How Angry Skeptics Can Bring Down Crowdfunded Projects

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Crowdfunding has become a remarkably popular way to bring your interesting or quirky project to market, without the need for venture capital, or going cap-in-hand to potential investors. With the integration of social media into sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo it’s very easy to tell your friends just how much you care about a Veronica Mars movie, or the perfectly designed cookie dunking bowl.

However, along with the crowd comes the potential for a mob. With a wide variety of investors picking over every detail of your pitch and your technology, small inconsistencies can become heated arguments. Pando Daily contributor Erin Griffith writes about the case of Wayne Kendall raising funds for LUCI, a technology that claims to train the mind to lucid dream more frequently.

Though initially the fundraising went well, a backer noticed an inconsistency in a presentation photo, and posted a comment about it. Forum posts began to build calling the project a scam, a user claimed Kendall to practically have no online presence, backers began to pull out and Kendall’s wife received threats on her personal facebook page. With Kickstarter response being lacklustre in Kendall’s eyes, he pulled the project.

The crowd aspect of funding seems to be the double edged sword. With a groundswell of grassroots support comes free viral marketing and a doggedly local audience who want to see the project through to success. With the diversified nature of the backers, doubts that creep in can become toxic to the entire project.

Kendall eventually received private funding, but how many other projects have been ground into the dirt by speculation, fairly or unfairly.

Image credit: ** RCB **

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