Building towers, not tunnels by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller

Done right, failure builds immunity. I know why each failure happened. I'm stronger for the experience. And I can bring that experience to help make Unlock - and everything I do in my career - as strong as possible. Rather than letting a brick through the window transform the safety of my home into flimsy walls in dirt, I can build a more resilient home. Failure isn't an excuse to turn inwards and stay low. It's a reason to be proud and build high. I've got the tools, and the energy, and the motivation. Not from a place of naïvety, but a place of knowledge and power.

Advice For Kickstarter Backers

I'm in a pissed off mood about Kickstarter. I've been pissed off with Kickstarter since the TriggerTrap ADA project crashed and burned last year. It took many months to get over the sting of losing 50% of the funds I contributed to the project. While reviewing my backed projects I saw this update from another project which brought all that anger back.

It's been two years now since our project was funded on Kickstarter. This isn't the longest Kickstarter "time to delivery," but it must be right up there in the ranking. Thanks again for your support and patience while we've learned and worked through the problems. A happy 2016 to everyone (the year of the Temperfect Mug!)dean verhoeven

The Temperfect project was fully funded in 2013 and only now are they ready to ship!

Going through the list of 33 Kickstarter projects I backed since I created my account in May 2010, I noticed that there were about 7 project which had not delivered the expected "perk". One was revealed as fraudulent by Kickstarter and suspended. One other was cancelled by the project leader. I can't remember the reason why? Yet another crumbled despite the past success of the project creator.

This project, the TriggerTrap Ada, raised twice the amount of money they needed. They raised just over $500,000. A year later, the company's CEO announced very publicly via Medium that the project had failed, mostly due to mismanagement of the project. I was disappointed.

Ultimately, it all conspired to be a perfect storm: Our R&D turned out to take six times longer than we had anticipated and cost five times more than we had budgeted for. The production cost per unit was three times higher, and the tooling costs were significantly higher than we had budgeted for. And the final kick in the groinal area: instead of getting a 20–50% uptake on our post-Kickstarter pre-orders, we got 1.5%.Haje Jan Kamps, CEO at Triggertrap

It's not just technology projects that burned me. I pledged $50 to help Spike Lee produce his movie. I was promised a digital online viewing of the movie on the day it was released (I never received the link) and I was promised a signed autographed copy of the DVD. I got the DVD. Spike Lee’s signature is nowhere to be found.

So far the only Kickstarter project I am happy I backed was the McArt à la Carte KickStart!. I actually got to visit the store a year after they launched and met the creators. We got a tour of the store and then had a beer tasting party. As a backer I am very pleased with how the funds were used and wish the creators as much success as they want to achieve. If these creators did another project I would definitively back them again.

With my experience with Kickstarter in the last two years I will offer a word of advice. Pretend that your pledge will NEVER provide the reward you expected. Pretend that your backer funds are a donation. When making a donation, most people don't expect anything in return. In relation to Kickstarter, neither should you.