Kickstarter Failures: What Happens to Good Ideas Gone Bad?


Trigger Trap Ada seemed to be a photographer’s dream. It was a high speed camera trigger designed to capture perfect moments. Backers contributed $425k to the product, but Yogventures couldn’t deliver after 17 months of research and development. They pulled the plug on their partnership with Kickstarter’s backers.

Jamie Siminoff proposed the Pop Charger in 2012. It received $140k in pledges before Siminoff decided to pull the plug on the idea. No one lost any money on the idea, but backers were very upset. They wanted the product.

What happens to Kickstarter failures? The truth isn’t in the idea. Ideas are solid in the crowdfunding sphere. The problem is with production.

10% of Crowdfunding Companies Fail

1 in 10 ideas on Kickstarter right now that will be successfully funded are actually going to wind up a complete disaster. The reason is because many startups fail to properly plan for the production aspect of their product. Not everything turns out as planned, of course, but some ideas don’t ever come to fruition despite being well funded.

Sometimes that failure is discovered while the campaign is live and that can minimize losses. A sad truth is that when companies ask for more money or they make much more than anticipated, the problems become bigger and the delays get longer.

Just look at the Coolest Cooler. They raised $13 million and as of May 2015 are the third-best funded campaign in Kickstarter history. Their coolers were supposed to ship to backers in February 2015. Now they’re shooting for a July deadline instead.

Sometimes a Dream Will Fail

The fact remains that Kickstarter, and other crowdfunding platforms, may seem like a great way to shop for cool new ideas, but it is a risky place to shop. You as the backer are taking on all the risk. If something doesn’t happen, there’s a chance that you could lose your cash, not receive your reward, and be left holding an empty wallet.

3 out of 4 tech products that are crowdfunded on Kickstarter don’t meet their initial deadline goals. People are routinely left disappointed.

How does this change? By recognizing that a dream can and will fail from time to time. Backers must also recognize that failure may mean losing their investment without receiving a product. It’s a harsh truth in the investment world and one that many learn the hard way.

What happens to Kickstarter projects when they fail? They often get recycled into new projects. Just ask Siminoff. He created a new doorbell called Ring and fully funded the project through his own website.