The Kickstarter Blog

Kickstarter Is Not a Store

It's hard to know how many people feel like they're shopping at a store when they're backing projects on Kickstarter, but we want to make sure that it's no one. Today we're introducing a number of changes to reinforce that Kickstarter isn’t a store — it’s a new way for creators and audiences to work together to make things. We’d like to walk you through these changes now.

Creators must talk about “Risks and Challenges”

Today we added a new section to the project page called "Risks and Challenges." All project creators are now required to answer the following question when creating their project:

“What are the risks and challenges this project faces, and what qualifies you to overcome them?”

We added the "Risks and Challenges" section to reinforce that creators' projects are in development. Before backing a project, people can judge both the creator's ability to complete their project as promised and whether they feel the creator is being open and honest about the risks and challenges they face.

The new section will appear below the project description of projects that launch starting today.

New Hardware and Product Design Project Guidelines

The development of new products can be especially complex for creators and seductive to backers. Today we’re adding additional guidelines for Hardware and Product Design projects. 

They are:

  • Product simulations are prohibited. Projects cannot simulate events to demonstrate what a product might do in the future. Products can only be shown performing actions that they’re able to perform in their current state of development.
  • Product renderings are prohibited. Product images must be photos of the prototype as it currently exists.

Products should be presented as they are. Over-promising leads to higher expectations for backers. The best rule of thumb: under-promise and over-deliver.

We've also added the following guideline for Hardware and Product Design projects:

  • Offering multiple quantities of a reward is prohibited. Hardware and Product Design projects can only offer rewards in single quantities or a sensible set (some items only make sense as a pair or as a kit of several items, for instance). The development of new products can be especially complex for creators and offering multiple quantities feels premature, and can imply that products are shrink-wrapped and ready to ship.

These guidelines are effective for all Hardware and Product Design projects that launch starting today.

We hope these updates reinforce that Kickstarter isn't a traditional retail experience and underline the uniqueness of Kickstarter. Thanks for reading, and thanks as always for using Kickstarter.

UPDATE (Monday, September 24): We just posted an update answering follow-up questions from this post. We've also pasted the content of that post below.

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. Missing_small

      Creator LarryP on September 24, 2012

      When the Coca-Cola company came out with "The New Coke," Coke's customers did *not* like the new product, even though the company clearly thought New Coke was a great improvement. Coke's customers disliked it so much that the Coca-Cola company was forced to withdraw a product that their customer base detested. I haven't run the stats, but I think the sentiment against these new rules is stronger than the distaste for the New Coke. Let's hope Kickstarter's management has (or will get) as much of a clue as the Coca-Cola company did. Just as there are other soda companies, there are other crowd-funding companies.

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      Creator BalthCat on September 25, 2012

      As a multiple-time (chump change,admittedly) funder, I wish to emphasize that I have always hated systems limiting my ability to function and benefit (in this case as a backer) because other people have abused, or run afoul of, the system in place. Inform the userbase, add protections ("This is CGI" or the like on the rendering) but do not add limitations! If I wish to back for multiple items, that should be my prerogative. I like to be frugal when I'm wasting my money, and that may mean ordering 2 metal pens for $30 rather than 1 for $20.

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      Creator christina on September 25, 2012

      I have been an avid follower of kickstarters for quite a while and believe that it is not in the best interest of either the project creator of backers to limit the pledges to only a very small number. For some products it is crucial for their success. For example, a product may in fact be relatively inexpensive on a per unit basis, so it is necessary to sell quite a high volume to meet funding goal.
      What is far more important is for the backers to be far more informed about what their role is as a backer. This is where kickstarters needs to be much more open and straight forward to everyone opening the kickstarter site. There should be a "what is the role of a kickstarter backer?" section
      Thos section would make clear that the person isn't buying the product, but is actually backing it.
      That they are participating in crowdfunding which means....

      It is clear from some of the comments left by backers that they haven't got a clue and THEY haven't bothered to read anything on the page at all! They haven't even noted that the product will not be available until a given date and are asking why it hasn't arrived yet!

      So Kickstarters needs to do something about this being absent. Maybe a simple animation which sets out the entire concept and role of kickstarter, the project people, and the backer at the top of every kickstarter project?
      I brought this to kickstarter attention in the past because the small link in the top right corner provided by kickstarter is inadequate.
      The projects have been, for the most part, excellent.
      Some have suddenly canceled with no explanation at all -- backers deserve an explanation.
      The Kicksarter needs to do the simple animation and set out the role of all three parties
      1) kickstarter
      2) project owner
      3) backers

      Backers need to understand what is expected of them and their role in helping to make the project a success.

      Limiting projects in the way you intend will not help projects succeed. This is not a rule that works across the board for all projects. Instead educate your backers better.

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      Creator David Hawkins on September 25, 2012

      Kickstarter have posted an update...

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      Creator Matt on September 25, 2012

      Kickstarter got a great 8 minutes on NPR this morning. This thread is five days old and is still on the front page of the blog. I wonder how many prospective Makers and Funders are going to see this thread, sans comment from management, and be completely turned off of the idea of Kickstarter.

      I know that it is hard to admit mistakes, but I think the community is in agreement that some verbiage changes are all the is needed to address the concerns, and that the proposed (actual?) regulations are not wanted or needed.

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      Creator Jan Sapper on September 25, 2012

      This rule of not being able to offer sets is ridiculous. What's wrong with offering a pair?? Ok, a 100 package I can understand. But a pair!?!

    7. Missing_small

      Creator Steve Bausch on September 25, 2012

      THANK YOU KICKSTARTER! I appreciate the changes, and most certainly understand them.

      I have an idea for a Project, but there is no way I can compete with the production values I have seen in many still images and some videos. So many were so slick and professional I suspected that Kickstarter had a revenue stream from producing the presentations.

      Regarding the photorealistic prohibitions, "Kickstarter is not a CGI contest" would be a good way to state it. Some of the project proposals were just a bit too slick for a "start-up". And I don't think they were a start-up. When a project (Shimi) requires 2-3 dozen injection-molded components and several computer-controlled motor drives, the project is either semi-complete (and simply looking for a storefront), or at the drawing board stage with several world-class CGI experts doing the presentation.

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      Creator Jelly Paladin on September 25, 2012

      As a backer of 19 video game projects (and a future creator of one) who has no interest in the Hardware and Product Design category, I was in the same boat as most of your comments that the rendering and multiple quantities rules are absurd and the Risks and Challenges section is fine.

      I've reconsidered. Even the Risks and Challenges section is a waste of time at best. Scammers will still scam, just with more words than before. Confident and honest project creators will say what they're saying now or they'll point out that Kickstarter already "requires" refunds for projects that don't deliver. Nothing changes for them. But what exactly are the risks for a musician wanting to compose a new album? What are the risks for a photographer needing money for a road trip? What are the risks for an 18-year-old who only wants money to hire a web designer and composer for his video game? (An actual example of a project I backed.)

      Not every project is a million-dollar effort or even a six-figure affair. Kickstarter is here to support the little guy too--and the little girl--and these small project creators shouldn't need to spend time trying to figure out what their non-existent risks are, much less filling out a section about it. Their only "risks" are being hit by natural disaster, a life change like a new child, personal family issues coming up, or other things that go without saying because they apply to everyone. There's the "risk" that the backer won't wind up liking the final product, which I've already seen a game creator mention, but that also goes without saying.

      Here's a proposed change: only require the Risks and Challenges section for projects asking for a certain amount. The more money they need, the more likely it is that there are legitimate risks specific to the project instead of risks that are universal to any living person.

    9. Jelly_side_white_background.small

      Creator Jelly Paladin on September 25, 2012

      Quick clarification: when I referred to a musician composing a new album as having low or no risks, I was considering a solo musician producing a digital album. Yes, there are risks in pulling several artists together, buying instruments, hiring an orchestra, producing a physical soundtrack, or so on, but to my point again: not every project has that level of complexity.

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      Creator Gregory Francis on September 26, 2012

      They should disallow people from wearing scarves in their videos as well. So tired of the scarves!

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      Creator Andrew OMalley on September 26, 2012

      I'm happy to see Kickstarter attempting to combat "vaporware," but not happy to see multiple items as rewards banned, as I think this may make it more challenging for projects to make successful funding (by removing the incentive for backers to make higher pledges to take advantage of "savings" for multiple items). This should be revisted so it's not so black and white.

    12. Missing_small

      Creator Julie Hammi on September 26, 2012

      Can we show a simulation of what our product IS ABLE to perform in its current state of development? Our product is very small and if we try to capture real footage of it's functionality, you will just see big fingers consuming the frame. A simulation provides so much more visibility of what is occurring.

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      Creator Mark Space on September 26, 2012

      Dunno if this has been discussed, but it might be useful to have a feature to cap project money at preset value. Bad things seem to happen when a project gets too big. If a project is limited to what the entrepreneur thinks they can reasonably accomplish, that might prevent the worst schedule slips. Of course, the option for unlimited projects should exist as well, as some project might scale well.

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      Creator nuthinking on September 27, 2012

      About the rendering and simulations... why not asking to state clearly over the images when what seen can represented can be misleading? As advertisements have to do in some contexts.

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      Creator Bruce C Jones on September 27, 2012

      As mentioned in other posts these rules can easily be circumvented by the creators simply providing a link to another page to provide renderings. The multiple items can be circumvented by the creator offering discounts on multiple items as a reward. For example, “Pledge $XX receive one unit and a link to order 3 more”, “Pledge $XXX receive one unit and a link to order 5 more”, etc.

      You are targeting the wrong people. Although the ideas for requiring the creators to provide additional detail such as risks is good. You need to really apply efforts toward the education of supporters. Why not require the reading of expectations or multimedia video, explaining kickstarter.com’s concept of support, to be required in order to place a bid for the first time they support a project or require all supporters to review it each year, 6 months, quarter or whatever interval you want that reaffirms what kickstarter.com is all about.

      I understand that when I PLEDGE money to a project, it is a PLEDGE much like sponsoring my daughter in a church run to help support charities. The money I pledge is at risk just like gambling. You put your money in the one-armed bandet pull the lever and hope you get a return.

      If your legal advisors are saying that you need to protect yourself then have the supporters sign an online statement and verify via email confirmation.

      Do not prevent the project creator from providing renderings or incentives for support, but do require the details about what the are posting. Require the renderings to have Disclaimer statements up front stating that it is a rendering and that the finished product could be different.

    16. Missing_small

      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on September 27, 2012

      I think maybe someone persuaded Kickstarter to screw itself over.

    17. Missing_small

      Creator Paul Anguiano on September 27, 2012

      Are you reading these comments, Kickstarter? Isn't it clear by now that you're doing your maker community a disservice by damaging their ability to reach economies of scale and taking away standard tools of the trade like realistic displays of the product design? Eventually the product designers will move on to the new sites that are popping up, but you are harming the community now.
      I'm seriously reconsidering if all of the projects I'm backing would be better supported elsewhere. This kind of capriciousness is not healthy for anyone.

    18. Missing_small

      Creator Jose Boedo on September 27, 2012

      Dear All,
      I am a bit shocked about all the mess and I think Kickstarter is over reacting. I agree that the risks must be clarified, but honestly, I think it is a good thing to offer a product or multiple products to raise more money (again, if risks are clarified). I would be happy to double my contribution if I will get two items and the developers will be happy to have more money!! Also, having the pressure to produce and deliver a product on time is part of the learning process of a startup and I think Kickstarter should maintain and foster that.

      As a closing statement, if anyone coming in Kickstarter thinks this is a store and that their stuff is guaranteed, they are not too smart and probably deserve to part with their money, that said, it is great the risks are clarified.

    19. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Joe Kushner on September 27, 2012

      You need to work on putting in feedback forms. You need to work on making sure that refunds ARE not only possible, but are built into the system. Maybe they can only be requested AFTER a project has failed to meet its deadline or something but as I've posted elsewhere, it it looks like a duck and quaks like a duck....

    20. Missing_small

      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on September 28, 2012

      People should politely demand a return to the old rules, but the Challenges thing sounds like a good idea.

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      Creator Lonnie Naefke on September 28, 2012

      I have spent hours carefully listening to my Kickstarter collegues responses to the new rules. You have a great and careing following, listen to them. I opened my "K/S file 5 months ago. Last of seven physical generational prototypes due next week. Planning a K/S launch next month. My focus is on "What are you going to do now?". I think K/S is extremely valuable if not ingenious. I would put more focus more on a "Made in USA" criteria than product presentation. The parting shots from Pebble, "We are off to Asia with your money" feels moredisturbing than offering multiples packing. Lonnie Naefke

    22. Missing_small

      Creator Alex on September 28, 2012

      This is an awful change, Kickstarter team. I really hope it will be rolled back and you'll realize that these changes are a big mistake.

      The idea of Kickstarter is to give regular people with great ideas a chance to get funding to turn their ideas and concepts into reality. Nobody assumes that this will always work as envisioned, or that projects will always adhere to the timeline a hopeful inventor comes up with months before mass production. If there is an issue with either of those expectations, then it is solely related to education of backers, nothing else. A simple clear pop-up reiterating that pledges are not a product-for-money exchange will ensure nobody confuses pledges with buying things from a shop. Problem solved!

      Renderings and simulations, especially photorealistic ones, are a key component to convey to backers what an idea is about and what a finished product is ENVISIONED to look and work like. The more realistic, the better! We are visual creatures after all and want to see a best-possible version of what the ENVISIONED final product looks like! Banning renderings and requiring sophisticated-enough prototypes that they can be shown off and generate excitement within the backer community (in other words, not an unpolished one-off proof of concept, which by itself can already be cost prohibitively expensive!) turns the idea of Kickstarter upside down. When I look at new Kickstarter projects, do I feel wowed by seeing the "guts", maybe a board-in-a-cardboard-box photo? No, but I feel wowed by seeing that the inventor envisions that box to solve a major pain I may have or give me an opportunity to do something I couldn't do before. THAT is what gets conveyed through renderings and simulation, and THAT is what makes me want to pledge money.

      I IMPLORE YOU to reconsider your rendering and simulations ban. You're penalizing project creators and people with great ideas by removing the "wow" they could otherwise create within the backer community when they pitch their projects.

    23. Missing_small

      Creator Wayne on September 30, 2012

      Offering multiple items was one of Kickstarter's best features. Without this many low priced innovations could never take off. To prevent the KS from being a store, I can live with the idea of allowing one product per project, but no limitation of how many units of the product can be rewarded. For instance, if my project is a new designed PC motherboard, I can only reward the motherboard without limitation in volume, but cannot add video card and memory card as rewards, so this won't make KS look like a store, but it will be easier for low cost innovations to meet funding goals.

    24. Missing_small

      Creator Thomas Grable on September 30, 2012

      I'm pretty new to Kickstarter, having backed two projects so far. I like the idea of clarifying risks. One is putting one's money in the hands of a company, so providing information regarding the likelihood that one's investment will produce results is good. It allows investors to make more informed decisions about their potential investments. Eliminating multiple rewards to avoid KS becoming a "store," however, is ill-conceived. Few investors have the wherewithall to fund projects out of a sense of altruism. The option of multiple rewards allows investors to fund at higher levels if they so choose. It obviates the alternative of creating multiple accounts to invest once each in order to get the same rewards. As for banning renderings of projects, that is foolish in the extreme. The point of funding a project is getting from concept art to finished product. Show me what you have and what it will ultimately become, and I may back your project. If they already have a finished product, they don't need Kickstarter.

    25. Missing_small

      Creator Steve Hayes on September 30, 2012

      seeing as kickstarter is all about "Share the Vision" it seems very strange to ban renderings. In my working life, which has produced (100 ish?) real manufactured products, enough of them succesful, then sketches are vital at a very early stage (the picture tells the story), and renderings are the 21st century sketch.
      By all means have a rule that ensures they are marked "artists impression", hand out a jpeg that must be slapped over a rendering to be certain no-one is fooled, but just do not forbid their use. Please.

    26. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Bill Laidlaw on September 30, 2012

      Above you state that "We created Kickstarter so more creative work could exist in the world" am I to take that this means it is non-profit? If you did not do this to make money it renders most arguments about prevalent fraud unimportant to me (although the lawyers are probably still lining up). If you do make money I would suck it up now and buy insurance against these evil practices to reimburse your customers. This can take you down.

    27. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Geof Aberhart on October 1, 2012

      Yo Steve, read the update.

    28. Missing_small

      Creator QFman on October 1, 2012

      I would like to recommend KickStarter staff members identify themselves. It is very difficult to discern whether a comment is coming from a private party or a staff member that is speaking for the company. Thanks

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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 1000+ 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.

      If you like that idea, I would appreciate you expressing your opinion here and to KickStarter.

    30. Missing_small

      Creator Lonnie Naefke on October 2, 2012

      I can imagine the emotions at K/S are running high arounnd the conference table with all the responses from your loyal following. Constructive Criticism, to be sure. I hope you are listening and mostly I hope you will officially deal with the confussion that has spread. Will you please come out with a statement of your intentions. There are many of us waiting the outcome to decide where and when to launch. Thank you, I hope you will maintain the course you set long ago; it was the right heading. Promote the creativity and build a platform for funding; keeping us innovators out of the mouths of the sharks. :-)

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      Creator Elroy Project on October 2, 2012

      Parts of this are understandable but other parts seem somewhat misdirected to me.

      I think the rules on no photo-realistic concept drawings is appropriate. Normally, these days, such drawings are used because they are actually a BETTER representation of a product (a finished product being sold, as on Apple's website) than actual photos. Photographs can be highly problematic and actually less representative of a product. But if someone on Kickstarter presents an unfinished product in a photo-realistic rendering, that is somewhat deceptive. Anyone with products that are finished and ready for market shouldn't be selling them on Kickstarter.

      So, I get that. Kickstarter is about helping people bring products to market. Kickstarter is not a store.

      But what I don't get is the "functioning prototype" thing. Why not allow people to put up Kickstarter projects for the initial phases for an industrial design project? If someone has a new idea for an iPhone case, why not let them put up a Kickstarter saying, "This is what I've designed. Please support me so I can do prototypes." Then later they can put up another Kickstarter that says, "Hey, we got through the prototype phase, now we are looking for help to cut the tools to bring this to market."

      The challenge here is that, with any product that requires electronic engineering, that can be incredibly expensive to just get to the prototype phase.

      And the multiple units thing I don't get at all. What if a distributor wants to purchase 2000 of something that's being offered on Kickstarter? A distributor probably has a stronger idea of whether the product will fly than most people backing Kickstarter projects. Does it expose Kickstarter to law suits if a product doesn't actually come to fruition? That would be a frivolous law suit as the distributor should know that they are backing a project rather than buying product.

    32. Fb_profile_picture.small

      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 Jelly Paladin on October 3, 2012

      Here's a direct quote from the Risks and Challenges section of a game project launched today:

      "We've noticed many Kickstarter projects aren't using the "Risks and Challenges" system to list their ACTUAL risks. They offer platitudes instead of details, making it seem like there are no dangers at all. But that's not respecting you as an investor."

      These are a telling three sentences. First, anyone can easily dodge the Risks and Challenges section, so at best it's not fixing anything. At worst, it's counterproductive because the casual backer might see a platitude-filled pitch and believe there's no risk simply because none was mentioned.

      And this goes to the point: any negative press that I've ever read about Kickstarter came from or centered around people who didn't understand what Kickstarter is. I've backed 21 projects because I believe in this model, but I'm so baffled by any opposition to the idea of Kickstarter that I read at least a dozen negative articles just to try and understand. The criticism is never about creators not clarifying their risks and challenges and it's sure never about creators offering multiples of an item as rewards. It's about people thinking that backers are investors, just as the above project creator called them. It's about people thinking that backers are customers. It's about people thinking that backers have or should have a one hundred percent chance that project creators will deliver.

      In short, the "problem" with Kickstarter is that some people don't understand what it is. In a way, this isn't your fault. Your FAQ explains what Kickstarter is in detail, but people don't read it. (And even though all projects now link to the accountability section, it's likely that many will continue not reading it.) Your solution: project creators have to list their risks and challenges and can't produce photorealistic renders. Even if individual project creators followed the spirit of the law, though, the best they can accomplish is clearing up the muddied waters for their own backers.

      The real onus is on you, the owners and the staff. Only you have the power to universally clarify for every user what Kickstarter is and isn't. The solution is exactly what others have recommended before me: make every user check off boxes during registration that they understand that Kickstarter is not a store, that it's not an investment, that it's not free of risk, that project delivery times are estimates and not guarantees, that projects aren't necessarily completed or near-completed, and that they need to use their own judgment. This can't be explained by projects creator because they're not official Kickstarter staff and they don't speak for you. It can only happen on a Terms of Service level so that people know what they're getting into (and what they're not) from the beginning.

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      Creator Charles Waugh on October 3, 2012

      Jelly Paladin is right on!:
      .
      "...any negative press that I've ever read about Kickstarter came from or centered around people who didn't understand what Kickstarter is."
      and
      "In short, the "problem" with Kickstarter is that some people don't understand what it is."
      .
      Having just finished a successful project, I have to say that the loudest, most offensive set of complaints came from those who did NOT understand that they were backing a PROJECT not a PRODUCT [like from Amazon]!
      .
      They attacked me for not being perfect. For telling them of the problems. For being an amateur. Etc. Am I perfect? No. Is the product shipping (finally!)? Yes.
      .
      Whereas, the biggest SUPPORTERS repeatedly said: "Yeah, it's not easy launching a product, keep going 'til it's right, we understand."
      .
      Do you see the difference?
      .
      It is KICKSTARTER's RESPONSIBILITY to educate the backers.
      .
      But, I have seen NOTHING from Kickstarter in the last few months that actually educates the BACKERS, just sudden changes that affect the creators, making it MORE risky and MORE capital-intensive to launch.
      .
      That's a crappy way to support innovation and a crappy way to support innovators.
      .
      Charles Waugh

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      Creator Barry Beams on October 4, 2012

      These new rules about quantity limits are, as stated above, capricious. I submitted my project before the rules took effect. I did wide scale research into realistic hit rates, turnover percentages, market size, quantity rewards of 1, 2, 5, and 10., and possible net resulting funding targets. Then I submitted. Two weeks later after they changed the rules, they offered that I could either offer a quantity of one, or two, and no others. Boom. There goes all the analysis. the cost for two was too high to depend on, so I went with one. But there aren't any Kickstarter metrics and project histories for the post quantity limit era.
      What I'm finding is that I was a stupid fool to even try to post my project here with a limit of only one to a customer. I'm getting plenty of backers. Enough of them would buy two or five in one deal if KS allowed it. Some didn't even know of the new restriction.
      The restriction is actually against the project themselves, tying one hand behind the inventor's back and still expecting them to reach a funding target.
      Correspondence with some backers and some private inquiries over the last few days has shown why I'm behind what the metrics and analytics from before the restrictions are forecast.
      Truth is, for anyone planning a design or tech project, you should cut your goal in half or less. The single item restriction is going to cut into your funding that badly.
      Kickstarter, you're killing my project with this single item restriction. My item is so good and well executed that many people want to buy a second one for a biking buddy, or to keep in the car or shop or for camping. Some cops want to get a few because it out does their overpriced battery eating MagLites.
      But depending on two or more per backer isn't a viable business model either.
      So hey Kickstarter, are you listening? This single item limit is CRAP. You are killing many of us.
      Its also really crappy and stinky of you to have changed the rules after I submitted, and not provided an "as of" date, but imposed them behind our backs, in my case delaying my whole project without notifying me what was going on.
      If 50% of my backers were able to buy two, they would be. That increases my units sold by 1/3, and get me that much closer to being able to afford the MOQ that I have to have made.
      There is nothing wrong with allowing two as well as one.
      Get that through your snotty arrogant hide behind anonymous email address heads, ok? you guys are rank amateurs who are clueless about the need for strategic pivots, and dynamically modifying the business model when your customer base and revenue stream show the business is evolving in new directions.
      Read Eric Reis, for G-d sake, will you? And listing to him like I and many others of us out here in Silicon Valley do, and get rid of this one only limit. Its literally killing is.

      Or at least allow the projects you inflicted your new rules onto to change their funding targets based on the clear reduction of units backed, even though the numbers of backers may still be similar to before.

      Seriously, had there been post quantity limit metrics, I and many other would see that we will need likely unattainable numbers of backers, or that we need to reduce our targets considerably, for our projects to be within the expected values for funding that can be raised.

      So are you listening? If you refuse to allow a reasonable quantity like two, as well as one, the please let us reduce our funding targets so that we can get enough funding to do something.

      Thank you, a frustrated inventor who feels like Kickstarter lied to me and screwed me over just to get me to keep my project at a funding target that their new rules are severely restricting my ability to reach.

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      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on October 5, 2012

      I really do think that Kickstarter has managed to revise its rules in a way that kills off a lot of its income and will drive a lot of its users and backers away.

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      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on October 5, 2012

      And they've just thrown these revisions out there without asking for input from their users first.

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      Creator Todd Bluewater on October 5, 2012

      This is upsetting. The amount of time and energy and resources I have put into the upcoming launch of my Kickstarter campaign as well as my studious and well-thought marketing campaigns will all have to be rethought and reworked. My websites, email marketing, call centers, sales reps, databases, target markets - ALL OF IT. I understand things may need to be upgraded and changed to stay within the scope of your vision as a whole as time rolls on, but the real issue here is that these rules came out of nowhere and overnight, and are completely unfair to the work and effort many of us have put into our visions to date. I am urging you to at the very least reconsider the date of implementation and give us the respect of not losing our tremendous efforts to date. With that said, I am asking you to please at least consider extending your implementation date of these new guidelines to something more feasible, such as January 1, 2013, so I use everything I have already worked so hard on. It's just plain unfair to expect us all to change and alter our entire scopes of how we are going to achieve a successfully funded project on a moment's notice.

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      Creator Simon Brooks on October 5, 2012

      I'm having mixed feelings about Kickstarter. I have a project there now.

      I went into this with the belief that KS supports the little creative guys, and isn't just a shop to sell trinkets. However from my few days running every single staff pick has been a project selling trinkets to backers. I'm only asking for 3k to finish my project off. I can't get it anywhere else, I'm maxed out and was hoping KS would help me cross the finish line with my project without me having to create and sell trinkets. I'm there to get a Kickstart not set up a little shop. I've put just over 30k (everything I had, and some on credit) and 8 months full time work into my project already. That's 8 months of eating Ramen noodles while everything went into the project.

      I'd already exhausted my own crowd of people prior to KS so they're not going to back me there too despite me asking them. The problem is lack of views of my KS page. Of course I'm doing the FB/Twitter thing, and reaching out to journo's and the rest of it but just can't catch a break. However when KS are only choosing trinket shops as staff picks it's a difficult situation for the rest of us.

      I have a stutter and really didn't want to make a video for KS, but I sucked it up and did one knowing people would laugh for the wrong reasons. But I did it, and now all I'm seeing are trinket shops getting all the exposure.

      I hope I'm wrong and well see a non trinket shop as a staff pick soon but I'm not holding my breath for me or any over non trinket selling Kickstarter. As things stand I'm of the opinion KS has become a store although doesn't want to admit to that,

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      Creator Osman Coskun on October 6, 2012

      I am of the same opinion as you do, if you consider that the man can say the same respect as you....
      http://www.spiegelschrank-bad.eu/

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      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on October 7, 2012

      I see the new rules as unfairly discriminatory against hardware projects. It's also bad for the backers, because, as I am going to keep repeating forever, the backers very often absolutely have to have multiples of the items that they are backing.

      There is also no good reason to discriminate against hardware projects the ways that they are doing.

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      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on October 7, 2012

      I'm not going to put a project on here until they change it back.

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      Creator Ron Lussier on October 7, 2012

      Wow, you just killed Kickstarter for me. I'm not sure what triggered this, but it seems like you've decided to take all of the fun out of things.

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      Creator Simon Erblich on October 7, 2012

      As I tell my mother every time she comes back from her doctor with some obscure diagnosis... "Get a second opinion".
      Putting aside my thoughts on KS new policies... they are clearly not being celebrated by all. Based on my experience, it would have been KS lawyers that have taken them down this road. As a matter of fact, the sheer volume of dissenters seem to indicate that there is very possibly (if not likely) significant flaws in these new policies. So this is my simple message and advise to KS management.... Get A Second Opinion.... quick.

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      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on October 8, 2012

      They're hurting the hardware people and forcing them to refrain from doing what the backers want and need them to do. I don't know how it even occurred to them, but this needs to change or hardware people need to go somewhere else.

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      Creator Ethan D. Monat on October 8, 2012

      I like Kickstarter. Probably too much. It's been one of my main impulse-buy inducers for several months - everything from a touch keyboard, to a jellyfish tank, to a new type of instant coffee. While reading some tech news, I heard about Kickstarter's new restrictions, which seem specifically targeted at the types of Kickstarted projects I most enjoy - "Hardware" and "Product Design".

      While I see the point regarding projects overpromising and underdelivering, I am utterly flabbergasted that what seems to be the most popular categories on Kickstarter (at least from pledge figures) are being targeted for stricter regulation. There has, to my knowledge, never been any promises of product delivery time, quality, or capability on a Kickstarted project BY KICKSTARTER itself; so why is Kickstarter trying to make itself arbiter?

      Why this change in policy, and why hasn't an attempt to ensure quality been enacted any of the other, less concrete categories, like Art or Dance?

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      Creator Jesse Coleman on October 9, 2012

      I just got my first response to my first campaign submission, and they're considering my video of the CAD models simply rotating on screen as a simulation- which is not the intention, and I also provide video of actual prototypes doing exactly what the finished product will do.

      They also flagged my pledges for offering more than one item, which I can understand when it's more than, say, six or more of the same item, but I think it's common for people to want the option of getting more 2 or 3 to share with friends and/or family. I hope my "less than 6" bundles are accepted.

    48. Missing_small

      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on October 10, 2012

      I think they're determined to hurt the hardware people. This is so bogus. The backers wanted those multiples and getting rid of that gets rid of the backers.

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      Creator Thomas Kirby (deleted) on October 10, 2012

      It's not even rational.

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      Creator Jack Sutter on October 10, 2012

      for products that have a low price point, like mine, not being able to offer multiples is devastating. i was planning my launch on oct. 16h, and i've been working for months to prepare. just submitted for approval yesterday. sad day for me.