We have heard of many failed Kickstarter projects over the last few years, with projects leaving backers without their backed product, despite the campaign successfully raising their funds.
The number of projects in this list has been growing over time and today that list has grown by one more member, the Tiko 3D printer.
Tiko began life as the “3D printer that you have been waiting for”, providing backers with a 3D printer for $179, unfortunately those who backed the project are going to have to wait a lot longer as the creators of Tiko have today announced that they have cancelled the project, despite raising a massive $2,950,874, which was well over their original $100,000 goal.
“We started as a trio of starry-eyed first-time entrepreneurs. With your support, we set out to change the world. Our mission was grand: to build the ultimate prototyping tool and empower everyday innovators around the world. We set off with a bang, and with blind optimism, we jumped head-first into manufacturing. It felt like we had it all figured out…” Tiko’s creators wrote in a recent update.
“Except, we didn’t. We had no idea how difficult it would be to go from a prototype to mass production.We learned along the way, but most mistakes were costly and irreversible. Our greatest mistake was committing to inventory too soon. We didn’t realize it at first, but by ordering components in bulk, we had backed ourselves into a corner. Design flaws appeared, and we were trapped. By the time we understood our predicament, it was already too late. We were in too deep, and there was no turning back. Our cheerful mission to empower innovators had become a struggle to survive.”
This is a growing problem with Kickstarter, as the projects get more ambitious the creators of those projects fail to realize the task that is in front of them, backing from Kickstarter comes quick and soon after you successfully raise the funds that you were asking for, you have hundreds, if not thousands of people requiring you to get the job done.
When the creators aren’t experienced enough the campaigns will end up mismanaged and you end up with a story like Tiko’s.
Currently, Tiko is looking for an investment in order to keep the business going, however, if that isn’t successful they have already stated that refunds will not be possible, stating the following in their Kickstarter update:
The creators of the project claim that they have shipped 4,100 printers, however, a total of 16,538 pledged money to the campaign.
This is the chance that you take when backing projects on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms, but we definitely wouldn’t discourage anyone from doing so, given the amount of awesome and successful crowdfunded projects, it would be a shame to paint them all with one brush.
Just be sure that you properly evaluate a campaign and weigh the risks before jumping in.