New Crowdfunding Site Seeks To Protect Backers Of Industrial Design

Tim Maly | Wired | December 8, 2012

Entrepreneur Jamie Siminoff wants to build more credibility into crowdfunding — so he’s launching a new platform that takes responsibility for ensuring the viability of new projects.

The crowdfunding process, pioneered by sites like Kickstarter, has had its share of huge successes, as well as failures. The problem, says Siminoff, is that when a venture fails, the funders are left holding the bag. That’s all well and good if you were investing in an artist’s crazy project. It’s much more of a problem if you thought you were pre-ordering a nearly finished gadget.

The biggest culprit for these kinds of issues are physical products. Witness the anger unleashed when Kickstarter darling Pebble announced a further delay alongside underwhelming color choices.

This kind of issue is why Kickstarter recently made some changes, undertaking a combination of education and rule revision. They reminded consumers that Kickstarter is not a store while requiring that all projects disclose risks and challenges, as well as forbidding renderings and concept videos in hardware products.