84% of the top 50 Kickstarter projects missed their initial shipping date

By on December 18, 2012, 2:30 PM

Kickstarter has successfully changed the way that thousands of inventors seek funding for their projects and in some cases, it’s given the average person an avenue to offer feedback and insight on a particular product well before it reaches manufacturing. But even as hip and innovative as the whole idea is, it isn’t without its flaws as CNNMoney recently discovered.

An investigation by the publication looked at the top 50 most funded Kickstarter campaigns. Collectively, these 50 projects raised $40.3 million in funding from close to 420,000 backers.

They also found something a bit more alarming: 84 percent of the top 50 most funded Kickstarter campaigns missed their initial shipping date. That includes the Pebble smartwatch, a project that raked in more than $10 million from nearly 69,000 supporters.

All of the projects in their study had a shipping date of November 2012 or earlier and only eight campaigns managed to ship products to backers on time. Furthermore, 16 projects still remain unshipped as of writing, including a home espresso machine from ZPM Espresso. It’s already nine months late and isn’t expected to be ready until sometime in mid-2013.

We’re told that the 26 products that eventually shipped missed their initial launch date by about two months. Of course, keep in mind that these statistics only hold true for the top 50 campaigns. As far as we know, there’s no hard data on the thousands of other campaigns that may or may not have met their initial shipping estimate.

User Comments: 6

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Nima304 said:

It's not surprising. Once developers have money in their hands, especially if it's a lot of money, they normally find it difficult to motivate themselves to create something that'll make them close to the same amount of money.

Timonius Timonius said:

Interesting. I would really like to see a more comprehensive analysis. In the long run can one really trust any of the Kickstarter campaigns?

2 people like this | Guest said:

Far too many people think executing an idea can happen overnight. I assure you this does NOT happen. It can sometimes takes years to execute a good idea, and financing is only one piece of the puzzle. If you factor in the variuos pieces that are a part of a product--such as manufacturing, marketing, branding, design, shipping, warehousing, etc.--it's a wonder when even the most experienced entrepreneur hits their target date dead-on.

Just remember that quality comes from a "when it's done" philosophy. Target dates make for nice motivators and help keep things on-track...but they should never be used as a reason to launch a product when it's not ready--regardless of whether it's backed by social investors or Bill Gates.

A bad product isn't worth a second of my time these days. ;)

PinothyJ said:

This is why I hate KS. The reason you GO down tradition paths is because you NEED TO. You are a great designer, you are NOT a business manager or accountant or logistics manager or heavens knows what else.

It is alarming how many high-funded KS campaigns end up being lacklustre...

davislane1 davislane1 said:

It is alarming how many high-funded KS campaigns end up being lacklustre...

Most startups end in failure, so it should be expected that most funded KS projects fall short or fail also. You need more than just creativity to make an idea successful, you need the management and financial skills that are necessary to keep the ball rolling in the right direction, as you mentioned. Making people go down the traditional paths won't change that. From what I know of the organization, their business model just reduces some of the risk involved with trying to market a new product, so KS enabling would-be entrepreneurs to cut a few corners isn't necessarily a bad thing (although, it isn't necessarily good either). Will a lot of people get a stiff dose of reality? Absolutely. But it also provides people who do have the necessary skill sets an opportunity to make their ideas happen without having to jump quite as many hurdles (which can be pretty large in film and music).

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