Kickstarter has grown and evolved in ways that the founders didn’t necessarily anticipate, and they don’t want to put themselves in a gatekeeper role telling people what they can or can’t do….Except, as Kickstarter grows, it becomes less and less tenable for Kickstarter to retain that attitude. Yes, there are dodgy projects which don’t get funded. Call those the true negatives. There are also great projects which do get funded — the true positives. Put them together, and you have a very successful ecosystem. The ecosystem can also live quite happily with the false negatives, great projects which for whatever reason don’t manage to reach their funding goals. That’s the beauty of Kickstarter’s no-harm-no-foul system: if you don’t meet your goal, then no one is out of pocket.Kickstarter’s success stories have been mainstays of the main page of the blue for months [previously]. And even Salmon approvingly cites Amanda Palmer’s current project as an example of something the site does well. But the company has come under criticism as well.
The problem is with the false positives — dodgy projects which do get funded. Statistically speaking, these things are certain to exist. Jason asked Strickler about some hypothetical crook who looked at the millions of dollars being raised by the likes of Pebble*, and hatched a scheme to simply defraud a lot of people out of their money, by putting up a glossy video for some sexy gadget, and then simply absconding with the money. How is Kickstarter addressing that risk? It seems, listening to Strickler, that the short answer is that it isn’t.
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