I will never support crowdfunding projects ever again. This is why
My story begins back in 2014. Crowdfunding was all the buzz and I attended a talk by Indiegogo’s founder, talking about how excited he is for changing the world. I was bought, and after only knowing about Kickstarter, I decided to give Indiegogo a shot.
So, on a nice Israeli afternoon, June 2014 I’ve put my hard earned $59 on a product I liked, called GoKey.
The description was very clear and I liked what it meant for me:
GOkey: Battery-Memory-Remote. All on your keyring
Boost your phone battery, use it as a cable, store your data, locate your keys and find your phone
Well, isn’t that freaking awesome? A flash memory, an emergency charger, A charging cable, a key AND phone locator! It’s a no-brainer for just $59.
By the end of the campaign in July 2014, the GoKey project collected $1,216,280 with 2581% of its original goal. If that’s not a vote of confidence, I’m not sure what is!
A few updates and months went by, and everything looked so promising.
These emails gave me actual smiles every time, I felt like for the first time, with only $59 I helped make something great. I was part of something and couldn’t be more excited about getting my GoKey already.
It was in March 2016(!!) when I got the survey that asked me what capacity of storage I would like (I chose 16GB) and an updated address (Well, 2 years in, I guess they realized people might moved).
I almost forgot about this thing, and that email reminded me that I actually paid money for something I never got, so it gave me a nice idea — I contacted the founder and asked for my money back.
Going through the comments on the project, I realized I wasn’t alone in this, and people stated to feel the scent of fraud. To them, and to me, the dear founder answered: Sorry, I used the money for the product, but you’ll get it, I promise!
Then, just 13 days ago, I received this amazing surprise email:
Yes! 3 years in the making, I will finally get my GoKey!
But today, I received another update, and surprise surprise:
I sincerely regret to inform you that GoKey lacks the funds to complete the delivery of a viable product. We ran into technical difficulties that we could not resolve. There are no funds left to cover claims of suppliers and others or to offer refunds. I have been exploring all avenues to raise additional funds so that we could complete and deliver the product, but we have been unsuccessful.
I honestly fought with all I had to do good at the end. Tried so hard to raise a round or form a partnership to deliver. And there have been times where a deal was looking 100% certain. But the age of the product, the liability and the negative cloud hanging over it always prevailed.
I am left with no alternative but to completely cease and shut down all operations and activities and consider filling for bankruptcy.
I feel terribly shameful for letting you down.
I am sorry,
Well, I can’t say I’m shocked, and I actually amazed it took this guy 3 years to do this. I want to believe him, I do, but considering the technology it takes to make this kind of product, something you can buy today for a few bucks on Ali Express, I really feel this guy just took my money, and another +$1,000,000 and just played a good game on people who actually wanted this product.
I’m not alone in this thought, feel free to jump into the Comments area of the project, where people are using the F word. A lot!
Combine this with flops like Pebble who recently closed, and who can forget the Coolest Cooler, Kickstarter’s greatest project to date who’s backers are still waiting for their order, although it sales on Amazon.
I also have a friend who pre-ordered the “Card of all credit cards” Coin, a few years ago and never got it. I honestly don’t remember a single project any of my friends backed that actually delivered. Some are frauds, some just get the money but don’t know what to do with it and how to actually manufacture it, in any case, I learned my $59 lesson, and I’ll just wait for products to arrive to the nearest store or the trusted online stores.