of months late.... and the ones that were on time were at least half digital rewards that were prepared before the project started and only required a single e-mail to fulfill.

      I guess I was just trying to emphasize the importance of good communication and expectations. If you have those it's hard to go too far wrong...

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      Creator Brad on January 12, 2013

      Well hopefully people start to realize that it's better to put later ship dates just in case of delays, and when the reward shows up in the mail 2 months early the backer will be very happy. Which makes everyone happy and this blog post wouldn't even be needed. :)

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      Creator Tom Coggia on January 12, 2013

      There may be another factor at work, and that is the "rush to market" impulse. This can lead to misleading your potential kickstarter investors by overstating how close you are to beginning production. I'm waiting on a couple products that have seen more than their share of delays (communication is...poor to fair, at best). One product was presented as (I'm paraphrasing), "YEAH - we've got this thing on LOCKDOWN and we are ready to roll. You can see it actually working in this video! We just need your cash to jumpstart production and you'll see yours by Christmas." Well, when you're 1/2 into January and you are still fussing with how your components fit together, you were not ready to start production back in August.

      Maybe they really thought they were that close. Maybe they knew there already existed competing concepts gathering funding and they felt they couldn't wait. Whatever the case, they goofed up, and there should be a better response than, "Chill the f* out" or "This isn't Amazon."

      My concern is two-fold:

      First, that there is a growing acceptance of the notion that things on Kickstarter simply won't ship on-time, and that's perfectly okay because "this isn't Amazon" so just "chill the f* out." In other words, it's not merely acceptable to be late, it's the norm. So, just say you'll ship whenever to entice folks to fund you, then take however long you need. It's cool. I don't think many would does this intentionally...but on some level if you know that a) it's better to say you'll ship soon and b) there are no repercussions to shipping late. Well, then why not?

      My other concern is that folks may be discouraged from participating if most of what they hear about Kickstarter is, "Oh yeah...everything is really late, and you have to wait months and months and nobody tells you what's going on. You just sit around wondering if you'll ever get it." There is such a thing as bad press.

      Yeah, we understand we're helping to create something, but if it gets to the point where you know you can wait around until similar products actually exist and get a functional product sooner which works just like another product that other folks paid for 6 months ago and are still waiting and wondering on...why not just wait?

      On the flip side...would anyone be mad if projects shipped SOONER than promised, beacause they actually gave a reasonable estimate in the first place?

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      Creator Bill McNeely on January 13, 2013

      Yancey, is the problem manufacturing, poor project management or lack of logistics knowledge?

      If it's the later there are several 3rd party logistics providers that could be integrated into the individual Kickstarter projects.

      I am a former Army logistics officer who has not found work and several investors have suggested I launch a consulting firm around this problem. What say ye?

      @billmcneely

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      Creator Mathew Thomas on January 15, 2013

      Lateness isn't necessarily a failure, but shipping is DEFINITELY a feature. One of the most important features!

      Thanks,
      Mathew

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      Creator Brad on January 19, 2013

      I think we need a blog post "Is communication, what makes, or beaks a project? If not now, future projects?"

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      Creator Stephen Kenney on January 20, 2013

      As others have stated I do not consider being late a failure, but being late and not communicating is a failure. I am dealing with a situation with Knock Down Barns in which the creator has not shipped the first reward to any backer (6+ months late) and essentially does not provide updates. When he does provide updates he keeps moving the location (first on KS, then on his website, then facebook, then just pictures on Twitter).

      He has opened an internet storefront using inventory he purchased using KS funds. He has been fulfilling orders from his website, but has not fulfilled his KS obligations.

      If the creator had tried his hardest and simply run out of money, but had communicated the whole time I wouldn't have even considered that a failure. I would have been disappointed, but I knew the risks and would have learned something about the process. This one project has soured my on KS and I doubt that I will ever fund another project because of it.

      In my opinion, it will be tough for KS to continue unless they start offering some backer protections. It could be as simple as offering optional "backer insurance" (similar to travel insurance) for a small fee based upon the amount of money you pledge. If a project doesn't deliver based upon certain criteria then you can get your money back.

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      Creator Brad on January 21, 2013

      I've heard a similar story about a Lockpick project, it's sad really. I think that paying a fee to Kickstarter to "protect your investment" would be good, and good for kickstarter in general, I had a guy leave my project because of that Lockpick project, so in reality it's hurting the project creators, not just the project backers, which in the end is hurting Kickstarter, in terms of Money (they lose 5%) and Public Relations. I have never Googled around about project's who never delivered, I'm almost scared to now.

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      Creator Stephen Kenney on January 21, 2013

      Few of other things I would like to see are:
      More stringent requirements put on the creators when they are signing up. It would state that all updates must be made on KS. Updates can be mirrored on other sites like FB, and twitter but soley putting updates there is unacceptable. There are probably other requirements that need to be added (I'm assuming they aren't already there). This way, if action needs to be taken against a creator there are things the backers can point to and say you didn't fulfil your commitment.

      There should also be public commitment statements from the creators. It would basically be a fill in the blank statement about some of the "soft" things they are committing to. For example, the backer would say I commit to providing updates every 30 - 40 days. Again, this provides a bit of protection to the backers.

      Over-funding should trigger a secondary review process to allow excess funds. In the example I gave in my last post, the guy got 3X his requested funds. His numbers were doable for a hand crafted item, but his timelines were nowhere near correct for having to meet 3X his original number. I know some of this can be taken care of by limiting then number of rewards for each pledge level, but I think there needs to be a better process in place. Pebble isn't a great example, but I do like the fact that they finally decided on a number they could realistically deliver, albeit late, and cut off taking any more funds.

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      Creator Brad on January 22, 2013

      Take... well, my project right now, (no I'm not promoting it, as it fits here perfect) I'm 1,420% over goal, I started out limiting rewards and making new rewards with later ship dates, eventually it became to much and I had to partner with a company to help make them, in the end it turned out for the better as I can deliver a better product now. So I guess what I'm trying to say is if the creator needs help to deliver on time, the creator needs to make sacrifices for the good of their backers, keeping people happy is worth more than money. If you get a bad name over an extremely late reward deliver, I doubt you will have return backers on the next project, it's all about the long term goal in my eyes.

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      Creator Eric Aubrey Freeze on January 23, 2013

      Well, my project at the moment, is not however doing well, how does one simply team up with a company, if you aren't known?

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      Creator Brad on January 25, 2013

      In my case I just started talking to project creators, they all are very helpful. Amanda Rix of the Precision Dice helped me alot.

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      Creator Justin J. Novack on February 28, 2013

      I'm so sick of this whiny "everybody gets a trophy" generation that has never had to work for anything complaining about late kick starter projects and not getting what they want RIGHT AWAY.

      It's called an ESTIMATED Delivery Date. ESTIMATED!!!

      Real things happen in the real world. Shipping delays, product certification, etc. These are not companies, these are people with IDEAS who are LEARNING the business. Give them a little more latitude, and a little less attitude.

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      Creator Brad on March 1, 2013

      Good point and great quote at the end! "Give them a little more latitude, and a little less attitude."

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      Creator Steven W. Barsi on March 14, 2013

      I don't think lateness is a failure either.... I think it's 1. poor business-like interaction with trusting customers. 2. a good reason to contact the Better Business Bureau to investigate the nature of super-lateness (estimated to arrive B4 Christmas) as well as help establish grounds for getting my hard earned money back.

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      Creator Brad on March 24, 2013

      Really? What did the TOS say when you signed up?

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      Creator Brad on March 25, 2013

      Are you made because the only project you pledged for is the Pebble? Common sense will tell you pretty quick why it's "super-late"...

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      Creator Stephen Kenney on April 6, 2013

      In my case, I was left with no choice but to report the creator to the Consumer Protection unit of the City he lives in. The City is now investigating him for fraud and potentially other charges (not registering as a business, etc). It is really pretty sad that the guy might get arrested over all of this. Had he communicated I, and most other backers, would have been a lot more tolerant of failure.

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      Creator Brad on April 7, 2013

      Care to share what project?

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      Creator Stephen Kenney on April 8, 2013

      I had posted it in January, but it is Knock Down Barns. The guy started updating again last week or so, but too little too late.