Crowdfunding Has Two Faces

It is extremely difficult to get ahold of investors, whether a movie, invention, or place of business are being developed (Lakeland, 2017). Most investors would not want to risk putting money in something that might not last long, or at all (Entrepreneur, 2014), even if they do like the idea. A lot of aspiring creators did not have to worry about that aspect of project-funding anymore, since the founders of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, among many others, created their respective crowdfunding websites because of this. As a result, plenty of projects have gone live with great success, including the meal replacement Soylent (VentureBeat, 2013), and the smartwatch Pebble (Technology Review, 2016).

Crowdfunding had even helped launch careers for some aspiring entrepreneurs, musicians, and filmmakers. These include Trey Edward Schults, whose crowdfunded drama film Krisha was proceeded by the critically acclaimed horror film It Comes at Night, starring Joel Edgertron (Deadline, 2016), and David Sandberg, whose action-comedy Kung Fury enabled him to make an upcoming sequel starring Michael Fassbender and Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Hollywood Reporter, 2018)

Of course, not every crowdfunding campaign is a success. Sometimes, they are revealed to be duds or complete scams (Gizmodo, 2015), when informed or from the get-go. There are so many of them that Ian Carter, better known as the comedic YouTuber iDubbbz, created an entire webshow out of this premise (FootofaFerret, 2017). He criticizes certain projects and how they would not work at all, and a large number of inadequate, failed crowdfunding campaigns could be found in his show. These include ORKA the Smart Water Bottle (Kickstarter, 2015), and the Skarp Laser Razor, which has been suspended by Kickstarter (Crowdfund Insider, 2015). The most notorious crowdfunding campaign was made by Triton, whose artificial gills did not work as advertised, refunding nearly $900,000 to Indiegogo supporters (GearJunkie, 2016).


References & Bibliography:

(FootofaFerret). (2017, November 4). The History of iDubbbz | A Brief History. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjDSC6FJpaU

Carter, I. (iDubbbzTV). (2015, July 17). Kickstarter Crap – “Smart” Water Bottles. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQcPWfcsh9s

Carter, I. (iDubbbzTV). (2015, October 14). Kickstarter Crap – The Skarp Laser Razor. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfcVgz7gY6o

Grant, R. (2013, June 21). Soylent crowdfunding campaign attracts $755K so people can survive without food. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from https://venturebeat.com/2013/06/21/soylent-crowdfunding-campaign-attracts-755k-so-people-can-survive-without-food/

Jaafar, A. (2016, June 10). Joel Edgerton In Talks For Thriller ‘It Comes At Night’ By ‘Krisha’ Helmer Trey Edward Shults. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from http://deadline.com/2016/06/joel-edgerton-it-comes-at-night-trey-edwards-smith-a24-1201770393/

Knibbs, K. (2015, December 23). The 9 Most Disgraceful Crowdfunding Failures of 2015 . Retrieved April 24, 2018, from https://gizmodo.com/the-9-most-disgraceful-crowdfunding-failures-of-2015-1747957776

Lakeland, C. (2017, January 5). Corrin Lakeland’s answer to “Is it difficult to get investors for a business?”. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from https://www.quora.com/Is-it-difficult-to-get-investors-for-a-business

McCoy, S. (2016, April 04). Refunded! Artificial ‘Gills’ Scam Comes Clean. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from https://gearjunkie.com/refunded-triton-artificial-gills-campaign-update

Metz, R. (2016, June 02). As smart-watch pioneer Pebble rakes in cash through Kickstarter, wearable competition remains fierce. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601602/how-pebble-is-killing-it-on-kickstarter/

OKRA Kickrtraq Page. (2015, July 8). Retrieved from https://www.kicktraq.com/projects/999956853/meet-orka-the-smart-water-bottle/

Prdelac, H. (2016, April 14). Triton, World’s Last Artificial Gills Scam. Retrieved from https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/triton-world-s-last-artificial-gills-scam#/

Rampton, J. (2014, September 15). 25 Reasons I Will Not Invest in Your Startup. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236999

Ritman, A. (2018, February 15). Arnold Schwarzenegger Joins ‘Kung Fury’ Feature Film (Exclusive). Retrieved April 24, 2018, from https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/arnold-schwarzenegger-joins-kung-fury-feature-film-1085102

Sandberg, D. (Director). Kung Fury (Motion picture). Sweden: Moving Sweden/LaserUnicorn.

Schults, T.E. (Director). It Comes at Night (Motion picture). United States of America: A24/Animal Kingdom.

Skarp Technologies. (2015, September 21).  The Skarp Laser Razor: 21st Century Shaving. Retrieved from https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/skarp/the-skarp-laser-razor-21st-century-shaving

Thurston, Z. (2015, July 8). Meet OKRA, the Smart Water Bottle. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/999956853/meet-orka-the-smart-water-bottle?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=orka

 

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Crowdfunding Has Two Faces”

  1. Considering there are crowdfunding scams as you say here, what factors do you think can help in predicting whether a project you see on Kickstarter is a scam or not? Perhaps a lack of promise and updates and the project? Considering the nature of this funding method I wonder how many got away with scams. I know we already discussed this in class, but what do you think would make a successful crowdfunding campaign in your opinion – maybe you could have talked a bit about that? Otherwise, it still remains interesting to think about as a whole.

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  2. Crowdfunding can be so helpful for small creators with a tightly knit community. However, you made a valuable point that sometimes these projects and creations can become so unsuccessful that the money is then refunded. But I think it is also necessary to look at the bright side of how much success has come out of crowdfunded projects.

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  3. Reading Josh’s Blog, he explains how a mug made by high school drop outs has made great amounts of money proves that crowdfunding can work for both famous and unknown creators that want to start their own projects individually. It has really made a change in society where anyone can create their own work and realize what they want through the help of others and hard work. Great blog!

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  4. Crowdfunding is really great. It has given so many people who in the past had zero means but great ideas to come out with some really great work. I think that crowdfunding has really democratized the film industry in a way, where a small group of people generally looking at the film very commercially don’t decide what the audience is going to watch and instead the audience themselves get to pick what should get made.

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