Kickstarter recently altered their rules to help “backers” maintain confidence in the event of a project failure. These rules are intended to clarify a creator’s accountability and what they should do to avoid getting sued, when/if their projects fail. This change will let the backer understand why a certain project failed and they will also be able to understand every action that the creator took during the course of the project.
According to Gamespot.com, here are the few of changes affecting the creators that you should know about.
- Creators should act in all honesty and fairness, and they shouldn’t have made any material misrepresentations when communicating with backers.
- Creators should be able to provide evidence that they spent funds wisely and that they put reasonable effort to complete the project as promised.
- Creators should update backers about the work they did, the amount of money they spent and about why they are unable to finish the project as planned.
- Creators must work in all diligence in order to bring the project to the right conclusion as promised to the backers.
- Creators should offer to return any remaining funds to backers who didn’t receive their reward, or they should provide an explanation about how those funds will be used to complete the project in an alternate form.
These changes will be in effect from the 19th October 2014, and these stipulations ensure that creators avoid any legal action if they are unable to finish their project. However, backers can still sue if they feel like it.
Kickstarter recently said in a blogpost, “creators finish the work they planned, backers are happy, and nobody sweats the details. But there are exceptions. Sometimes problems come up, projects don’t go according to plan, and people wind up in the dark about what’s supposed to happen next. So we’re spelling it out — what’s expected from backers, what’s expected from creators, and what needs to happen if a project runs into trouble”.
This is something that is very common when individuals embark on projects – they fail to estimate all the costs that are involved, they fail to grasp the right opportunities that may help them work better, and they fail to identify the potholes that they might encounter during the course of the project.
Sometimes, even projects led by great teams do come to a standstill. For example, Pebble, the smart watch creator, encountered manufacturing issues after raising a staggering amount of US$10.26 million, causing them to miss their initial shipping deadline, infuriating backers in the process. Backers took to twitter to let the world in on their frustration and they succeeded in creating a public relations storm for the smart watch creator.
This creator could have saved backers from extreme disappointment by providing them with enough information during the actual development and manufacturing process about the challenges that the creator is facing. When a creator involves their backers in the whole development and manufacturing process, the backers feel like they are a part of something and they are more forgiving when the company screws up.
Kickstarter would now hold creators to a greater standard of accountability that would ensure creators are honest with backers. Backers would also be made aware of what they are getting into and what they got themselves into, and when both parties are happy, we as the rest of the world can sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of innovation and partnership.