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Repeat Offenders

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Note: Due to a scheduling error, some of you read this post yesterday as a double post. It was intended for today. If that means you have already read today’s post, then feel free to read this blast from the past instead.

In America the Recidivism rate for men in prison is more than 50%. It has to be at least that high on Kickstarter.

Everywhere you turn on Kickstarter you see the same kinds of projects, the same people launching projects, and sometimes even the same exact projects being relaunched. (In fact, on a pretty regular basis, you can see the same projects show back for a second or third chance in the crowd funding lottery.

Well, today I discovered a doozy.

So there I was, perusing the comics section on Kickstarter, as I do so often. When I noticed a familiar face. That isn’t so uncommon, Angel of Mercy spent almost 4 months last year in it’s ultimately successful bid to become funded. The difference in this case was that the project had already been funded once.

I’ve seen several projects take two or three tries to finally get funded, and as long as a project takes some time between each attempt to improve, address perceived shortfalls in its campaign or product, and relaunch in a way that shows this, I have no problem whatsoever with the phenomenon. If The Wardenclyffe Horror had failed, I’m sure we would have tried a second time, as so many other projects do. After all, it costs nothing, and generally gets a significant bump in activity in the form of backers from round one quickly jumping on for round two.

I have never seen a project that funded successfully relaunch though – Gods of Men is the first. This behavior goes directly against Kickstarter’s prohibition to sell existing inventory; the creator even declares that they are “now are giving others a chance to jump on the band wagon and wipe our warehouse out.” The creators claim that in the aftermath of their previously successful Kickstarter they printed 6000 copies, and sent 4,250 of them out to backers, and the the product is doing very well on Amazon. This is a pretty surprising claim, given that only 67 people backed the project the first time around. Assuming they aren’t including Amazon purchases (an easy assumption to make, given that they are only selling digital editions on Amazon,) that means that each backer snagged an average of 63 copies from their previous success. That’s a pretty amazing deal, considering that each backer contributed less than $50 on average.

So people on Kickstarter are just out for the money. How is that a surprise to anyone? It isn’t really, I just thought that the censors on the site would prevent stuff like this. Allowing blatant money grabs through tarnishes the Kickstarter brand, dilutes the rules currently in place, and (if reproduced on a massive scale) will turn crowd funding into Ebay or Etsy, in that both sites are jammed full of useless spam, and it is very hard to find anything worth looking for.

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This entry was posted by David Winchester.

5 thoughts on “Repeat Offenders

  1. It seems that Kickstarter’s standards have dropped of late… we have a guy asking for $5,000 to build a fort for his cat? Or the guy compiling a photobook of his “you are beautiful” stickers? KS really needs to improve it review process.

    • Amen. I feel that high standards on Kickstarter are in large part responsible for its success. Filling the site with trash to keep project volume up, discourages window shopping and cross-pollination, which are both absolutely key.

      • Yeah I’ve been wondering what they’ve been doing. I’d also would like them to get rid of my pet peeve number one posts. The “One Picture/One Paragraph” projects. Ugh.. They are like “Will work for Food” signs.

      • Great analogy! I think they are generally worthless/valueless, but they don’t get on my nerves too much. For really annoying check out the people that want $3k for their Game of Thrones podcast. They claim they need the money to pay for the HBO and hosting costs, but near as I can tell, their hosting costs are zero…

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