Friday, March 11, 2016

One of these days, we need to have a discussion of Kickstarter...

... and about crowdfunding in general. Though some of the lines get a bit blurred, I think that most of us would like to see these sites funding deserving (fills a social need, is genuinely innovative) projects that can't get money through conventional channels. Most of use would also agree that it's a problem when the funding is diverted to high profile sequels, actors cashing in on their celebrity and products that major manufacturers would already be making if they were workable ideas.
Second only to the Pebble as one of the most successful Kickstarters ever, Coolest Cooler raked in more than $13 million in funding during its month-long campaign. The portable cooler is a barbecue-er’s dream, offering a battery-powered blender, a cutting board, waterproof Bluetooth speaker, a USB charger, and storage space for up to 55 quarts of chilled refreshments.
Unfortunately, the ultimate camping complement is becoming a nightmare for the company and backers alike. CEO Ryan Grepper announced last year that problems with the blender would delay the shipment of the unit this spring. Because it had to find a new source of blenders, the company also confirmed it was going to sell a select number of units on Amazon to “keep the lights on” and “make certain that every single backer’s Coolest can get made and shipped.” This decision caused an outcry among supporters, who wondered why these completed units were being sold to new customers instead of being sent to pre-order customers.

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