Since Kickstarter first hit the scene in the Spring of 2009, the popular crowdfunding platform has still proven to be a tricky playground for both businesses and backers over a half-decade later – particularly with campaigns that are actively promising fulfilment in the form of a mass manufactured product.
Although the company has since come down on campaigns that lack any sort of a functional prototype, even the campaigns with multiple functional prototypes and supply chains lined up in advance of the campaign still struggle to bring a product to their backers in a timely manner (if at all).
More recently, the Skarp laser razor campaign certainly raised a few red flags after it raised over $4 million with little more than a couple of models and a video of the supposed product “in action”. In the video, a user shaves some hairs on his wrist using the Skarp razor over the course of 90 seconds.
Apparently, this wasn’t enough to please the Kickstarter team (and many potential backers, based on comments) and the Skarp team was notified in an email from Kickstarter that their campaign was “in violation of our rule requiring working prototypes of physical products that are offered as rewards,” additionally, the company stated that “suspensions cannot be undone.”
Now the campaign has popped up on Indiegogo and currently has over $200K in just a single day with nearly two weeks left to go in their campaign with an original goal of $160K.
Although it’s become clear at this point that the Skarp team could have developed a better marketing plan, what does this incident say about the current state of crowdfunding?