back to article £280k Kickstarter camera trigger campaign crashes and burns

Backers of a Kickstarter campaign which raised a whopping £290k for the development of the Triggertrap Ada modular camera trigger have been left furious and seriously out of pocket after the company behind the product announced it couldn't deliver and would refund just 20 per cent of punters' cash. The Triggertrap Ada …

  1. Bloodbeastterror


    I always thought that Kickstarter projects were providing funding for possibilities rather than concrete results. Did I misunderstand? Genuine question - I don't know.

    But if I invest in something that doesn't actually exist yet, is it not the same as playing the stock market? Win some, lose some?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Risk? Bloodbeastterror wrote.

    2. Shannon Jacobs

      No accountability on Kickstarter

      I'm very interested in supporting good projects, but Kickstarter has never made any pretense of guaranteeing results. There should be clear success criteria for ANY project that wants my money, and Kickstarter could actually earn their cut by making sure that the project proposals are well thought out and complete, that they include all the necessary resources and have a realistic schedule, that the success criteria are clear, and by evaluating the finished projects and reporting on the results.

      The Kickstarter people said they'd get back to me on such suggestions. Just kidding. I did submit the suggestions, but Kickstarter said nothing that I can remember.

      1. Neil B

        Re: No accountability on Kickstarter

        @Shannon Jacobs. You are not describing crowd-funding. I'm sure there are thousands of investors with detailed project plans eager to take your money. On Kickstarter, back what you can afford to lose, and no more.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: No accountability on Kickstarter

          You are not describing crowd-funding

          Rubbish. There's nothing magical about the term "crowd-funding" that prevents organizers from earning their keep by doing a little diligence. Nothing, that is, but the madness Mackay rightfully attributed to crowds, and the well-known effect of foolishness on money.

          I have no objections to people funding projects they like, but I'm not under any delusion that Kickstarter's model is the only one. And I'm not so sure they offer good value for their 5% either.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Risk?

      The difference between the stock market and Kickstarter is over a long period you will get a decent return on investment, whereas kickstarter you just seem to get a load of 1st gen beta products in gold with a pretty certificate.

      I understand why people get behind a project because they really want to see the product, just don't complaign when they crash and burn.

      1. Valeyard

        Re: Risk?

        The difference between the stock market and Kickstarter is over a long period you will get a decent return on investment, whereas kickstarter you just seem to get a load of 1st gen beta products in gold with a pretty certificate.

        or in the case of board games, where you can end up getting it for down to 30% of the price of what it'll sell for in retail in a few months time, and usually with bonus components which sell for a lot on ebay if you don't end up liking the game

        1. Jedit

          "or in the case of board games, you can end up getting it for down 30% of the price "

          Just a note here: it's at least as common for KS board game backers to end up paying close to full price for their pledge, then watch everyone else pick up the game for 30% off RRP when it hits online retailers. That hasn't stopped me pledging for numerous board games, mind you, but let's not misrepresent the situation here.

          1. Stevie

            Re: "or in the case of board games, you can end up getting it for down 30% of the price "

            Not to mention stumping up money a year in advance to watch the delivery of one's copy held up for an unnecessary month so the game can be demoed and sold at Gencon first.

      2. Dick

        Re: Risk?

        What you write about the stock market is only true if you spread your risk across multiple different stocks, there are any number of individual tech startup stocks you could have invested in and ended up with nothing.

        Don't judge kickstarter by a single failure, there have been many projects that have concluded successfully.

        1. micheal

          Re: Risk? sometimes the end is still a good outcome

          "Don't judge kickstarter by a single failure, there have been many projects that have concluded successfully"

          I opted to fund the IEEE Reboot with a mid level (bit more than I really had but the cause was one I support), Ok so it didn't get back to Earth, but it's still a viable usable science project in space, that was worth the money to me.

      3. h4rm0ny

        Re: Risk?

        >>"The difference between the stock market and Kickstarter is over a long period you will get a decent return on investment, whereas kickstarter you just seem to get a load of 1st gen beta products in gold with a pretty certificate."

        This is false. It is very easy to lose your money permanently on the Stock market. Companies go under every day. Not everything is an endless cycle of falling and rising.

        I think it's perfectly possible to be sympathetic to both the investors and the company. My contempt is reserved for those who deliberately defrauded or hogged all the cash. Looking at the breakdown and reading about this, it's apparent that this was a good faith attempt that failed. Big projects are hard, I know.

        It sucks to be an investor and I feel for them, but that doesn't mean I want to tar and feather those behind the kickstarter, either.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Risk?

      I always viewed it not as a guaranteed produced product, but as a way to support people wanting to try to create something. The vast majority of Kickstarter and IndieGogo type campaigns do result in a delivered product, in my experience, but even in those cases where the project fails, that's understandable and should have been something you read in the fine print before supporting the campaign. I understand this failure here and think it's fair to refund the unspent part only, especially if they can document that the money really was spent on attempting to deliver the product, and not on, say, a vacation.

      I love the concept of Kickstarter and Indiegogo as a means of funding a product or idea. The "traditional" way is to find venture funding, from angel investors or corporate investors, who then obviously want a hefty return, stock ownership, control, and other nastiness. Those who just want to create, and need funding to do it, can easily turn to these crowdsourcing solutions to make their dreams possible without becoming mired in business and stock and investment distractions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Risk?

        It's a lot worse for IndieGoGo campaigns. At least Kickstarter require that you have a prototype and can prove the basics of your idea. IGG has become a haven for scampaigns as their rules are so lax and their campaign features make it a no lose for campaigners and scammers.

        Take a simple example - think up an amazing product that everyone would love to have, really doesn't need to be even remotely possible just enough to fool people that it might be. For instance a holographic 3D TV projection. Get some great photo shop done.

        Ask for a very large amount of money to fund the campaign but put it on flexible funding. Have money pour in but not reach your funding target.

        Close the campaign saying that it didn't reach the target but you will explore other options and use the funding towards making it a reality.

        Walk away with the money with no intention of making the product, easy work.

        Could this actually happen? It has

        Other such scams - an impossible projection watch that has been allowed to continually collect money way after the campaign has close on their "forever funding" programme - $1.6million later with no real updates towards a prototype and no sign of them being serious about developing anything


        IGG just say - not our problem, you've donated to the campaign, any issues speak to the creator. They take no responsibility even after they have been informed over and over that it is a scam.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Risk?

          I'd forgotten about some of those, particularly the impossible projection watch, which even it were physically possible to somehow cram the required components into the ring (I consider it currently borderline possible but damn expensive as most would have to be custom integrated) however just the reality of basic geometry made the actual projection side impossible at the angles and targets demonstrated in the photoshopped images.

          And as for Bleen... whichever fools backed that really need to watch less hollywood "sci"-fi and engage a bit with reality.

        2. Phil W

          Re: Risk?

          I'm not sure if it still is, but it used to be possible to create a project on Indiegogo such "The make me rich project" who's stated purpose was "to get people to give me some money for no reason"

        3. Stevie

          Re: Bleen

          Thank you , AC, for cheering me up. The FAQ on that idiotic Bleen page had me rolling around with laughter for several minutes. I particularly enjoyed the three sentences of verbage in response to "Do you have a working prototype?" which could have been replaced with the word "No", and the paragraph responding to "How does your device work?" that amounts to "not telling".

          And the real answer to "Will Bleen work under the sunlight?" has to be "As well as it does in the pitch darkness".

          And the watch had me almost peeing my pants, especially the photo of the guy with the Facebook alert projected on his hand - upside-down!

        4. fajensen Silver badge

          Re: Risk?

          They take no responsibility even after they have been informed over and over that it is a scam.

          .... Economics 102: As long as "the house" gets their cut, then whatever goes down is *not* a scam!

    5. Adam 1

      Re: Risk?

      I would have thought so. Unless there is some suggestion of misrepresentation of the state of affairs when funding was sought or the funding was used improperly, that's just a risk of business.

      Perhaps the bit about going back to the drawing board was improper or perhaps this isn't the whole story.

      All that said, the investors retain the right to be pissed about the situation.

    6. JeffUK

      Re: Risk?

      As their FAQ says:

      "..backers must understand that Kickstarter is not a store. When you back a project, you’re helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists. There’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised"

      Then no, you didn't misunderstand at all.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Risk?

      Often they have a prototype that works and need to move to the next stage.

      The problem with kickstarter is it seems to be a pre-order system for products, not a proper investment system where you own some equity.

    8. Thomas Whipp

      Re: Risk?

      I very nearly put some cash into this as I'd love a laser trigger but at the time I couldn't quite justify it (right now I'd still buy the product if it was made as per original specs)

      I think the main problem here is how they originally represented the project - it was defiantly presented in the early stages as a product which essentially just needed funding for a production run. When I read their original pitch I expected product to ship within a few months of funding.

    9. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: Risk?

      I always thought that Kickstarter projects were providing funding for possibilities rather than concrete results. Did I misunderstand? Genuine question - I don't know.

      But the fundraiser does have a responsibility to provide what is promised. There are no guarantees but that is in the sense the agreement is not underwritten - the promised benefits are not notional goodwill gestures but have the force of contract behind them - they are guaranteed by the fundraising entity if not by Kickstarter. This is why there is a walk away clause built in - if what is promised turns out to undeliverable you refund the money - all of it - and that releases you from your obligations under the contract. Yes, that means the developer takes a financial hit, but does get them out of a situation of e.g. providing something that costs tens of thousands to provide for a few hundred. The other alternative is that the company folds in which case yes, you lose out from investing but that is the risk people understand and accept.

      What we have here instead is a going concern that presumably is making money that has funded an R&D programme via pre-orders. The programme failed but the customers are still being asked to pick up the tab. Meanwhile the company continues to operate without penalty and carries on making money. That is not the risk associated with failure of the company but a straightforward breach of contract. They have ripped off their customers who do on the face of it have a valid legal claim against them - you can't simply wash your hands of the affair and say "Yes, we've spent your money but our gamble didn't pay off. You have to pay for our mistake."

    10. Oninoshiko

      Re: Risk?

      KSes do not guarantee the project will accomplish it's goals, only that the backers will get their rewards. This becomes an issue when the reward is a copy of the product (the goal). The original intent was cases like the Reading Rainbow kickstarter, where almost all the rewards where things like tee-shirts and mugs, the funding goals where to get a reading-show produced and in the hands of children.

  2. Mystic Megabyte

    Novacut Video Editor.

    Maybe you could do a story on Novacut. I "donated" some cash on their Kickstarter appeal but they seem to have vanished. It's a shame because Linux needs an editor like this

  3. JDX Gold badge

    The blog post is very interesting

    Definitely worth reading. I'm sure to many of us who have been involved in managing/running software projects, it will resonate strongly!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Looked a good idea and product. I'm always up for a new toy to add to the DSLR..

    In the meantime:

  5. Kevin Johnston

    and closer to home....

    The LOHAN project used Kickstarter to get funding to help get a playmonaut launched but is it a failed project if their is a launchpad 'incident' resulting in a collection of puzzle parts? At that point most, if not all, the money would have been spent so how could there be a refund?

    As said by many above, this is a system to help fund bold ideas which have a good chance of turning into something exciting, not a guarantee.

    1. The First Dave

      Re: and closer to home....

      But LOHAN is nothing by vapour-ware, so no chance of any unfortunate accidents. Not for real, anyway, maybe some photo-shop pictures that look a lot like the Challenger disaster...

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: and closer to home....

      The LOHAN Kickstarter project "rewards" have been delivered. I've just finished a pint from my LOHAN engraved tankard hewn from the living glass. Even if US bureaucracy causes an indefinite stay on the launch, those who donated have received their promised rewards.

      -----------------> safety glasses required when dealing with rockets.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You rolls the dice

    You takes the gamble, etc.

    It's always a gamble. I've bought into a few Early Access games that haven't delivered and one I am now positive is a scam (Riot simulator) - but you dry your tears and move on.

    It seems this lot really have just made an utter cock-up of it.

    as for the backers - painful lesson. Learn it and remember it.

  7. cs94njw

    Actually, Kickstarter is worse than the stock market.

    When you buy shares, if the company does well, you get dividends.

    There was that Kickstarter project that started, floated/got bought out, and the original "investors"/kickstarters received nothing in return.

    Sure, nobody said they would receive anything, but it feels like a kick in the teeth. Even VCs get something in this kind of situation.

  8. Pete 2 Silver badge

    The evils of having too much money

    This project seems to be an extension of a Sound Triggered Flash. This was a staple in hobbyist electronics magazines, going right back to the 1970's. It's popularity was that it only needed a handful of easily sourced components.

    How can something so simple cost so much and go so wrong?

    I suspect the answer is that the project creators fell foul of the problem of a lot of software (free as well as commercial) projects and tried to do too much, add too many features, make the thing too flexible and (ultimately) didn't really have much idea what their goal was. As more cash poured in from the "corrrr, that's so kewl!" brigade - desperate for a new toy that would probably only be used a few times before something even "kewler" grabbed what little attention they had - the project used that as an opportunity to extend, expand and "improve" the original project.

    It's just a shame they hadn't heard of the Arduino - which seems to have all of the functions and features they wanted and can be made to do all the stuff they were after (possibly without a UI - but really .... what the hell is that all about?) - for a small fraction of the £300 £250 they were asking for a production Triggertrap.

    1. Handy Andy

      Re: The evils of having too much money

      Their version 1 was Arduino based.

      but they removed it to encourage uptake of v2 ADA.

      Maybe they will bring it back, it looked good. And it was real as opposed to vapourware.

    2. Lysenko

      Re: It's just a shame they hadn't heard of the Arduino

      The previous product they launched (and seem to still sell) was an Arduino shield. Reading between the lines, I suspect this is a key staff\contractor churn issue. Whoever got the shield out of the door either knew enough about microelectronics to make it work or else knew someone who did.

      That does not gel for me with someone who lets a project spiral into crash\burn territory just because and LCD or micro controller needed swapping for an alternate part. I've done design swap outs of PICs for Cortex M3 (fairly radical - essentially no code salvageable) and it only took a couple of weeks to break the back of the job. The fact that this company has someone with the (intensely wanky) title of "Happiness Manager" does not bode well for remaining engineering rigour in the upper echelons.

      1. dogged

        Happiness Manager?

        I know Haje. He's a nice guy. He also confirmed for me that Triggertrap do not have any employee with the title "Happiness Manager".

        Stop kicking him while he's down.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Happiness Manager?

          "He also confirmed for me that Triggertrap do not have any employee with the title "Happiness Manager"."

          They used to, but the guy's off sick with depression.

        2. Lysenko

          Re: Happiness Manager?


          I stand corrected and apologise. The precise title is "Head of Happiness" :

          ...who leads "Team Happiness". I wish I could honestly say this is less ridiculous, but I can't. Doesn't change the fact that you're right though.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's just a shame they hadn't heard of the Arduino

        I knew a guy running this product into the ground - it was a clay bird with wings, this thing would get launched by spinning it up and flinging it in some programmed direction and there was a magazine of these things in the launcher so one could vary the launch pattern remotely.

        They got money, they got some actual people with moneyed friends and people who runs "shooting, hunting and gaming" places on the board.

        And they were pissing around, the programmer they got from some employment programme ("it's practically free!") could not get the controls for the launcher to work - really trivial job that was too!

        I offered that guy that I would get the programming done in 3 months, for 5 K EUR, which is pretty cheap, but, I knew the guy.

        BUt, no, they didn't need help and then I realised that they were actually scared of finishing the product - because then their tinkering / inventor days would be Over.

        Of course it was over anyway about a year later, when the money and investor patience ran out.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Having lived in the Far East and known many people in the business of sourcing from Chinese factories....I wouldn't touch most Kickstarter hardware with a bargepole unless they have at least one person who has actually had something manufactured and delivering previously.

    It seems most of these people thing you just make a prototype, send it to the factory and say "Make 10,000 of these!".


  10. david 12

    >*For the record, Kamps did not answer the question"

    I thought he did. I thought that the answer to that question was very clearly given in the quoted remarks.

    I'd be pissed off if I'd lost money in this, and his clear reply wouldn't have made me happy, but it looks like a very clear and specific reply to the question.

  11. Velv

    Interesting spin...

    "Backers" are upset at not getting their product or full refund. But how many of the backers are being vocal? I'll bet it's not 100%, and that as suggested above, most of the backers understood they were venture capitalists who might lose their money if the project failed.

  12. auburnman

    Another problem with Kickstarter is the urge to tack on features that haven't been properly time/cost budgeted for to shore up a project that looks like it won't meet the funding goal. I backed a videogame way back in the mists of time that was initially to be iOS only after they pledged to do a PC version.

    That PC version came out this week, months behind the mobile stuff and 'slightly' behind the projected ship date of Sep '13. Having said that I feel quite lucky that I got a product at all as I do acknowledge the risk of Kickstarted projects.

  13. Dave 126 Silver badge

    The case

    Creating injection moulding tools is expensive. The Ada could be based on an already manufactured case design, such as this Instrument Enclosure:

    Note the blanking panels. These are far cheaper to manufacture to a specific design (they are a 2D components that can be moulded, stamped or laser cut, depending upon the production run) than the entire 3D enclosure. This way, the TriggerTrap team could still have had the ports where they needed them.

    I can't see why Ada required a custom case, with all the expensive prototyping and tool machining that such an approach required.

    1. Alien8n

      Re: The case

      A standard case design would make more sense for a limited run, not sure how many they were expecting to sell but the costs of machinery and moulding plates certainly aren't cheap. When I did engineering the plates alone for the circuit encasement were chrome plated and came in at the thousands of pounds. Fine when you're making 20,000 a day off each set of plates, not so good if you require 10 or 20 a day. Then there's the expertise required to maintain the equipment, setups etc. It's not a simple plug and play, each design needs calibrating to the correct temperature and pressure for injection. Research into different moulding compounds was a painful slow process, where even the outside temperature and humidity (for some insane reason they stored the moulding compound in an outside shed) affected how the compound flowed.

      Tip for any injection moulding companies out there: Always store compound in an internal, climate regulated store room with a 24 hour embargo on use for first use. It stops a lot of reject devices when the shift changes...

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: The case

        Too right - it ain't easy. Any cost and headaches involved with making a small flat part are only going to be many, many times greater with large 3D part. This product didn't warrant a costly bespoke case, IMHO.

        The blanking plates could be ABS, steel or aluminium*. Prototypes could be cut by hand, or CNC drilled or laser cut. Small production runs could be laser or water cut. Larger production runs could be stamped out, after investment in a tool.

        The plates could then just be assembled into an 'off the shelf' moulded enclosure, for which the cost of tooling has already been shared amongst previous customers.

        *ABS might suffice for when you want holes for sockets and buttons, steel or aluminium could be better for tripod mounting threads.

    2. DropBear

      Re: The case

      "I can't see why Ada required a custom case, with all the expensive prototyping and tool machining that such an approach required"

      That's probably because in spite of how "inexpensive" those generic enclosure are for a small run of devices where tooling cost for injection moulding for only a few parts would be horrendous, they become equally horrendously expensive for a large-ish production run, costing more than an order of magnitude more than pittance the one-of-many-many injection moulded part would cost you. No product developer in their right mind would go for one of the generic cases if they expect to sell decent volumes of whatever they plan to make, and that's not even going into the potential suitability (or rather lack thereof - pretty commonly) of a generic case to a device that may have particular component placement needs (eg. something has to protrude from the top, or a prominent special connector is needed - if forced through, these things tend to end up looking horribly amateurish for an alleged "consumer product").

      1. Alien8n

        Re: The case

        @dropbear it really depends on 2 things, volume and complexity. I'm not sure how many they were expecting to sell but they don't seem to be at the volume to justify that kind of expenditure. I could be wrong though as a lot does depend not only on the cost of the moulding but also the plastic being used. For the electronic components we used to encase it was a one shot deal. If there was any error in the process the whole lot was straight in the bin. But as said, we were doing over 20,000 a day and each "shot" was 60 devices, dropping 60 devices in the bin because the compound had messed up wasn't a big deal. For this case though my guess would be they'd use a basic plastic, if it messes up you just recycle it and reload (a lot of plastics for moulding are that simple, just stick it in a shredder and pop it back in the press). The finish on the final product can also be chosen to lower the costs, make it a matt finish and you can use cheaper materials for the mould.

        Then there's the whole point of a kickstarter. In effect it's still a prototype, but what you're actually investing in is the research into DFM (Design For Manufacture). This is the research into the processes and materials for rapidly ramping up production. Sure you may only be making a few 100 or 1000 but the kickstarter enables you to develop the process for making 10s or even 100s of 1000s. The question for this product though is would they ever have had enough demand to warrent doing this level of work at this stage, or should they have gone generic this time and funded another kickstarter for the mark II version for researching the DFM? I'll freely admit I have no idea, but it's entirely possible they close to the point where DFM research would be required. Heck someone makes the generic cases, it shouldn't be too hard to find someone to make the new cases.

  14. David Paul Morgan

    never invest what you can't afford to lose

    I have backed 2 projects via Kickstarter.

    One is a new thin wristwatch which is 18 months late delivering.

    the other is a 'fan' CD/DVD theatre project.

    I may never see the wristwatch. I will be slightly disappointed, but the investment was only the cost of a Chinese dual-sim android device!

    The CD/DVD was worth a few rounds of drinks. I suspect that they will get the funding for that and they are not re-inventing the wheel, just renting/buying studio facilities.

    caveat emptor quod veteres Romani, ut dictum est;

  15. DrXym Silver badge

    Fools, money etc.

    I'm sure there are some projects which are altruistic, charitable or otherwise worthy of funding but why does anyone fund a commercial product without receiving a stake of the profits?

    Paying up front for some paltry discount off the final product is a terrible deal. The product doesn't exist and might not exist for months or years. It might never exist or be nothing like what was promised. Other products may appear which are better or cheaper.

    What is the point of this? It's bad enough to pay for beta quality products but products that don't exist at all? Crazy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fools, money etc.

      If there's something you really, *really* would like to exist that doesn't, and there's a good chance it would if it got funded (and won't if it doesn't), then it would be worth contributing to.

      You might have been willing to pay way more than what the final product cost would be anyway.

      I do agree, however, that the lack of equity in Kickstarter-funded projects seems odd in most cases. Is this an inherent part of Kickstarter, or just the model that most companies offer (and people have proven willing to put up with)?

      It's fine to have a guaranteed pre-order, i.e. you pledge money and only if enough people do the same then the company gets all that money and can use it to develop the product. This is an excellent way of proving that the product will sell and cover its costs (since it's pre-sold, and the company gets that money upfront to actually use on the product).

      However, if the company isn't willing to provide a guaranteed refund (upon non-delivery), then it sounds more like an investment where the funder takes the risks, but doesn't get any of the profit. If nothing else, there's the moral hazard that the company can **** up with no risk to themselves.

  16. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Second system effect

    A great deal of the big mistakes have been made time and time again. This feels like Multics all over again...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The blog post is very interesting, it's like a who's who of reasons why projects fail. I'm not really familiar with the product but I can't help feeling they weren't on to much of a winner even if they had managed to get it in on budget and on time. The user interface in the demo models was straight out of the 80's which is daft when pretty soon anyone using this device will be carrying around a HD screen in their pocket. If they wanted other triggering method and sensors which seemed to be the real cut and thrust of the project just bluetooth them to the phone and use it's processor.

    1. Lysenko

      "If they wanted other triggering method and sensors which seemed to be the real cut and thrust of the project just bluetooth them to the phone and use it's processor.

      Latency. If you are dealing with sort of timings needed for photographic flashguns (microseconds) then BT, iOS and 'droid are all out of the question for the triggering logic. You need a direct serial or dedicated wireless (not BT, NFC, WiFi, ZigBee etc.) connection and a microcontroller either programmed directly or via an RTOS (Real Time Operating System).

      No reason you can't use the phone\BT as the UI though.

  18. chriswakey

    Bollocks to Kickstarter

    I backed a Richard Cheese autobiography (I *was* a big fan at the time) and paid for a physical copy to be shipped once produced.

    The 'project' has been funded for three years now, the publication date is over two and a half years late, and keeps getting put back for any number of reasons.

    Mark Davies (aka Richard Cheese) has been very public about the medical bills he's racked up over the past couple of years, so has likely pissed the money away on that.

    He now uses the list of backers as a glorified mailing list, shilling his concerts, CDs tshirts etc, but never letting people know when they can expect the book.

    He refuses to answer queries on the comments of his kickstarter page, telling people to email him directly (therefore keeping any answer private), and then emails those who leaves comments telling them to delete their comments.

    When, he threw his toys out the pram, cancelled my pledge, refunded my money and emailed me telling me to never contact him again.

    Mark Davies cashed out over $21k for a book that will never see the light of day, but Kickstarter didn't give the first fuck about the possible fraud, and sent me a copy/paste reply which didn't answer any other the questions/concerns I put to them...basically, they got their cut, so fuck off.

    1. Lysenko

      Re: Bollocks to Kickstarter


      Come on, be fair. I had never heard of the guy, so I followed your link. I quote:

      "In 2000, comedian Mark Jonathan Davis created the Richard Cheese & Lounge Against The Machine band. As lounge singer Richard Cheese, Davis has released 14 albums, sold 200,000 CDs, appeared on radio, television, and movies, and played hundreds of sellout concerts around the world.

      But Davis was never a professional singer, never performed in a band before, and can't even read music."

      He is as good as telling you right there that he is a p1ss taking con artist ...he isn't ripping you off, you are simply taking part in one of his performances!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bollocks to Kickstarter

        "can't even read music"

        Apparently Vangelis- amongst others- can't read music either, so that doesn't necessarily prove anything in itself.

  19. ItsNotMe

    Well kids...

    ...looks like it's just one more P.T. Barnum moment for Kick-in-the-arse.

    Caveat Emptor I always say.

  20. Stevie


    The anger here is righteous if it is born of wondering how one can back one project and have one's funds approppriated for a different one.

    The kickstarters put their cash behind the original idea, warts'n'all. Using that money for "a rethink" was a) unprofessional and 2) bound to end in tears.

    I mean, the term "scope creep" has sounded the very public death knell for many a government IT rollout for decades.

    1. dogged

      Re: Bah!

      I don't know which article you read or which project you're talking about, but that absolutely did not happen with Triggertrap Ada.

      Stop it. Seriously, If I were Haje (I'm not) I'd be inclined to see damages for spreading that kind of story. Everything that was raised for TT Ada was spent on TT Ada.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Bah!

        I don't think he's suggesting they spent it on other projects... but saying they shouldn't have changed/re-thought the project after the KS was funded. As Haje says, if they had stuck to the slightly clunky initial version there's a good chance it could've got shipped.

        1. Stevie

          Re: Bah!

          " As Haje says, if they had stuck to the slightly clunky initial version there's a good chance it could've got shipped."

          Thank you JDX. That is *exactly* what I was saying. Have an upvote.

      2. Stevie

        Re: Bah!

        " If I were Haje (I'm not) I'd be inclined to see damages for spreading that kind of story."

        And the English love of the lawsuit for no reason rears its head once more. I despair of my mother country sometimes.

        So, to state the bleeding obvious: what else is a "complete rethink" but a whole new (and unfunded) new project? I know I said "new" twice but you missed the point the first time round.

        As for your proxy legal threat:

        My wife works for one of the more successful law firms in this neck of the woods. Bring it on. But bring your wallet. We take the civil suit seriously here in New York and believe strongly that the best defense for a lawsuit is a countersuit. ;o)

        1. dogged

          Re: Bah!

          > And the English love of the lawsuit for no reason rears its head once more. I despair of my mother country sometimes.

          This from somebody who lives in America.

          1. Stevie

            Re: Bah!

            "This from somebody who lives in America."

            Not just America, New York - reputedly the most litigious state in The Union. It's called "Irony in Action".

            In point of fact you'll find in the Reg's comment pages that the overblown threats of or urging towards legal action almost universally come from English C-tards, because they usually only have the haziest idea how they work and think they are some sort of universal panacea vs whatever is bothering them.

            Don't believe me. Start trawling the comments and check for yourself.

            Don't forget to include yourself.

            1. dogged

              Re: Bah!

              I've never sued anyone, or wanted to.

              I merely stated that Haje could.

  21. DropBear

    Save it....

    The challenge we set him: “If you have £300k to develop a consumer electronics product, how would you go about it?” He looked me straight in the eye, blinked twice, and said “I wouldn’t. Not with a budget of under £1m.”

    Oh BOLLOCKS. That's the same as saying that without a budget of $300M no moving picture can be made - or rather it means that you're talking to the WRONG PERSON, one who either doesn't know how to get anything done for any less or has no interest in being involved in anything not posh enough for the Very Important Person he is now; in extension, it also means you yourself haven't got a clue about what you allegedly do for a living, because you're talking to Spielberg about making a webseries: utterly the wrong kind of person for the job you want done.

  22. jeffdyer

    He really should resign.

  23. James Pickett

    Trigger Trap

    Perhaps the clue's in the name...

  24. ecofeco Silver badge


    Is that what they call it these days?

    I'd love to legally "miscalculate" about 200k in my favor.

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. stu 4

    100k in wages….

    pie chart shows nearly 100k in salary/wages…. be interesting to know if he paid himself.

    if he did, I would say that is taking the piss unless they were up front in the kick-starter that the money was to pay his wages rather than manufacture it.

  27. Gerrit Tijhof

    some things need a start

    I supported Iron Sky 1 and 2 and Obduction. They would not have been made if it weren't for people like me seeing the potential and willing to risk a £100.

    Because I really really really want to see zombie Hitler riding T-Rex Blondi in the hollow Earth.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021