Monday, September 24, 2012

Kickstarter Updates Guidlines; You Better Not Call It a Store

If you missed it last week, Kickstarter updated their guidelines of use to make it clear that they're a funding platform, not a store.  These changes include (for certain categories) disallowing renderings and removing the option to offer multiple-quantity rewards.  A full list of changes can be found here.

There's sound reasoning behind the changes.  Kickstarter is, in fact, not a store.  Sure, you somestimes, maybe even often, get a finished product as a result of your contribution, but the purpose of Kickstarter isn't for taking preorders.

However, there are concerns, and some of them are noted in the comments section on the above blog post.  Photos of current prototypes are required in place of renderings, which would have disqualified extremely popular products, like the OUYA and Pebble watches.  Some people might think needing a prototype, rather than having renderings, makes it feel even more like preordering the item as opposed to funding a project still in the preliminary planning stages.  Multiple rewards were common, especially retailer-level backings.

Big picture: it's clear Kickstarter believes it is doing what is best for not only the company but for their users as well.  If these new guidelines don't align with those goals, you can bet they'll be scrapped or revised accordingly.  In any case, it's nice to see Kickstarter adapting to the relatively new world of crowdfunding and working through the hurdles to make improvements where they can.

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