Take the money and run

msc photos, nebraska 043

Kickstarter projects depend on one thing: People with jobs. Most of the people investing in Kickstarter aren’t the same people who invest in the stock market, the people with careers or bank accounts. I know we all have bank accounts, even my musician son travelling around Australia, but there are people with careers and/or family money who have something in the bank accounts. I mean something besides $43.70 which seems to be my usual balance.

According to Bloomberg News, many Kickstarters simply fail. The project starters are encouraged to refund the money, but there is no reason that they can’t just take the money and run. If the Kickstarter is for a non profit, of course the donations can become tax deductible donations, but most Kickstarters are not. Most are simply going into the project owner’s personal checking account. According to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, if the backers raise the money and fail to deliver, that’s fraud, but there isn’t a legal way of getting back your investment so you need to simply kiss that money good bye.

John Walker in Rock, Paper, Shotgun, stresses that game development is a risky thing for Kickstarter pledges.
“Because that’s the reality of game development. Lots of games get stuck in development hell, or simply run out of funds and can no longer be supported. Others get canned because it becomes apparent that it’s never going to come together. Some are given up upon because they’re terrible, and they can find no way to fix it. And none of this is changed with the funding method. Whether privately, publisher or crowd-funded, these risks … Kickstarter backers need to take on board before putting in their wedge of cash.
I think it’s so sad to see people claiming refunds from Unwritten. It demonstrates just how little understanding there is of the process for someone to demand their $20 back because the game didn’t get finished – $20 that will have been spent already on not being able to make a game. That money was invested in a project that didn’t work out. It wasn’t a loan. And it wasn’t a purchase. It absolutely does not merit a refund.”
Of course, what if you want your $500 back, or your $1000 back? You might feel you’ve been cheated. But, you knew that Kickstarter was risky when you tossed in your bucks. You knew that money might just go down the drain.
It’s my opinion that you should never invest in Kickstarter any money you couldn’t just as easily throw into the slot machines in Vegas. People do that all the time and seem to be okay with the fact that Vegas takes your money and runs.
Kickstarter projects are dependent on people who have jobs to support people who have ideas. I am not a big supporter of Kickstarter projects because I am one of the people with my own ideas and I’m working to support them. Besides, it’s all I can do to help Red Hen, the other four non profits that I give money to, my kids and I just bought a car and I’m teaching extra to make the car payments. But lots of young people invest money in Kickstarter campaigns.
Kickstarter is based on trust. The creators have entered into a deal with their backers. You give us the money you earned as barristas, grocery store clerks, mall rats, car sales people, we will make you part of our interesting work and world. You’ll have a piece of the creative life. You’ll be part of history. We all want to be part of a big story and sometimes you give to a Kickstarter campaign just because you believe in someone. You believe they won’t take your money and buy a house, or a cruise or a fancy car or throw a party. And most of the time you’re right. When I drive away from Vegas, a little bit of my money, usually fifty or sixty dollars stays behind, I throw it a kiss as it disappears in the dust. They’re spending it on fountains. I wouldn’t spend any time regretting the money you toss at Kickstarter campaign. Leave that money behind you, go back to work and make more.
“After Raising Money, Many Kickstarter Projects Fail to Deliver” http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-08-21/kickstarter-s-funded-projects-see-some-stumbles

Published in: on January 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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