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. Pttm.small

      Creator Jeffrey Norman Bourbeau on September 21, 2012

      I'm Not seeing how this changes anything. People are still pledging for retailer reward levels, and using Kickstarter as a pre-order platform rather than a launching platform for indie artists. If you want to use your time more effectively, Kickstarter folks, you should be adding drop down menus for pages, like shipping methods and ala carte options for gained stretch goals, as well as a more friendly user interface for looking through projects.

    2. Missing_small

      Creator GoVirtual, LLC on September 21, 2012

      I have spent over six months developing three functional prototypes, and have funded out of pocket hundreds of hours of intended product animations and final revision prototype renders.

      Do you mean to tell me that I can only show breadboarded components (albeit functional), but no animations or renders of what the final product will actually be?

      Are you guys high?

      Do you have any clue what it takes to actually build a functional prototype and do the CAD/CAM and EDA schematics capture work to create a render of a circuit board and final revision product? What angel or VC in the world would look at a breadboard prototype and then fund a product without understanding its intended use for the consumer market?

      The Ouya product used a carved block of wood as a prototype, in direct contravention to your Technology section stipulations about the requirement for a functional prototype. Now you are going to penalize other well qualified embedded engineers from creating CAD/CAM renders and animation shorts even with a functional prototype video and picture demonstration?

      Really?

    3. Missing_small

      Creator GoVirtual, LLC on September 21, 2012

      So please clarify these changes:

      1) If I have a functional prototype which embodies the functional design of the intended product that is documented within the project plan, are 3D rendered pictures of the intended final product displayed with functional prototype pictures allowed?

      2) If I have a functional prototype which embodies the functional design of the intended product that is documented within the project plan, are 3D rendered animations of the intended final product displayed with functional prototype videos allowed?

    4. Missing_small

      Creator Jason Mecham on September 21, 2012

      All 5 of the projects I've backed would have violated the rules of the New Hardware and Product Design Project Guidelines. The excitement, and magic of those 5 items could only be conveyed through simulation and renderings (what it would be like to use the device). Did those projects over-promise and under-deliver? None of the 5 have delivered yet, but it was clear that the project goals were reasonable.

      I feel like the new rules are designed to artifically limit a project because the potential backers are viewed as materialistic idiots, and I find that extremely insulting. I backed the projects NOT because I felt like it was a store, but because of the passion I had for their creation, and I knew the risk. I knew I was putting money in to help make it happen.

      Yes, the growth of kickstarter is exciting and scary but don't pop the balloon.

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      Creator Jos Cocquyt on September 21, 2012

      I agree with Kickstarter on this one. There are already plenty of online stores selling stuff that doesn't exist.
      I do think they should allow sketches and renderings that are obviously so, like a hand drawing or even a solidworks screen shot in cartoon mode. A lot of the projects do photorealistic renderings, and make people believe the development stage is much further along than it really is.

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Peter F on September 21, 2012

      This is a disaster. No physical product of any complexity can be developed under these rules, nor any complex electronic product or one with embedded software. Games, films, and musical albums don't need to have any work done, but If I make a smartphone it has to be fully functional without any funding?

      Do people who have to wait 4 months to get a product because it is still being developed really think they are buying from a store? You must be getting pressure to offer refunds for failed projects. Clarifying project risks to backers is good step and I am fully supportive.

      I think the multiple item restriction is also misguided; anyone buying 50 of anything is more likely to be the operator of a store than a retail customer. Most electronic products can't launch without volume and companies depend on distribution commitments to provide that volume. Maybe volume purchasers are more demanding when it comes to refunds. "Storeness" does not seem to explain this and I wish you would explain.

      I like Kickstarter and I'm sure there is some problem you are trying to address with these changes, but backers in every category face the risk that their project will not get done. Is hardware just the biggest culprit?

    7. July2012-0099.small

      Creator Hamish Ahern on September 21, 2012

      My project creation was rejected today, I can't keep up with Kickstarters rule changes. I am spending more time trying to satisfy kickstarter review team, than the actual product design. Yes my project has a lot of renders. How else will my backers understand the end game. I also showed the actual products as well. so there is no doubt they exist. I am not sure where kickstarter is going with this.

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      Creator Lance Atkins on September 21, 2012

      Only quantities of one? This could be a pretty rough decrease in orders on someone with a, say, injection molded invention that is going to require a $20,000 mold to get started... It will change the whole ecosystem of pledge levels. My upcoming project will probably just have one pledge level with this new stipulation.

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      Creator Dreamzle on September 21, 2012

      I think the ban on renders is a mistake. Most electronic products would just be a board full of electronics - how is that supposed to make people feel like it's something to pledge for? The Ouya seems to be exactly the kind of product Kickstarter was made for, yet it wouldn't have been anywhere near as successful if they couldn't show the device and its controller, if they just showed an electronics board with a USB PS3 controller. In fact that would have not been representative of the final product, and would cause confusion, people wouldn't think the final product would have wireless controllers.

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      Creator Shawn Silverman on September 21, 2012

      I think the Kickstarter team should find a different way of making changes to policy to subside their fears of backers leaving with their money because they backed a "failed" project. Yes, someone will have a bad experience if they back a project that never delivers or under delivers. But you shouldn't penalize project starters.

    11. July2012-0099.small

      Creator Hamish Ahern on September 21, 2012

      by forcing a creator to have a working prototype that looks just like the end product, in hand before listing a project, it has essentially become a store and not a place to gain backing for a idea.

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      Creator Karol on September 21, 2012

      You are right to say “Kickstarter is not a store” so please be consequent with this approach.

      Changes in policy are to many of us very serious and can affect us in a bad way. I suppose they resulted partly from problems with shipment of "The Pebble project”.

      “Backers” that don’t treat Kickstarter as a shop and get it’s idea are understanding and have good will. They wouldn’t mind taking the risks involved. For example they don’t care about delays in shipment because they know that they support a project – they’re not buying ‘ready to ship’ product from a shelf. Those people are not only valuable for their money but are also great “ambassadeurs” of a product worldwide. Understanding backers are marketers for designers which allows the company behind a product to keep acquiring new customers. It’s invaluable, because I belive that the idea of “Kickstarter” is to help people set their businesses that are precious, will last long and evolve.

      The only thing that should be added to a Kickstarter policy is making people, who don’t naturally get the idea of “Kickstarter”, aware of the risks connected with supporting a project. Setting limitations for a project may destroy it and the whole idea of a Kickstarter. Besides lots of people want to see renders or buy multiple items and therefore support a project with large quantities of money. THEY DO IT VOLUNTARILY and if there are people unaware of risks just let them know about it – that’s all. If they agree to take the risk – great, if not – nothing happens.

      Solution:

      Before a person support a project there may be a “pop up a window” with clearly stated information: “ Backer should take into account delays in delivery or changes in a final product because the product isn’t manufactured yet. If you can accept this term please continue. If not – exit.

      When I found Kickstarter on the web I thought of it as THE BEST and most valuable site on the internet that I’ve ever seen (I use internet from it’s beginnings). I think of it as a CORE OF FREEDOM. But now because of some troubles caused by people who don’t understand idea of it and treat it as a shop, I’m afraid that’s the beginning of limitations that will destroy this most amazing concept of letting creative minds realize their dreams with support of people who belive and trust them.
      For those who are aware, helping designers is usually enough ( so many projects backed up with just $1 from people who want nothing in exchange)

      Just let people be clearly aware of the risk and please give up on any dangerous limitations which may ruin Kickstarter.

      Regards Karol Bugaj

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      Creator Mark Mohrfeld on September 21, 2012

      I feel that the multiple item rule may become very restrictive. I think that this will prevent many small projects from ever getting funded. I am afraid that becoming to restrictive on your rules is going to ruin an otherwise great media for new ideas. I thought the idea was to be open and not limited on creativity, even if the creativity is in how to make your ideas a reality.

    14. Missing_small

      Creator Ivaylo on September 21, 2012

      As a potential Kickstarter project creator I should say I'm ENORMOUSLY frustrated with those ridiculous changes.

      I've invested thousands of dollars and spent 10 months in research, development, putting together all of the hundreds aspects and dozens of people responsible for my product to have:
      1) a working 'polished' PROTOTYPE, not injection-molded parts put together that I can show!
      2) a very nice video showing all of its aspects
      3) documents filed for design and trade mark registrations
      4) the best possible manufacturer secured to start immediate production, as soon as I transfer needed amounts

      Not to mention all the sleepless nights, nerves and problems around all of the above.

      I did everything believing I can adhere to the OLD Kickstarter guidelines, meaning having in hand tens of digital renderings and a video that also has nicely done 3D simulations of the product itself, that ALSO shows that it works, besides the prototype, but is much smoother and eye-catchy.

      Now I have to deal with all the NEW guidelines. I agree with the Risk and Challenges disclaimer, but I would have to ask Kickstarter:

      1) How come do you apply a policy for a SINGLE DAY? This must have been communicated MONTHS before actually happening, so people like us - the project creators ready to submit their projects for staff review, spent the last months believing we are allowed to use renderings and simulations, could search for SOLUTIONS.

      2) How are we supposed to show/describe the FINAL product to potential backers and how will they know what are they actually receiving?
      I think we should do something like "Now, please imagine this part here is grey and it is made from a material that you know how it looks, but you don't actually know how it will look on the product itself, so you MUST IMAGINE IT. This here also is grey, but in a different finish, but I know you can IMAGINE it ALSO".

      If I were a backer I wouldn't back my project anymore. And this is worrisome.

      So please Kickstarter, reverse the old policies or adjust the current ones, because this is SO SO annoying and frustrating for new project creators, that I can, from what I see, understand, you never were.
      If not, refund 8 million OUYA dollars to backers until they have a working prototype and take down all renderings, because IT IS A HARDWARE PRODUCT ALSO. Don't get me wrong, I love OUYA, I'm just stressing on the changes made and their impact.

    15. Missing_small

      Creator terrybbarton on September 21, 2012

      These new rules seem ill thought out, and for the most part unfriendly toward both those that come here to get crowd-sourced funding and those that seek to help fund projects. I think it would be good to require renderings and simulations to be clearly marked along with an explanation of what the actual current state is. But these new rules are detrimental for everyone except some other crowd-funding site taking advantage of the new opportunity.

    16. Missing_small

      Creator Alistair Lowe on September 21, 2012

      Some of these changes make sense, others completely miss the point.

      Many hardware projects are successful because they promise to create something for an affordable price, to do that, projects must attract orders in order to build up the capital and incentives for bulk-order discounts.

      Likewise, who's going to want to invest in a product without knowing what the end result will look like? Surely a prototype image AND a render?

    17. Fallout%202%20-%20marcus.small

      Creator fredgiblet on September 21, 2012

      I'd like to state that I agree with the people who don't think these steps are good ideas. The quantity limits will hamstring some projects that would otherwise get funded and the requirements against simulations will result in a lot of projects having a lot more difficulty displaying the abilities of the system (for instance take the simulations of the Oculus Rift). I agree with the requirement to show a prototype, but I think that showing a projection for the appearance of the finished product is reasonable as well since a lot of prototypes are going to be ugly by neccesity.

      I agree with the idea of a quiz when you sign up for your account ensuring yo uunderstand what Kickstarter is and the risks entailed.

    18. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Angus McInnes on September 21, 2012

      I think this could almost destroy Kickstarter for hardware, as for many hardware projects the majority of the funding comes from people who receive relatively large quantities as rewards, and who wouldn't contribute as much without the reward.

    19. Fallout%202%20-%20marcus.small

      Creator fredgiblet on September 21, 2012

      @Angus

      Additionally the cost of a good-looking prototype and the lack of ability to show what it will do when finished (and sometimes the inability to show it even if it IS finished) are goign to be crippling to a lot of projects. Thankfully I mainly use KS for games.

    20. Theron_harmon.small

      Creator Theron Harmon on September 21, 2012

      The "Risks and Challenges" portion of this is a welcome change. Everything else is an over-reaction on Kickstarter's part. Big thumbs down. The ban on renders for hardware will cripple many of those types of projects. Why can't there just be disclaimers required for renders. I believe this will have a negative impact on the future of Kickstarter if it is kept in place - and it really opens a window for competing platforms. I'm also in strong disagreement with the decision to impose quantity limits. I think the backers should be responsible for their own actions. These are adults contributing to the dreams of like-minded creators. Please rethink these changes, Kickstarter, and come back with a more even-handed approach.

    21. Avatar.small

      Creator KickBanter on September 21, 2012

      One step forward, two steps back. Renderings are necessary. Why shouldn't people be able to buy multiples products they want. The pledge page should have clear, simple statement of risk and call it done. People who understand kickstarter will pledge, people who think it's a final product will realize its not and make an informed decision.

    22. Missing_small

      Creator RoninX on September 21, 2012

      Renderings should be clearly marked with a giant red banner that says RENDERING in bold letters.

      Simulations should be clearly marked with a giant red banner that says SIMULATION in bold letters.

      But neither should be prohibited.

      In addition, there should be a required section for an image of the CURRENT PROTOTYPE and description of its state of development. If there is none, then NONE should be displayed in bold print.

      I completely agree with the intention to make the current state of projects more transparent, but I think a complete ban on renderings and simulations goes too far.

    23. July2012-0099.small

      Creator Hamish Ahern on September 21, 2012

      This is primarily because of LIFX this week. people can't cope with the innovation, kickstarter was inundated with comments saying that lifx was not real.. people just can't believe what they are seeing.. but it is all REAL. and kickstarter reviewers also can't see what is real and what is not. and people just can't believe and cope with the fact that our future of mankind can be made in the hands of a hobbiest.. was Thomas Edison a single person! you bet ya.

    24. Missing_small

      Creator Bob Cunningham on September 21, 2012

      So, KS now wants to exclude all "small" projects in this category, all projects where the individual item cost is so low that the cost of shipping rivals or exceeds the cost of the produc t itself.

      That's just silly. I bought a pile of DigiSparks for many reasons, the main reason being that the low per-unit cost encorages me to use them in riskier environments that could easily "let the smoke out". I'm also giving some to my nephew, so we can learn to use them together. Most importantly, I wanted this project to ABSOLUTELY succeed, and volume is the best way I could think of to do so.

      Wait: I think I found the hole in the new policy: Simply sell small electronic projects as a "panel" of multiple boards that are still a "single item". So a panel of 8 DigiSparks would still be small, and may have other advantages to the project. For example, the panels could have electrical interconnections to make them funcitonal as a single large unit. This approach could let the DigiSpark simultaneously be the world's largest and smallest multicore Arduino!

      More to the point, the new policy should be ammended to permit multiples ONLY for low-cost devices. Place the threshold at US$10 or so, so that inventors would have to work hard to meet it.

      Finally, the new KS policy should apply primarily to new or first-time backers, and should not place limits on the participation of "experienced" backers.

    25. Missing_small

      Creator GoVirtual, LLC on September 21, 2012

      The Risks and Challenges portion should have been a requirement since day, so that potential backers can question in a public forum the equivalent of what a VC would do for SWOT analysis. I doubt that OUYA or other such products would have been funded had this capability been implemented; one simple question that would have blown any chance for OUYA's funding before a VC would have been their NVIDIA Tegra-based design for the prototype, which is impossible. NVIDIA and Broadcom are both notorious for refusing to release any specifics for their parts without extensive NDAs in place, millions in the bank for funding the project, and a guarantee of hundreds of thousands of units that will be shipped once the product is released. OUYA had no chance other than Kickstarter, and whether they can actually deliver will be based on the engineering acumen of their embedded development team.

      This "no renders" and "no animations" thing is absurd. You cannot convey a product concept without photorealistic 3D renderings of what the eventual product will be. A business plan / project plan should clearly delineate what the anticipated product functionality and capabilities will be, with the understanding that portions of the product aesthetics, packaging, and trade dress (but not functionality) will likely change during the successive product prototype iterations.

      This is simple Embedded Development 101, you build a prototype to demonstrate and prove the functionality, you develop a well thought out business plan / project plan with an embedded SWOT analysis and GANTT chart that describes the development flow, all of which culminates with a collection of photorealistic 3D product renderings and animations which convey the functionality, spirit, and sentiment of the project plan.

      With exception to the Risks and Challenges part of these changes, the rest of these new mandates will all but kill any electronics and/or embedded-based engineering projects for Kickstarter.

    26. Missing_small

      Creator S on September 21, 2012

      Just going to chime in with everyone else saying that multiple items prohibition is bad.

    27. Missing_small

      Creator Mitchell Jones on September 21, 2012

      The "Risks and Challenges" part I can understand, although I think that in some cases that section might be very sparsely populated; for instance, in a film or photography project where all the shooting has been done, and the project simply needs funding for editing, printing, packaging, etc. What risks does a project like that run? "My hard drive might fail? The printing company might take longer than expected to complete my order?"

      I find this "no simulations, no renderings" rule to be asinine though. Kickstarter is supposed to be a platform for artists and inventors to pitch their products to the masses, yet with this rule it becomes much more difficult to do so. Being able to show potential backers how a product would work is a much more effective method than asking them to read a boring wall of text that tells them how it will work. Further, with a "real prototypes only" rule in place, creators are forced to either bring a project closer to completion before presenting it on Kickstarter, or, if they can't afford to do so, they simply have to give up or look elsewhere. Protecting backers from promises that can't be kept is important, but I don't think this is the right way to do it.

      Likewise, restricting project rewards to single items is just foolish, as is the statement "Kickstarter isn't a store." I come here, I pay money, and I have a reasonable expectation that I will receive some product or service in return. Sure, I'm paying money to help someone make their idea or dream a reality, to help bring good art into the world, or to advance science and technology, and that's what makes me love Kickstarter, but at the end of the day, I'm still coming here to get something, and if I want two or three of it, that's my business, not yours.

      Funny, I noticed up above that, while simultaneously insisting "Kickstarter isn't a store" and that you don't want to "imply that products are shrink-wrapped and ready to ship," you're perfectly happy to make those products harder to develop and get funded in the first place. Interesting contradiction there, huh?

    28. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Matt McNamara on September 21, 2012

      I understand the need to protect backers to a certain extent, but ultimately it is our risk to take. I've backed 22 projects and 20 of them have been successful. Only one have I even questioned the legitimacy of and all others I've received my items as described and pretty darn close to the renderings originally provided.

      I love the renderings and they are honestly one of the reasons I back things. I've also benefitted from the multiple item rewards... some items I've deemed too expensive for myself, but if I split the higher reward that gives me two at a lower price then I win, my brother(s) win, the project wins, and ultimately so does KS.

      These are great ideas with not the best implications. I'm a fan of disclaimers and also having to check a box every time I back something saying I understand the risks. Hopefully these can be revised to be a bit more friendly to all parties involved.

    29. Fallout%202%20-%20marcus.small

      Creator fredgiblet on September 21, 2012

      @Hamish

      Edison is a bad example, most of his patents were created by his empolyees

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      Creator /CLARK/ on September 21, 2012

      To add insult to injury, this whole backlash lacks any feedback from Kickstarter. Are you listening? Please show us you are paying attention behind the curtains. If not, creators would be wise to start their new projects elsewhere.

    31. Missing_small

      Creator GoVirtual, LLC on September 21, 2012

      Edison and Westinghouse were both turds. The bulk of their "inventions" were created by Tesla.

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      Creator luke leighton on September 21, 2012

      this has always been something very strange about kickstarter for hardware technology: i wasn't even aware that a mock-up prototype was permitted; wasn't made aware as part of the submission process; couldn't find anything that said that mock-up prototypes were permissible; wasn't told when i put in a submission 2 years ago that the submission was being rejected because a MOCK-UP prototype wasn't permitted.

      so i had assumed that the submission, which was to fund the creation of a prototype (which would then be possible to take further after that), was being rejected because a prototype was required as part of the submission: a catch-22 situation.

      it is ironic now that in fact the situation that i misunderstood is now a requirement. so the question is this: how, especially in complex Electrical Engineering projects such as PCB design using the latest ARM SoCs where if you were to pay for that work it would cost between $7,000 and $40,000 and that's excluding the cost of making a PCB and sourcing the components for the prototype, which could well be an additional $1,500 to $2,000, is anyone expected to "kick start" such complex costly projects?

      in our case, we are extremely lucky to have been able to convince an experienced engineering team to take on the task at zero cost, leaving us with just the PCB and components costs to find, and will be resubmitting the project shortly.

      this move by kickstarter therefore restricts submissions to those people who either already have the advanced engineering expertise and who have time available; to those who have the willingness to learn the advanced engineering expertise and who have vast amounts of time available; or to those who already have the funds to pay for the advanced engineering expertise.

      the only thing that i can think of which explains what's going on is that the increase in availability of high-tech ARM CPUs (probably due to increased awareness e.g. the raspberry pi, low-cost android tablets etc.) has resulted in a surge of kickstarter applications, and the staff are concerned about the viability / success rates of the submissions.

      * "kickstarter is not a store" - yep, that makes sense. i remember my reaction to one of the recent submissions which had rewards "qty 1, qty 2, qty 5, qty 10": it was one of cynicism mixed with confusion and also a kind of alarm bell was ringing that this wasn't what kickstarter is about.

      * "proving you have the expertise to deliver" - that makes sense.

      * "advising people of the risks" - that makes a lot of sense.

      * "restricting to a single item" - makes some sense to me. i think time will tell on this one. i can't quite put my finger on what is wrong either way (single or multiple items).

      * "requiring that people make an actual working prototype" - that just makes absolutely no sense. it places people into a catch-22 situation. the whole point of kickstarter funding is to get people over *exactly* that very barrier, and i believe that the kickstarter staff haven't understood quite how high the barrier to entry is in the embedded SoC world already is.

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      Creator Kyle on September 21, 2012

      These new guidelines are STUPID! Banning "project rendering"s and multiple orders of hardware are ridiculous! Every project I have backed has BOTH and it's doubtful I would have trusted the projects quality without them (especially the renderings).

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      Creator GoVirtual, LLC on September 21, 2012

      No worries.

      1) Enter a project in the "Games" category;
      2) Use a block of wood to carve up a "functional prototype";
      3) Raise five million dollars;
      4) Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, and Charles Adler will then extract their five percent pound of flesh and transfer the remaining funds to your Paypal acccount; and,
      5) Profit.

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      Creator Tapan Shah on September 21, 2012

      A render should be okay, if they have a (partially) working real world prototype. Since, Kickstarter is a place where individuals back a concept/project and obtain rewards, it should stay that. Multiple rewards for wholesalers and group of friends (some of them not even on kickstarter) doesn't make sense.

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      Creator Gary Chrebet on September 21, 2012

      Kickstarter should now be called Kickstopper. I have funded two dozen projects primarily those that are in the technology and photography classes. I believe that by not permitting renderings of the product and by limiting their quantities, many of these items would not have come to fruition. I have to say that all of the projects that I have funded have exceeded my expectations, this without the limitations that you have just imposed. I would have preferred that KS require the person who is funding the project to check a box indicating that they understand the risks that are part of the project and that they understand that they may not actually receive the project should it fail. I also believe that ZkS should only release a percent of the funding to the creator when the project closes. Another prrcentage would be released when they complete a milestone such as when the project ships. The final funds would be released once they get a positive feedback score from most of their finders. Third, KS needs a better way to permit funders to leave feedback while a project is being funded. This would reduce the number of complaints earlier in the process. It has been a great experience funding many projects, but I believe that you have just killed Kickstarter.

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      Creator Gray on September 21, 2012

      Look, I get that LIFX is probably vaporware, but you approved it, KS. Not only that, but you approved this project knowing full well that its creator's last project still hasn't come to fruition months past the promised date. This wouldn't be too exceptional, except that that project was just a collapsible cardboard box (yeah, yeah, the "plus" version is a cardboard box with an LED strip attached, but the basic version was just a box).

      Having the creator list risks and challenges is not a bad idea. Also forcing them to emphasize what concrete work remains (i.e. in the case of LIFX, pretty much everything) would be a good idea. But you're not doing that, and instead you're just banning renderings and, pretty unrelatedly, banning rewards of multiple units . . .

      Seems like you're kind of missing the real problems here.

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      Creator Hamish Ahern on September 21, 2012

      But what if I want to risk my money for the chance of 12x LIFX bulbs for my whole house, i don't want to just back for 1! make a limit of 50 so that big wholesalers dont think that they are getting a deal. well maybe they are if they are willing to risk their money. Kickstarter just needs to stop trying to make everyone happy, if projects start failing backers will be more cautious, its the old "market" thing, let the market decide. too much regulation is a bad thing.

      1) Warn the backers when they pledge, delays are common, everyone is doing their best.
      2) Allow creators to create renders, with a label of "illustration" or "render" on the photo, I know because my sister can't tell the difference, haha. but I can. some people can, some cant.

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      Creator Hamish Ahern on September 21, 2012

      I think there should be no subjective reviewer at kickstarter...
      I think their should be thumbs down.. and if the project gets too many thumbs down,
      then kickstarter can review the project. how about that?

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      Creator Hamish Ahern on September 21, 2012

      @Gray LIFX is not vaporware, I can vouch for it. I've seen this technology for 18 months. Big companies are just *slow*. Kickstarter is faster.

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      Creator Jesse Clark on September 21, 2012

      Several people have mentioned the Ouya project and I think that is a great example of why some sort of render labeling rule is needed. I'm not trying to say anything about that product's viability one way or another, but their campaign was very misleading to folks who didn't take the time to read and research carefully. One of our Linux admins at work signed up once the 'wave' hit and swore up and down the special edition he bought was basically built and ready to go because the renders were of such high quality. However that was exactly the kind of project KS exists to support, so renders shouldn't be outlawed entirely. A common sense rule to label renderings and explicitly state development status and risks should provide a happy medium. At the end of the day they had to do something; people are getting really, really good at making too good to be true videos and can now manage hype over a 31 day period like orchestra conductors...a few too many high profile fizzles would kill this amazing site.

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      Creator Matthew Baxter on September 21, 2012

      "Product renderings are prohibited"
      For electronics (my interest) I want to see the CAD renderings and the circuit designs. They are just as important as the prototype for assessing the product.

      Similarly, in electronics volume orders make a massive difference to price. And if I have to learn how to use this new item then it may not be worth it if I can only get 1 in the first batch. 1 per customer will kill smaller electronics projects.

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      Creator Daniel on September 21, 2012

      The multiple items rule is a really bad one:
      As others have mentioned, it'll make cost effective production much harder, and for lots of projects it misses the point. I recently backed digispark, a tiny, cheap microcontroller (whose low cost allowed it to be permantly left in projects). If I'd only gotten one, then I couldn't leave it in projects because then, I wouldn't have and for may next project! Its whole idea was that it was consumable. Similarly for LIFX - light bulbs are consumable and these ones form a mesh network - they operate better as a group. Radioblock, another project of which I'm a backer is entierly for radio mesh nodes - these are literally useless items if you only have one.

      Also, an international (Australian) backer, the shipping cost of rewards wouldn't make sense for me in many cases is it couldn't be amortized over multiple units.

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      Creator Ted Meyers on September 21, 2012

      Why do I get the feeling that the new rules are intended to allow Kickstarter to more easily wash their hands of projects that go bad, and tell their customers that it is their own fault that they got screwed?

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      Creator Hamish Ahern on September 21, 2012

      now you have a catch-22 problem
      you can't get a sample made from the factory without a 10,000 order. what good is a prototype.. you just get the same 3dprint of the render.. so 3d render is good enough without the upfront cost!

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      Creator mutatedjellyfish on September 21, 2012

      No concept or renders? Then what the junk would my Kickstarter be for? Often the first physical unit of a run of products is the most expensive part of the process. What this is saying is I now have to front 80% of the cost BEFORE I can seek funding? That makes no sense. Backing a project has been and always should be AT YOUR OWN RISK and that hasn't ever been a problem.

      This is a terrible, poorly conceived change.

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      Creator Denis on September 21, 2012

      I think this makes sense, although for electronic projects, there are economy of scale issues that need to be dealt with sensibly. Presumably, backers can buy directly from creators outside of Kickstarter

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      Creator mutatedjellyfish on September 21, 2012

      For the record, I have been working on getting a product Kickstarter organized to post up, but now with these new ridiculous changes, I will not be posting anything.

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      Creator John Lester on September 21, 2012

      I think renderings are important to see what the person is picturing for their goal, but I do see the problem there. Perhaps require any renderings include a side-by-side with current state and/or a disclaimer.

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      Creator Jason on September 21, 2012

      "Let's tell you what we've got planned with this project. Now, we can't give you any renderings of what the final product will look like, so you'll have to use your IM-AG-IN-ATION!"

      Renderings are important for backers to get a good understanding of what a final product may look like or do. Taking that away may stop some of the more reckless investors from putting their money in doomed projects, but it'll hurt more legit projects from finding backers.