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. Photo_on_8-21-13_at_4.26_pm.small

      Creator Chris @ BiteMyApple on September 21, 2012

      New rule about renderings is a bad move KS... Two thumbs down...

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      Creator Chris @ BiteMyApple on September 21, 2012

      And the multiple item restriction should be for large quantities.

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      Creator Michael Walko on September 21, 2012

      I like this, I felt like in the last year kickstarter was becoming less about struggling creative people and more about established companies wanting to take zero risk on a venture.

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      Creator Dan on September 21, 2012

      I bet more electronics projects will be failing to get funded, since they rely on minimum quantities before they can get the product in question produced.

      I also feel this is KickStarter's 'digg moment' as a pervious poster mentioned. Just like Digg's changes forced people to find other sites such as Reddit because they refused to accept they were wrong, this is going to force people to evaluate their options when it comes to crowdfunding.

      It's so simple to automatically add a 'PROOF OF CONCEPT' banner on any image (KS staff can easily verify this in seconds, since they already approve each project), there is absolutely no reason to punish both the creator and backer.

      Everyone else has already said what I think about this, I just hope KS will reconsider these changes.

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      Creator Chris @ BiteMyApple on September 21, 2012

      I'm struggling, and I don't have 60K to have a working prototype of my product...

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      Creator Jeroen Depuydt on September 21, 2012

      Perhaps you should disallow video as well. Who knows a good speaker will hurdle those innocent backers into backing a project that isn't that nice after all...

      I don't agree with disabling renders _at all_. You're not going to an investor with a crappy prototype - even though it works perfectly. You show both rendering _and_ back up your hardware/programming work with relevant information.
      It's great that you want to make it more clear that people are not necessarily buying a product, but supporting a (new?) company/project/dream, but you should revise and test how to do this best. Hope you revise your decision after finding other sensible ideas to do this.

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      Creator JR Sanchez on September 21, 2012

      Please reconsider the rendering rule and the quantity rule. Many backers want rewards for them and their family/friends. Thank you!

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      Creator EpicSesh on September 21, 2012

      If there's a problem with projects not delivering the goods, then lets put in place a sellers contract to all backers in if I miss my delivery date, I get X days to cure my missed deadline, after which backers can request (and get) a refund on their purchase. If they want to stay and wait for product, they can, but this requires the project to deliver on their timeline and also provide a more realistic timeline. I will gladly make our project the first one to operate under this proposed rule/contract and leave the new rules announced today in the dustbin. (the risks/challenges part of the KS page was great tho - keep that) ;-)

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      Creator Tiffany Ross on September 21, 2012

      Kickstarter's not a store, yet I don't see ANY rules about companies coming onto Kickstarter with projects they explicitly state they are posting to get into production FASTER, as in, these products are going to come out regardless of if their Kickstarters succeed or not, because they will have the funding in the future. They are using Kickstarter AS a storefront between them and the customer. Hmmm... no rules against that and that's far more of an issue in the 'store' argument, because they have an established and continuing base of participants.

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      Creator Charles Waugh on September 21, 2012

      Interesting article over at Forbes about the ZionEyez video-glasses project that has not shipped, nor communicated well: http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgibbs/2012/08/20/the-truth-about-kickstarter-and-zioneyez/
      .
      Is there a problem with ZionEyez? YES!
      Might the backers lose some money? YES!
      Might there be a lawsuit? YES!
      Did all the backers understand the risks when they backed the project? NO!
      .
      QUOTE from the article: "...Kickstarter arguably doesn’t make it clear enough to backers what it means to back a product. Backers are NOT backing companies, they are backing ideas about things that it MIGHT be possible to do or make. There’s no way for Kickstarter or the people making the pitch to guarantee that any given idea is as good or as practical as it seems." [emphasis added]
      .
      THAT is the issue, plain and simple.
      .
      Will there be issues with some projects? YES!
      Will some backers lose a small amount of money? YES!
      That's called RISK.
      And risk is what the CREATORS do when they start the project - they take a huge risk of their time and money and are willing to let others in on it for a small amount of money and a small reward.
      .
      My take on the new guidelines:
      > The 'Risks and Challenges' section is only as good as the creators can write and the backers believe.
      > Restricting renderings and simulations is shortsighted and silly. The idea of raising funds is to say: "This is what we want to do - help us get there because we can't so it alone! Yes, it's risky, but we think that with YOUR HELP we can do it!"
      > Restricting lot size to ONE - terrible, terrible, terrible. That cuts the backer's interest level AND the creator's ability to get to volume BOTH.
      .
      All in all, a bad idea that assumes the creators are the only problem and absolves the backers of the requirement of thinking.

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      Creator Jodi Chen Gramigni on September 21, 2012

      Love the changes. Kickstarter is for creative thinkers and that is exactly what you are promoting. Bravo!

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      Creator Radast Design on September 21, 2012

      Can you please provide further clarification about the use of renderings. For our kickstarter campaign we feature only real photographs of our completed prototype, but we also use CAD renderings to explain detail/functionality that can't be done in a photo (without cutting our product in half). We also use one rendering to make the point that our design can be produced in custom colors. The rendering shows the prototype exactly as it is built, just in a different color. Is this still not allowed? We truly appreciate any clarification that you can provide, and we also support the new changes! This is a wonderful medium and we applaud your efforts to improve it and to protect the interests of creators and backers alike!! Thank you.

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      Creator Shawn Swift on September 21, 2012

      Fluffy: You clearly have no idea how much work goes into producing a hardware product. I was working for three months full time on my project before I launched it on Kickstarter, and by that point I still only had hundreds of pages of notes, schematics, and 3d renderings of my circuit boards to show for it. Three months after my project ended, I'm still working full time on it, and I still don't have an assembled board to show for it, because designing circuit boards involves a whole lot of cad work, and only once all that is complete can you move on to actually producing the prototype, which I am finally getting to this week after all my months of effort.

      And it is your choice what you invest in. If you don't want to invest in a project because there's no prototype, that's your decision to make, but you shouldn't doom hundreds of projects by forcing your choice on others.

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      Creator becca on September 21, 2012

      I have backed 17 projects on Kickstarter, 11 of them were $50+ contributions. I am a big believer in Kickstarter and the potential it presents. I want to support people that are figuring out how to make their product. And I want to get some of these products in the end. I wouldn't, out of the goodness of my heart, pledge someone 5 times what I was considering pledging, because I don't have the kind of money to just plain donate to someone. But if I know I'll receive something for that money sometime when a product is eventually produced, I can justify the up-front cost, and give multiples to friends, which is a great way to spread the word about Kickstarter.

      Kickstarter is not a store, it is an investment in creativity. And the reward system means that you receive something for that return. Why should we not be allowed to invest more and receive more? Why should I not be allowed to increase awareness of Kickstarter and the creative products that result by sharing them with the world?

      Also want to quote a few other people here, who said it better than I could have.

      "This policy shift is a clear statement from Kickstarter that they fail to understand what they've really created - an amazing pre-purchase storefront for emerging projects that wouldn't exist without the shared financial risk of early adopters. Risk = reward(s). A simple concept for most."

      "A lot of hardware projects need minimum orders to enter into mass production economically and allowing someone to order 2 or more can make it much easier / cost effective to reach that goal."

      "your policy still clearly states that Creators must A. deliver or B. offer refunds. As long as that is there, there's no legal grounds for 'Risks and Challenges'"

      "Finally, as many have noted, by forcing a creator to have a working prototype in hand before listing a project, it has essentially become a store and not a place to gain backing for a idea. They might as well just start their own website or sell on Etsy or something, and not give you and Amazon your cut. These rules may potentially end the design and hardware portion of Kickstarter as they leave or other crowd funding sites. If so, that is too bad, since Kickstarter is the best one out there."

    15. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Malachi de AElfweald on September 21, 2012

      I have spent over $2k on 53 projects. I think I should have some say on whether I'd rather see a CAD mockup (which I might consider) or just text with no images (which I would NOT back). Since the renderings are a normal part of the design process, I think it is inane to prohibit them. Saying that you can only show finished products is like demanding that you *only* use Kickstarter as a store.

      I guess the only good that comes out of this is that the Kickstarter company itself will get a smaller cut of my paycheck.

    16. Avatar143894_4.small

      Creator Kouture Crochet on September 21, 2012

      Shawn,

      Yes, that's life. It's hard. So what?

      And just as backers have a choice to not back projects, creators that are too lazy or too whiny or too "it's hard to get a prototype working waaaah" can always get funding for their ideas some other way.

      Yes, I sound like a total jerk. But I am way nicer than any investor would be if you gave them a drawing and said now give me money. That's the way it is. Maybe it's not fair, but when you ask people for money you should show a working prototype.

    17. Missing_small

      Creator Cutter on September 21, 2012

      You have to allow for renderings and simulations but simply make certain that there are written (and in the the case of video written and verbal) disclaimers stating that this what the creator visualizes the end product to look like. Anyone ever involved in the production product knows that there's generally a very great deal of difference between prototype and finished product. It's difficult to sell people merely on words alone.

    18. Missing_small

      Creator agpage on September 21, 2012

      I like to goal, but the implementation is WAY off. I would much rather Kick-starter add some custom disclaimer to the pledge process, and limit the total permitted pledges.

      I have backed 2 projects. One was a book I am still waiting on. The other was a custom LEGO accessory. Since they hole point of the project was to pay for the mold, these rules are silly. Yes, they could have done a custom print on a 3D printer, but it would have had NO bearing on their ability to deliver product.

      My Vote, Keep trying Kickstarter.

    19. Missing_small

      Creator Unguided on September 21, 2012

      This would've kept people from getting conned by the OUYA developers. I mean marketing team, not developers.

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      Creator Joshua Megerman on September 21, 2012

      Thus far I haven't had a KS project go "bad" on my, though I have had a few delayed (and several others are still on the long road to delivery, but not yet late). I think the Risks and Challenges section is an excellent addition, and serves to demonstrate that KS projects are not guaranteed. But I think the other two changes are questionable, at least as absolutes:

      1) Renders and other concept art can show not just the planned idea, but the evolution of how the project got to where it is, and where it hopes to go. I do think any non-photograph needs to be labeled as such, but it's very easy to take a picture of a mock-up and call it the real thing too. Also, concept art can be used to get feedback from the backers which ultimately can change the course of the project to be something better than originally planned.

      2) As many people have stated, sometimes quantity is a requirement to make a project viable. Having 1000 backers each getting 1 copy of something might not be financially worthwhile, but if the backers wanted 2500 of them it might. While I do think that sane limits on quantity makes sense (e.g., no wholesale-sized orders), but if someone wants a half-dozen of something that could still be reasonable.

      Hopefully you will continue to evaluate your policies and their effects on projects, and can revise them again to provide a reasonable and viable middle position that accommodates the majority of both creators and backers.

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      Creator David Snell on September 21, 2012

      These proposed changes seem like a bad idea to me also. Risks... Ok. Although people that have worked them all out in advance often mention their contingencies in their offering. As a backer of many projects most of which are hardware or design I have to disagree with the render and multiple items rules. While I often do not get multiple, some projects I have and would want to. I do not favor the "retail packs" some projects offer as rewards but in those cases I usually avoid those projects. The renders really rubs me the wrong way though. I do most of my own designs in renders (work and home) before I make a prototype. It costs a lot of money to get some things prototyped and not everyone is lucky enough to have a 3D printer, decent tools, or the ability to make a circuit board on their own. By requiring a prototype it seems that Kickstarter is hurting the smaller projects and individual concepts disproportionately.

    22. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Tom Byrer on September 21, 2012

      Oh, thanks to Richard NL, I've uncovered a clue why KS is making such drastic measures; Hanfree was drastically underfunded & now one of the partners is being sued. They did have a real-life working prototype, but during refinement (which took too long after) increased their Bill of Materials & costs for mass production exponentially.
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/831303939/hanfree-ipad-accessory-use-the-ipad-hands-free/comments

      So I don't really blame KS for making the moves, though I still believe that they are too heavy-handed. Here are some points I think KS, backers, & creators need to take:

      + Bill of Materials
      Creators tend to grossly underestimate this, esp for smaller runs. I think KS should force creators to list a semi-detailed BOM.

      + Lack of profit
      Risk + time = profit, that is how life works. People need to understand ALL their time (posting, promotion, testing, shopping for manufacturers) is valuable.

      Kickstarter = grass roots angel *investing*
      Many investments & business fail. I think 1 int 10 do really well, & half are lucky if they do OK. Everyone needs to know that there is a decent risk of failure with any venture. You can lower risks by research, but be realistic.

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      Creator Gregg Housh on September 21, 2012

      Most people have said it better than I feel I could on here. These changes are horrible. Reverse them or lose a LOT of the funders and watch a LOT of projects not get funded.

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      Creator Forma on September 21, 2012

      please, allow the renderings for product design!

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      Creator Vasilios Lazaris on September 21, 2012

      If we show the actual sample of our product, can we also show a rendering too?

      I ask because the footwear rendering I have offers an "exploded" view which shows the inner workings of the footwear that otherwise could not be seen with my actual sample.

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      Creator Scott Van Zile on September 21, 2012

      As a designer on a severely limited budget, the ability to use renders to express a form and a function allows me to not have to pay for tooling and manufacture costs for a run of 1 unit, or pay a prototyper to make me something. which is part of the purpose of the kickstarter in the first place. For projects with tight tolerances and thicknesses that aren't able to be 3D printed, this puts a severe limit on the ability to demonstrate functionality simply because of the cost associated with getting the project to a point that we can present it as a feasible product.

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      Creator Bill Trammel on September 21, 2012

      I understand the reasoning behind these changes. However, removing the ability to use renderings at all seems a bit extreme. As long as the rendering is clearly defined as such, the same purpose is accomplished. Professional design firms use renderings all the time, because they're cheap to produce and accomplish most of what is needed for proof of concepts. For some products, there is no way to demonstrate what the final product will look like without raising the money (to produce the molds, parts, etc. ). This creates a chicken/egg problem, which in my opinion ultimately ends up with less money for the creators and, as a result, Kickstarter.

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      Creator Scott Van Zile on September 21, 2012

      How can one be expected to sell an idea without one of the basic components of marketing, which is the visualization of a finished product?

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      Creator Barry Beams on September 21, 2012

      The distinction between live working mechanical drawings versus only an artist's rendition is not being stated, and I urge the blog monitors at KS to add this differentiation to the policy description.
      Mechanical drawings of a from Solidworks, Inventor, ProE, etc, are the actual CAD design. Used in conjunction with pictures of prototyped parts, they help the prospective backer to see the form and function of the actual design..
      Artist's renditions, however, are pure artwork, which can be made very misleading since the function doesn't need to be included. If the intent is to prevent misleading artistic renditions, and the distinction from actual mechanical design drawings in included, then the policy is sound.

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      Creator Stephanie Clarkson on September 21, 2012

      FluffyKitten: actually, you do not sound like a jerk. But you are *exactly* depicting the badly informed attitude that made Kickstarter decide to do this ill-thought out thing which makes Kickstarter into a pre-order store, and not a place to invest.

      It's great if a creator has a prototype that is working in their garage. I want to see that. But I also want to see what the creator will do when they get to bring the product to market. They *cannot* do that right now, THAT IS THE POINT OF KICKSTARTER. Renderings are the only way to show me what this garage made item will be. If I see the final prototype that is ready to go to market, and I back *that*, then Kickstarter is a store.

      I have invested through kickstarter based on 'here's a drawing of what I want to achieve'. You are actually being very silly if you don't think that is how startups some times *have to* work, and I am not sure that there is any common ground here, because you are really misguided about how first round funding usually works in tech (both software and hardware). I genuinely have no idea how to tell you that what you are describing will kill most ideas.

      When I have started an idea, I go to my friends, and I say, "Let me describe this for you." I tell people about it. I make sketches. When doing software, I have often made walk throughs that would simulate the process, so people can get a feel for what I want to do. Simulations, rendering and prototypes are *how people show* their vision. It's the most basic way that we tell someone, "I have an idea."

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      Creator Terry Cabeen on September 21, 2012

      In the interest of having my comment completely lost in this massive pile of comments, I'm really disappointed in the rendering rule for hardware projects. I think this would have negatively impacted the campaign of (for one example) Pebble. For hardware projects, the goal is to attain the level of funding required to make attractive, usable prototypes. The first hardware product I helped fun, b-squares, turned out to be a phenomenal disappointment of shoddy build quality and laughable lack of oversight. Even the product info sheets included with each square were wrong. The front was for one square, and the information on the back was from another square entirely.
      And yet I continue to back hardware projects that show early prototypes and product renderings. Why? Because I want to see these things come to fruition. I want that beautiful rendering to become a beautiful product, and I'm willing to put my money behind that wish.

      If it doesn't work out, then I can chalk it up to whatever I want, because I pledged my money with high hopes and low expectations.

      Now, I can see what you're trying to achieve with the rest of the goals, even if I don't adore them all (like forbidding multiples), but banning hardware renderings just seems like it would cripple otherwise brilliant projects.

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      Creator Ken May on September 21, 2012

      No rendering or product simulations is a bad idea. You state that "Kickstarter is not a store" but now developers will be forced to have complete polished products to show for their backers. This leads backers to believe this is a store and not a unique startup system. I think the ability to show people your vision and the components you have come up with so far makes kickstarter unique and not the other way around.

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      Creator Dave Zucker on September 21, 2012

      As a frequent backer and potential creator, I'm not happy with some of these changes.

      I fully support adding a Risks and Challenges section, and also a notification to backers that Kickstarter is not a store.

      However, disallowing renderings, simulations and multiple quantity rewards is severely limiting, and will result in an overall drop in quality of the projects posted.

      Renderings and simulations - Kickstarter is effectively preventing projects from accurately communicating what the features of a product will. Why not go the next logical step and prevent projects from even describing what they will do? "You can only write about what a prototype can do at the time of writing, not what the final version will do," seems like a overly-limiting rule, right? Disallowing renderings & simulations is effectively the same thing.

      Multiple versions - I get that these are essentially bigger risks for backers, but an outright ban on this seems draconian. Perhaps Kickstarter could add a new category of rewards - essentially a "higher risk" set of rewards. This category could come with extra warnings. Another mechanism to deal with this would be to add penalties for creators who fail to deliver on rewards in this category - if the creators don't want that extra responsibility, they could choose not to create any rewards with penalties.

      Kickstarter: you have done so much right, please reconsider some of these changes.

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      Creator amix on September 21, 2012

      You shoot yourself into the feet. It's simple: People (they are the ones who bring the money) WANT to shop on Kickstarter. I started as a simple supporter and pledger, now I feel I am a shopper for state of the (he)art products. It's a wonderful side-effect and getting things pre-production to a much (sometimes) lower price gives people a real reward. This does shape the character of Kickstarter further. You should not try to work against it, but cultivate it, so it does not get out of hand. Don't work against it, work with it.

      Oh, and the old web-design was much more user-friendly. You are not very user friendly at all, atm. Comments could be much better organized, for example.

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      Creator Bobby Davis on September 21, 2012

      One of the thrills of backing a Kickstarter project is watching the project develop from a napkin sketch to a full on tangible product. I love watching the creative process unfold.
      I don't think those that advocate the "prototype required" rule have any idea of what it cost to have a prototype made. Sure, spending money on a prototype makes the creator have some "skin" in the game, but for many creators who need a "kickstart", it's going to be a choice of Prototype or Rent.
      Like the old saying goes, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.".
      Too bad that a few high profile "fail to deliver" projects make it harder on Kickstarter and the Kickstarter community.

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      Creator GIR: Get It Right on September 21, 2012

      @kickstarter I have a technical question related to the new Risks and Challenges section. I can't find the answer anywhere on the KS site. I'm trying to build line breaks and/or bullets into the "Risks and Challenges" section of my about-to-launch project. After all, I'm outlining the challenges we faced! But any formatting (including spaces and line breaks) is simply eaten up by the editor -- not saved. Can you guys add the same WISYWIG formatting options to the R&C section as there are in the Project Description? I understand why no HTML is accepted, although some simple options like < p > and < /br > would be a welcome alternative. Right now, that section looks very jumbled on my page! I'm quite close to submitting it for approval, and would really appreciate your guidance.

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      Creator Greg Kaminski on September 21, 2012

      While I understand the reasoning behind prohibiting simulations and renderings, doesn't that contradict the purpose of Kickstarter? Small-quantity development and manufacturing of custom components for prototypes are expensive. Isn't that one of the reasons you would use Kickstarter? Otherwise, it's just pre-ordering. Am I missing something?

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      Creator Kirke Lawton on September 21, 2012

      I'm fairly new to Kickstarter, having funded 4 successful projects, none of which has delivered anything (nor have they missed any deadlines). Having said that I have told people that I LOVE Kickstarter, but frankly I was a little surprised by the "Kickstarter is not a store" line. That's what tells me that this is a critical campaign. Kickstarter does feel like a store. I think the spirit of these changes are spot on; I'll let others comment on the specifics.

      The one thing I would recommend is that you add "Kickstarter is not a store" to the home page and feature it on every page--and not in some ironic, cutesy way (not that you would). Every page should also include a bold statement like "Not every funded project will succeed, by supporting a project you are helping someone develop something new, but there is a real possibility that the project will fail and you will not receive what was promised/intended." That is a 100% true statement, that would surprise many supporters and cause them to think twice. That's the point.

      Keep up the great work.

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      Creator John Harding on September 21, 2012

      I'm just a backer, not a creator. I've backed 7 projects. 1 got funded, realize he couldn't do it and gave refunds. 1 other delivered - but much later than anticipated - but communication was good so I didn't mind at all. The other 5 are still in process.

      I think all you need is the Risks and Challenges section and more concentration on the KS site in general that this is a funding / investment site.

      Other than that, as someone else put it - the individual investor can make all the other decisions for themselves.

      I suppose putting a watermark disclaimer on renderings "rendering not actual product" wouldn't be a bad idea. (Always make me laugh when I see that on food boxes "serving suggestion", "magnified product" etc. Wow, I was expecting 3" square cheez its and I only got these pesky little things!)

      I understand that KS wants to protect it's idea and it's brand. It needs to weed out some of the bad apples. But that's probably best handled by some form of longer lasting agreement between KS and the creator (if you're found to be fraudulent then KS should be able to throw it's weight behind suing you - after all bad apples ruin the community).

      I wonder if KS is receiving outside pressure to change?

      However, even with all these restrictions in place I still love KS - maybe one day I'll post my Mr. Fusion project...

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      Creator Lucas Jensen on September 21, 2012

      Am I crazy, or will this "no renders" thing force Kickstarter to become MORE store-like? People will have to have working prototypes if not finished products to be able to show something to potential funders, which is more like selling a product than an idea.

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      Creator Stephanie Clarkson on September 21, 2012

      Lucas: Bingo. You're not crazy.

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      Creator Terry Gauchat on September 21, 2012

      Kickstarter has now got it BACKWARDS; and I sure hope I'm not the cause of this...

      For months now, I have been saying that, indeed, Kickstarter is becoming and acting more and more like a "store" ... a pre-sales platform, particularly for gadgets. I warned that more and more "Backers" were really acting and believing they were "Consumers/Purchasers" of the products offered at the various "Reward" levels. The problem with "acting" like a store, but not actually "being" one... is that Kickstarter is not taking any responsibility for fulfillment, returns, sales tax, etc.. In fact, Project Creators have absolutely no obligation to deliver their rewards ... they could be late, poor quality, or simply disappear.

      So what's the solution? Disallow renderings and simulations? No... I think renderings are more like what Kickstarter was intended for -- i.e., to fund creative projects. Creative projects start with an "idea" (e.g., renderings and simulations ... or music, art), that then need to be turned into physical form.

      The more practical suggestions I recommend:

      (1) Limit the number of items that can be used as rewards. Again -- Kickstarter is a FUNDING platform, not a PRE-SALES platform. {Or stop lying about its purpose.}

      (2) Limit the amount a Project can fund over its initial Goal to 2x that Goal. This makes Projects pick realistic Goal amounts that are not "too small", since if they low-bar their Goals, they limit the potential over-funding; but if they make the Goal "too large" (in order to maximize that 2x over-funding amount...), then the Project has a greater risk of failing to meet the Goal. To me, this is a perfect balance.

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      Creator Steve King on September 21, 2012

      I'm the developer of the HAND Stylus Kickstarter project... If you look at my project video, you'll see I had a pre-production prototype and that I also showed 3D renderings of the HAND Stylus to better explain internal mechanisms, features, functions, and to illustrate the full scope of the design process—going from concept sketches, to mechanical drawings, through 3D CAD work, to rapid printed rough prototype, to finished machined prototype. Are you saying this is no longer allowed? I think what I demonstrated in my project video showed I had a mastery of ALL the steps necessary to go from concept to completion. If I understand you correctly, I'm now required to show fewer steps rather than more. CAD work and renderings are integral to modern, computer-aided product development and instills confidence in a designer's capabilities. I'm all for disclaimers, warnings, etc., and I could probably live with the restriction of offering just single items for rewards; and I heartily agree with those who point out that non-product rewards are more likely to prove to be distractions, costly, and time consuming; but asking a product designer to not use disclaimed CAD renderings in addition to prototypes will, IMHO, create more problems than it solves. I would suggest you convene a meeting with a dozen of your most highly successful project designers and really work through a solution to the Caveat Emptor dilemma. Please reach out to your most successful product developers and prolific backers (I've backed nearly two dozen projects in addition to being a developer) for input. A well-considered course correction would go a long way to reestablishing confidence that your "New Rules" were subject to refinement in light of input from backers and developers . Please reach out... please stay flexible... please foster creativity rather than choking it off... and, yes, make sure the buyer is aware of the risks and understands that Kickstarter is NOT a store. I think you're moving in the right direction... but that you're course should be corrected. Regards, Steve King

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      Creator Joshua Jabbour on September 21, 2012

      Yep, I don't see how this will make Kickstarter less of a store. If the only product or hardware I can kickstart is something I already have completely designed and fabricated, then only finished products will be offered. So there will be both: a) less hardware products overall and b) only completed ones, ie what you could already buy in a store. A may be the goal here, but I can't even begin to see how B makes Kickstarter less of a store...

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      Creator Robert on September 21, 2012

      I don't see how products with exceptional mold costs will always be able to show a prototype. I think the multiple quantities thing is absurd - some of the top funding project would not have pulled of what they did without it. Is this an attempt to kill these categories on KS?

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      Creator Terry Gauchat on September 21, 2012

      If these new policies remain in place ... then this day marks the END OF KICKSTARTER "as we know it". This will only be the start of many more radical changes required to keep KS out of bankruptcy.

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      Creator JC Wright on September 21, 2012

      Kickstarter: You've heard it once, you'll hear it 1000 times. You're wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The only thing you got right (which you're also going to hear 1000 times) is the Risk section. You'll still have people who lie and misrepresent but you can't stop that. You just can't.

      My BIGGEST gripe is with the quantity issue. I recently supported LIFX. If I had the money I would be pledging at a sufficient level to do my WHOLE HOUSE which would require approximately 20 bulbs. Unfortunately I can't quite afford that yet so I only got two...with the hopes that this support will allow them to further refine the concept so that in a year or two or three I can buy 18 other bulbs for a fraction of the cost. Now while I wasn't able to purchase more than 2, I know many other people were. And honestly, when you look at their concept what the hell good is ONE LIGHT BULB. You're screwing up Kickstarter. If you don't fix it, someone else will be happy to collect the 5% from all the tech/design companies that are basically being shown the door. Who knows... maybe it will be me?

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      Creator Micheal T on September 21, 2012

      I had to create a Kickstarter account to just say that the new rules are very bad and hinder creativity. I understand the end goal but Kickstarter just remove a vital tool from the creator that can't render simulated or rendered images? What about the people that have spent thousands of dollars on renders before this God awful policy! Now they have to spend another thousand dollars for a working SLA model and those things are expensive! Kickerstarter just killed a lot of hardware projects. I think a time frame of the first of the year would have been better instead of slamming future projects in the face. Sorry for the rant but this new policy is not good for the community.

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      Creator Manuel Desrochers on September 21, 2012

      I'm not completely against this new sets of rules but I think you should revise/loosen some of them.

      Risks and challenges section : absolutely yes. Very important to let the backers know about the riskier parts of making a new product.

      Simulations and Renders: I think it should be allowed but only if you have a physical prototype to show or if you can demonstrate some of the "real life" work you did to get there. Renders and simulations should be duly identified.

      Multiple items rule: I think this should be left to the discretion of the backers if they still want buy multiple items and help the project to get funded faster after reading the new Risks and Challenges section... ; ) It's already very hard for project owners to get people to visit and back the project so they should be able to offer larger rewards if wanted.

      No matter what these new guidelines will need to be explained and detailed with specific examples.

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      Creator Jake Dunham on September 21, 2012

      Understand changes will increase the effect of less "faked" projects. but GREATLY reduce ideas and concepts that are closer to production values. I think it would be better to have a deposit or a liability claim for each project so that creators / projects need a minimum pledge amount to submit their designs and this will protect Kickstarter from fraudulent projects. That also comes with some issues like deposit amount per project / type of project, liability amount in general, But i still feel this may resolve this issue with the rules. By completely blocking product images and simulations and forcing people to show final images; many projects will not make it to the site, and therefore we will see less great ideas and concepts.
      The whole purpose of Kickstarter is to come as a community and support your fellow creator to get your projects up and running when you (the creator) may not have the resources to start it.