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. Dragonfly.small

      Creator Pavitra on September 23, 2012

      I'd like to reiterate the "disclaimer" suggestion. I'd rather have all the information that can be provided, regardless of format. Conjectural information such as renders should be clearly labeled as such, not omitted entirely.

    2. 02.small

      Creator WereTiger on September 23, 2012

      This is 66% bullshit. I agree, Kickstarter is not a store, but it is somewhere that you go to get things, things that don't exist yet. There's a similarity there.

      I've put a lot of money into kickstarters, and I accept the risk that I may never see anything from that money spent. THAT is the risk of investing in a product that is incomplete.

      Making the projects outline the risks and challenges is great, but the other rules are fucking retarded. I'd refrain from vulgarity, but I'm a little shocked at the level of stupidity.

      'Can't render what a final product might look like'? That's bullshit. Say that 'any renderings must be clearly labeled as such so as not to mislead' and that should be sufficient.

      The most successful kickstarters ever, Pebble, Ouya, etc, all violate these rules and wouldn't have been NEARLY as successful if they hadn't.

      Kickstarter, get your head out of your ass, stop controlling. Make it more obvious that any funding is PURELY an investment and as such can be lost, but don't put restrictions on what projects can be/do.

    3. Missing_small

      Creator Robert77 on September 23, 2012

      Kickstarter Is Not a Store
      ... Coffee is usually hot!
      ... Do not put pets in the microwave to dry them!
      ... Do not log in if brain is missing!

    4. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Shawn Kirsch on September 23, 2012

      As an avid Kickstarter project backer, I have to agree that some of these new policies may be a bit heavy handed. A superb rendering included WITH photos/videos of what they currently have for a physical prototype does wonders for my ability to discern whether or not I believe a project can come to fruition. When I pledge money I expect to be included in the development process, I'm fascinated to see some of the behind the scenes action a product goes through to wind up in my hands. Only once have I backed a project where it felt like a store in any way. Turns out the product was already part of an online store and Kickstarter was a way to get publicity. I'm still glad to have the product, but was disappointed to not have any look behind the scenes.

      To me, a brilliant example is the Geode. I don't recall seeing anything other than a rendering, though there may have been photos, but the creators have been phenomenal in keeping us informed. The videos with detailed explanations of why they haven't shipped yet, explaining the technical problems they encountered and how they're fixing them make me glad to have backed them, and eager to do so again.

      So don't get rid of the renderings, don't disallow the ability to get multiple of an item, just do due diligence in making sure there is good evidence of significant progress into a products development. If you need a special section on a project page to very clearly show pictures/video of what exactly is in existence right now, then do that. It doesn't take a lot to hook some wires to a circuit board and screen and show us you're working on it, complemented by the fancy rendering of your vision of completed product.

    5. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Lincoln Thurber on September 23, 2012

      I sorry, but I cannot help feeling some of those rules are anti-creative and anti-evolution of design. This sounds like all projects must be 90% done before they can get any funding by your new rules. I hope some of these NEW RULES are rolled back, because this feels like a over-reaction to the "this is not a store" concept. These rules place technology projects on a different level then music or art projects.

      "....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."

      By your rules a singer with a past song is PROHIBITED from showing that because that old song is not the current album being KickStarted at all....don't even show it,..don't even sing it your saying. If tech projects are under such rules then ALL projects should be under such rules. I bet more people are cheated out of rewards from your music Kickstarts then from any other type, but now they have the least rules. IT IS MADNESS!!!!

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Gregory Cropp on September 23, 2012

      Many companies perform very well when all is well. It's the decisions when under fire that show true maturity. Anyone with design or product development experience would know this decision has started the death spiral of the company. They will often not listen to the advice of those involved in the process and become very paranoid. Imagine a couple of undisciplined soldiers discharging their weapons and then complaining it's not their fault. A new policy is put into affect that ammo will no longer be allowed for the weapons but the weapons should still be used for defense. While not a perfect metaphor you get the idea of the type of decision being made.

    7. Dome.small

      Creator FlorinC on September 23, 2012

      I did not read most of the comments, so maybe someone already brought this up: there is a lot of work (and/or money) to get to the rendering phase. If one is determined enough to make it to the rendering, I am sure (s)he is determined enough to get the product to market.

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      Creator Don Pattee on September 23, 2012

      Not really feeling these changes. The 'simulation' and 'rendering' rules are just hilariously bad. In the 'real world' you can't go to a bank or a VC and say 'I have a product idea, I can't show you what my current plans are though, that's a secret.' Renderings and 'simulations' are a very important part of the design process. The 'multiple item' rule is also bad - I get that ordering multiple may make some people think that this is a store, but those people are idiots who can't read anyway. Back in the 'real world' the cost of an item frequently goes down as the quantity produced goes up, and being able to pledge at a level that would reward with 'multiple items' is a fast way to get the cash and quantity built up.

      I'm not going to type much since there are already dozens of comments, so I'll just say that I feel that these rules are excellent rules to implement if the goal is to break kickstarter.

    9. Img_2754.small

      Creator Don Pattee on September 23, 2012

      Alright, another thought... If KS is not a store, then doesn't this rule change /turn it in to a store/ ?
      You are now requiring a product developer to show exactly what the product is currently capable of doing, and people can pay money to get it. Since they aren't showing renderings or future simulations, backers are not investing in the concept, they specifically are pre-ordering a 'fully functional' item - where 'fully functional' is now defined as 'well, it does what it currently does...'

    10. Kfox_headshot_pic.small

      Creator Kevin Fox on September 23, 2012

      I support the effort to make backers more aware of the actual development state and risks along the way, but as a backer I would find it extremely difficult to assess the road a project has to complete if they can only show me where they are now and are forbidden from showing me where they hope to be, even if such a rendering or simulation is clearly labeled as such and is presented alongside an accurate representation of where they are now.

      These rules, as currently stated, mean any hardware or PD project has to be virtually complete, both in form and function, before it can be a Kickstarter project, because they are not otherwise allowed to show what work they still intend to finish.

      Resultantly, and quite ironically, being a 'backer' quickly equates to being a 'pre-orderer' and results in Kickstarter becoming *more* like a store, rather than less.

      I support full disclosure of current development state and risks, but blocking creators from showing the rest of the journey is a mistake.

    11. Missing_small

      Creator Jared on September 23, 2012

      Ridiculous! The product “design” category can’t render its own “design”? If I can’t see what the designers want it to look like, how do I know if I want to fund the designer? I agree that they should post actual photos of what they have but rendered images are helpful to show their vision of what is to come.

      Not allowing people to offer multiple quantities of a reward specifically and unfairly targets the hardware category. If a performing arts project offers multiple tickets to their show as a reward, it does not improve performers’ abilities. However, the more funding a person receives during (and beyond) the design phase of a hardware project directly impacts the quality of their end device.

      Please reconsider these new requirements.

    12. Img_20140207_164618.small

      Creator German Bauer on September 23, 2012

      Liking the spirit of the guidelines to prevent fraud and misleading. However not allowing simulations and renderings is too paranoid and not serving the community of funders, as this is part of a normal ideation and product creation process we all want to be part of.
      It would have been more sensible to allow them while requiring a photo/video/documentation of the currently working state of the prototype.

    13. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Catherine Wiener on September 23, 2012

      As a backer of many, many projects at all different levels I've been saddened by this all weekend and even previously commented, but it basically comes down to this...

      Now we can only back WHAT IS and not WHAT CAN BE.
      You've just negated your entire reason for existence.

      Please reverse the rendering/simulation and multiple purchase restrictions.
      Thank you.

    14. Cw-avatar-2.small

      Creator Charles Waugh on September 23, 2012

      As a project creator who just finished shipping our product, and as a consultant currently working with four other folks who want to launch on KS, I have to say that I am very gun shy now.
      .
      Why?
      .
      1)
      The lack of trust in KS to not change the rules suddenly without warning. Why the hell not say "as of October 31st at 11:59PM... ?!?! Sheesh! Dropping a bomb like this is truly thoughtless and destructive of the trust that has been (somewhat) built up over the past years.
      .
      2)
      KS's continued lack of treating creators in a business-like manner. On my last project it took four emails and a facebook posting on their page to get them to answer the simple question: "How can I launch my project when there is no SUBMIT button?" After all those emails (over a three week period and each one being answered by a bot with boilerplate "see our guidelines...") They finally told me "OH! You've already run a project in the past, so there's no need for our approval - just launch it!"
      .
      Then, when I did launch a couple weeks later... voila! they suddenly had to approve it, thereby ruining the launch date we had published in a press release worldwide.
      Grrrr.....!

      On another project, I asked a question and again was hit with the boilerplate responses. Nothing useful, just the same old “See our guidelines...” Sheesh! It’s like dealing with the worst of the big corporate blobs - “Avoid personal interaction at all costs!”
      .
      3) The lack of multiples will SERIOUSLY affect one of the projects I am helping out on, which is for an inexpensive item.
      We are even considering having the reward be ABOVE retail because we can't afford to have the initial volume be too low. You see, we still have to spread our molds costs, etc. over the initial run, but now we have to assume a smaller number of units to spread that over, so the ‘price’ goes up.
      .
      4) No renderings? What a handicap!! How can we communicate the complete emotion without them? Even WITH fully functional protos (which I require on my KS projects anyway because I want to know that things work) I want to use renderings - to show off our expertise in technical areas, thereby building the backer’s confidence in us and our ability to finish.
      .
      In conclusion:
      KS has just shot a huge hole in their foot and now Indegogo, etc. will see a big upsurge in great projects, while KS wanders off down the wrong path. We, for one, are researching other options immediately.
      .
      End of (this) rant.
      Charles

    15. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Rudi Beijnen on September 23, 2012

      OMG!! This is the lamest thing you can do for a website that supports inventors and alike. There will come more room for other platforms now that's for sure. I never used kickstarter as a project starter or backer but the concept intrigued me and I enjoyed scrolling through the ideas especially in the technology category. Looking forward to a new platform that supports REAL inventors and not just artists and similar people that can get away with any result!!!!!

    16. Cw-avatar-2.small

      Creator Charles Waugh on September 24, 2012

      And one more thing... (to use a now-hackneyed phrase)

      Under 'Ricks and Challenges'
      EVERYONE SHOULD ADD THIS LINE TO THEIR PROJECT:
      "Betting on KS as a reasonable platform to launch an idea into a product."

      Big risk, and a heck of a challenge.

      Too bad, it was a fun ride while it lasted.

    17. Missing_small

      Creator alxxG on September 24, 2012

      I think the new rule on multiple quantities is rather stupid and way to restrictive for hardware projects.
      Every single project I've backed has allowed multiple quantities and that was part of the reason for me backing them. Without multiple quantities isn't not worth backing projects on kickstarter

      Time for projects to stop using kickstarter and move else where!

    18. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Gareth Husk on September 24, 2012

      KickStarter is not a store -- I thought that was obvious, my bad. "Risks and Challenges" a good idea. Banning renders, I see where you are coming from but way too simplistic. The electronics industry has a long history of faking products in ads and presentations (can you say Nokia, Microsoft, Apple...).

      That said I'd like to see the proposed design -- the working design. BUT for most of the life, the simulations &c it's all virtual.

      I'm not duped -- if some of my backed projects never deliver I'll be sad but it won't be the first one that never delivered or under-delivered. I've not sunk money I can't afford to lose. And on the other side - caveat emptor -- the project owners haven't surrendered any equity.

      This IS a retail relationship but with risk. It's a strange risk because to lose money the risk has to have a market. Unpopular ideas will not get funded, I suppose the biggest risk is for ideas that are too good to be true and for that I suppose we have to rely on a degree of due diligence by KickStarter.

      As far as I can tell no projects i've funded have hidden when their images were renders. I want to see the vision. From an electronics perspective the biggest worry about is unfeasibly small packages and heat dissipation. (I'm thinking about a non-KickStarter device that was supposed to be silent and shipped with a dumb, always on fan because they missed that.)

    19. Coolchuckedited.small

      Creator Chuck Lasker on September 24, 2012

      Basically you're saying, "we realized our users are idiots, and we are going to protect them because they're too stupid to discern things themselves."

      Whew. Thank you. I was trying to decide whether to put my project on Indiegogo or here. Now I know Indiegogo is the way to go!

    20. Hjk%20final.small

      Creator Harman J. Kursner on September 24, 2012

      Sounds like a very reasonable couple of changes. My only worry is if all renders are prohibited, even if you have a full product, some cool 360 views would be harder to do. For instance, you have a product that is on the larger side, or for whatever reason not balanced. Its hard to do a cool 360 slow motion spin around of the product with actual video, but using a CAD software you can render a 3D model with a 360 spin quite easily. Or what about a 3D look at the inner workings of a intricate machine (clock, remote control race car, etc), without having to rip the thing apart. I understand you want a working prototype product, but eliminating all renders seams I think can make it harder to get some views that give backers a better idea of how the whole thing looks. Just a thought. I would suggest a "No more than 25% of pictures may be renders" or something so they have to have real photos/video but can still use the computer to show more views. oh well, guess it doesn't effect that much.

    21. Missing_small

      Creator Jason Clark on September 24, 2012

      I feel very strongly that kickstarter is taking a strong step backwards here. It's preemptive step in the wrong direction. But lets start with the good. I think that the risk section is a great idea and definitely something that should be implemented. As someone who has backed several projects on kickstarter, I would like to know what the creators think their biggest challenges are and how they intend to overcome them.

      However, the no rendering policy is a huge mistake. 1. You're selling an idea, renders help people see a creators vision and let them visualize the final product or what their hard earned money will be supporting. 2. Many creators don't have the funding for injection molding and manufacturing, that's why they're here! A render is the best and most accurate way to show someone how it will look, if tooling and molds haven't been made yet.

      Lastly, on the multiple items, this is just stupid. If someone likes your project enough that they want to back it multiple times over, they should have that right. Let the backers be the judge of what they want to fund.

      Bottom line. Kickstarter is a place for creators to find investment money and backers to make their dreams a reality. With these changes you're making it impossible for people to show their true vision for their project. Have enough respect for the backers on this site to realize they understand the risks. A disclaimer would be far better then hindering peoples projects. I've backed several projects and have received all of the items I have pledged for. I understood the risks when I pledged, but I still wanted to back the projects. I hope you change some of these new policies, they really aren't the right direction.

    22. Missing_small

      Creator Eric Pratt on September 24, 2012

      I think the no-multiples rules is not thought through. It's going to hurt Kickstarter as a crowdsourced funding platform. One of the markets in the world that most benefits from economies of scale is hardware.

      If a small developer gets backers wanting 100 of something, he can produce it for X. If he can get 200 backers wanting that same item, he can produce it for less than X. The higher the quantity, the lower the production costs. Many people will want multiple hardware units from a single project. Allowing them to order multiples (even when there is no pairing that makes sense) increases the quantities lowering production costs. This can only help increase the chances of a project's success and is often used to add additional features to the hardware.

      This rule change seems entirely arbitrary and can only hurt Kickstarter and help it's competitors.

      The rule saying you cannot show rendered visions of the future state of a project is also arbitrary and absurd. This is based on a idealistic philosophy that I don't believe will stand up to punishment of the real world. Allowing a software developer but not a hardware developer to leverage that technique is misguided at best. I suspect this is a biased conclusion you've come to. I see no reasonable explanation as to why you've chosen to restrict only one group of people in this way. It's very segregationist and it's going to cause a lot of good projects to leave.

      The Risks and Challenges section is not a bad idea, but it is still a little questionable. Backers have never had to back people that didn't already address these on their own. I don't think it's needed at all because the good projects are already doing it. Instead of forcing it on projects you should be guiding them to choose to do it in educational material entitled, "How To Run a Successful Kickstarter Project."

      You've done a bad thing today and I think it's going to hurt everyone involved, especially the backers.

    23. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Festo O'Mani on September 24, 2012

      These rules seem like they came from someone who hasn't really used Kickstarter before, because surely the people who run kickstarter would know the ramifications of implementing such rules. The rules seem like they were guided by a lawyer who has never used or knows the world changing importance of a platform such as Kickstarter.

      There is alot of pressure from lawyers and opinionated article writers across the web like those who run NPR but the value in any site is the courage of their founders and creators in knowing how to run a world changing startup.

    24. Wiimii%20v.small

      Creator onefreeman on September 24, 2012

      As someone who lives outside the US and has to pay international shipping, import duties and a carrier's handling fee for paying said charges, I have a massive issue with single-unit-only pledges. I've pledged for five Pebbles - four of my friends wanted one too, and this way we each save about $20 worth of extra unnecessary charges.

      The banning of renders is also a bad idea - as stated by many people before, we want to see what we'll actually get at the end of the project. Add a disclaimer to every simulation or render that says "THIS IS ONLY A SIMULATION" - that should help drive home the message to those who think of a pledge as being the same as an order from Amazon, without hamstringing designers and making it much harder to generate the support they need.

    25. D_haeseleer.small

      Creator Patrik D'haeseleer on September 24, 2012

      I think the "no rendering" rule is problematic. For circuit boards like the Digispark project (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/digistump/digispark-the-tiny-arduino-enabled-usb-dev-board) I think a rendering is entirely appropriate, because the end results is likely to look very much like the rendering. And for projects that promise a very glitzy packaging, there's nothing to stop them from 3D printing a nonfunctional "prototype" case and posting a picture of that.

      I would recommend allowing renderings, provided they are clearly labeled, and at least equal amounts of time and space are allocated to a working prototype.

    26. Missing_small

      Creator Carl Ruzycki on September 24, 2012

      Really? Kickstarter is the ultimate marketing tool. Raise it up the flagpole and see who salutes it. Very cheap marketing. Kickstarter is or was a store for all those who need funding to create a pre-selling the products. The new changes announced will definitely change the playing field and sort the good from the bad from the ugly. Self policing against crowd frauds. I really applaud the changes. But curious why you let so many pre-sell projects go through before the Kickstarter C Team figured it out when the project submitters were counting on Kickstarter to be the store to help pre-sell. It will be interesting to see if the interest level for project funding will be as strong after the rule changes if there are no products to pre-buy.

    27. Profile-pic-2---copy.small

      Creator David Hawkins on September 24, 2012

      Bottom Line: It doesn’t make sense to seek funding for a product that people can’t see.

    28. Missing_small

      Creator Alex Jones on September 24, 2012

      Agree that the simulation & professional rendering of products that don't yet exist are misleading and do indeed lead to a diluted experience here on Kickstarter. However, I think sketches with patent-esque annotations would be fair in order to articulate the desired, future functionality of a product. To do so in simply words and a cobbled working prototype will, too often, fail to engage and educate the backer.

    29. Russ-trolley.small

      Creator Russell Nelson on September 24, 2012

      You don't understand your own business. Sad. In order to kick start so,etching, you need to know how many to make. There are minimum quantities and price breaks that you need to hit. Success can be its own form of failure. Kickstarter serves to give you an estimate of how many things you will be able to sell, and thus what price breaks you will hit. Without people being able to order multiple quantities, you will have no real idea of what the demand will be.

      You just shot yourself in the foot. I welcome the creation of your successors, and soon please.

    30. Josh%20anime.small

      Creator Josh on September 24, 2012

      I'm sorry, but I don't see the logic in these new rules asides from not showing what a product may do in the future.

    31. Missing_small

      Creator Chris Fawcett on September 24, 2012

      The risks section is good.

      The renderings is overboard. Just require that renderings be labeled as such and very clearly.

      The one unit rule is going to be a mess. Both project runners and backers will find all kinds of creative ways around this, including off site links that allow people to order more, cutting Kickstarter out of their take of the funds. Backers will get multiple email addresses and just order multiples anyway, making it more difficult for projects to do their shipping. And it will also cause some good projects to fail simply because they cannot get enough single unit backers, even though if those backers had ordered multiples, the project would have been successful.

      This one is just dumb. It's dumb for kickstarter. It's dumb for projects. It's dumb for backers. Put the rules in place to make sure the backers are well informed (as some of the new rules do), then let them make their own decision on how many to order.

    32. Missing_small

      Creator Elia Charalambides on September 24, 2012

      This new policy needs heavy elaboration as there are way too many grey areas. You state that this only applies to Hardware and Product design projects yet there is no such category and is a game,fashion,comic,publishing etc etc not a product design(so this only doesn't apply to dance and theater?)? What about Planetary Annihilation that based it's entire pitch on a visualization? Would that be not allowed now?

      This is way too vague and needs clarification.

      I agree that Kickstarter becoming a store is not the way to go but stopping people from creating product visualizations is also not the way to go.

      You are over simplifying a complex issue.

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      Creator Amy Worrall on September 24, 2012

      Regarding the renders, I'd much prefer it if it said "Renders will only be allowed if photographs or videos of a current prototype are also shown, with equal or greater prominence than the renders". Don't ban them all together, just make sure we also know what the current state of play is.

    34. Missing_small

      Creator Elia Charalambides on September 24, 2012

      Forcing a disclaimer that tells people what they are seeing is a visualization is far more appropriate than banning them outright.

      Use common sense. Or just hire more people to look over projects. After all the income you receive from said successful projects you'd think it would be in your budget.

    35. Missing_small

      Creator John on September 24, 2012

      You should have just linked to the Ouya project and said "Don't do anything like this."

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      Creator T.J. Cook on September 24, 2012

      The first policy, "Risks and Challenges," is great. Nice way to provide more transparency and insight to potential backers.

      The other two policies seem to me strategic moves to position Kickstarter as the crowdfunding platform for high-end plays; there is really no other way to explain how limiting the policies are to completely bootstrapped projects.

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      Creator Victor Denisov on September 24, 2012

      While I definitely understand the reason behind this change (especially after a certain lighting-related project had to restrict pledges because backers had pledged for too much stuff), I must say that exact changes implemented are *nothing but ridiculous*. What Kickstarter *should have* done is:

      a) force *clear* and *explicit* statements about what is and isn't a "simulation" or "rendering" (including the pitch clip);
      b) force *full* disclosure about how far along is the project (i.e., had the PCB design been finalized, had the manufacturing plant been selected; had the tooling been ordered; etc, etc);
      c) force *full* risk and challenge disclosure (that's the only thing KS had done right, IMO).

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      Creator Manuel Desrochers on September 24, 2012

      Hey Kickstarter! 437 comments (99% against your new set of rules) later, don't you think it would be time for a little update on this post to let backers and project owners know how you intend to react to all the creative suggestions that have been submitted here over the week-end? Many of us a working very hard to make a new project happen on KS and it would be nice to know how it is going to be before we decide to work even harder on a plan B or move to another platform...

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      Creator Dan Amrich on September 24, 2012

      I'm fine with renders as long as they are labeled as such. I'm fine with prototypes for the same reason, knowing that the final product almost always will be slightly different, as with the Brydge. I have always accepted that both renders and prototypes are part of new product's fabrication -- and I've never manufactured anything.

      But as for the semantics of this blog post...about every week to ten days, I browse the site for interesting new product ideas, and sometimes search on specific keywords. If I find it of interest, I back it. I totally support and love the ideology of the site -- I like supporting the engineers, craftspeople, and innovators who come up with great ideas, and that's why I keep returning -- but at the end of the day, I want to buy what these people want to make. I am here to support creativity, but also to get stuff. My holiday gifts this year are coming from a KS project that was funded some months ago. I shop.

      "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."

      Well...let me correct you: it's one. I am fully aware of what makes KS different and special and awesome, but I am also fully aware that I'm shopping on your site. Should I stop?

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      Creator Matt on September 24, 2012

      Hmm, yeah. I really think the rendering rules would have tanked some of the projects I supported, like Pebble, Skycube, Syre and Pinch. Pebble was HUGE and gave Kickstarter quite a boost in the collective consciousness. Also, the multiple number of rewards is what makes me back some projects, like Solitaire for Two. I do understand some of the Kickstarter admin frustration about failed projects, but that seems like it is a management/onboarding problem more than a project problem. Sad to see these changes (60 backed projects so far), hopefully places like IndieGoGo will be more accepting.

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      Creator Willie Blount on September 24, 2012

      Echoing most of the other posts here. Risks and Rewards = awesome! Banning Renderings = Very bad. Limiting products to just one = very VERY bad. There was already a limitation to $10,000 on rewards, which was reasonable. These new limitations are not.

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      Creator dtchris on September 24, 2012

      I am impressed with the common sense and depth of knowledge depicted in most of these comments. Let’s hope that the KickStarter management will listen and apply the same common sense by balancing narrow minded legal counsel with sound engineering and marketing advocacy. KickStarter is a wonderful entrepreneurial American job building sponsorship. May calmer heads prevail and get KickStarter back on track.

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      Creator Ivaylo on September 24, 2012

      "437 comments (99% against your new set of rules)" Lets bold this.

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      Creator Daniel Wingerd on September 24, 2012

      If you have working prototype of hardware, doesn't that mean the next step is manufacturing? How does this do anything but make KS a store for preorders?!

      KS has lost it's way.

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      Creator Scott Fogarty on September 24, 2012

      My project is a block-set and when you buy block-sets online you have to pick the set size based on whether or not you are buying for one child, 2 children, a small classroom, a children's camp, or a learning institution. They bounced my project back to me asking me to change it, but anyone who knows about blocks and block-sets can tell you that they sell different quantities for a reason. I don't know who the end user will be for my block-set project so I offered multiple sets with different amounts of blocks and offered them at a discounted price based on the size of the set that they want. :(

      I hope they really look at my project so they can see that I am not breaking the new rules.

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      Creator Ryan@LightBulb on September 24, 2012

      The problem is not renderings, the problems is mis-informed contributors. Renderings are a presentation tool that allows someone to describe an idea. Can Kickstarter facilitate ways for all projects to be "better prepared". Don't take away an ability to present information, offer a way to better prove you are prepared. I'll be taking projects elsewhere.

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      Creator John on September 24, 2012

      Honestly, this makes a lot of sense. This is *exactly* why the accredited investor rule is a good idea and should not be over turned. Many people do not understand how start ups work or the risks involved. KS had to do this becuase they know when Ouya blows up they're going to face a lot of backlash.

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      Creator PhoneJoy Solutions America, Inc. on September 24, 2012

      Daniel, that's not entirely true. Going into manufacturing is often very expensive in the beginning because certain tools such as molds for the plastic injection will need to be made. Probably the biggest reason for many startups doing a Kickstarter besides already having a fully operational prototype.

      As for the rendering ban, we are quite disappointed, as we had a cool idea for a 3d animation, which can be done in real life with the prototype but it simply wouldn't look as good with hands fiddling around and a background behind it.

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      Creator Wesley Hare on September 24, 2012

      I'm glad to hear that I am not alone in opposing the rendering ban. I think it's too harsh. Why not require a high quality of a prototype as well as the renders? I'm in product design and renders are essential to help complete the picture but they should not be used to tell the whole story—that's where prototypes come in. Prototypes are proof.

      My point is, Kickstarter is a fundraiser, a place where people come to showoff their creativity to the world and yes, convince someone your idea is worthy, so let people share their whole vision.

      Kickstarter is not a store, there's no product guarantee. Backers should be upset that their product wasn't up to their standards. Don't back it if it's not a bulletproof idea.