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Kickstarter Scorecard

2017-02-27
Tech

Is Kickstarter a good service? Here's everything I've backed there and the outcome.


Updated: Oct 25 2017

I've played a lot of Secret Hitler in the last six months. It's a great game for a large group that I got from Kickstarter.

I like the idea of Kickstarter. But more and more I find that by the time I receive a product, my needs have changed. Or my problem was solved during the year I waited for the product to be made.

Not receiving a product after paying for it and losing your money, a common fear about Kickstarter, hasn't happened to me. (yet.)

I thought I'd do up a little scorecard to see how my backings are doing and make some new Kickstarter rules for myself so I don't waste more money on pipe dreams.

Now that I've received them all, I've updated the scorecard.

PriceCategoryEst. DeliveryMonths LateMy Rating

Veronica Mars Movie
Great movie to see as a Veronica Mars fan. The early kickstarter screening was really fun. Shirt was too small.
$35Movie + ShirtFeb 201405/5

Exploding Kittens
Solid game. Played it a lot.
$25GameJul 201505/5

Nuimo: Seamless Smart Home Interface
Nice hardware, but most of the controls are too hard to use and the software is still lacking. And it was expensive. I could make better use of it with some coding, but out-of-the-box it's useless to me as a computer input device, which was my main reason for backing it. Hasn't left my closet since.
€129ElectronicsOct 201551/5

Sideclick Remote Control Add-On
Love it. Solved a real problem and made my TV+Roku setup easier to live with. Love it so much it's the only one in this list I'm gonna bother linking to besides Secret Hitler. My Roku broke but I still use this with my Apple TV now.
$33ElectronicsDec 201535/5

Secret Hitler
Very fun game if you have enough friends. Still amazing! I made more friends just to play it more often.
$35GameApr 201665/5

Mighty Streaming Music Player
An iPod shuffle for Spotify. I ordered it for the gym, but stopped going to they gym in the months after ordering. May find another use for it, but I certainly don't want it like I did when I ordered it. Getting this thing to work isn't all that easy, and a number of times I've tried to use it and the battery was mysteriously dead because I may have left it running without knowing. Another iteration on the hardware and some maturity in the software and this could be a decent product.

$99ElectronicsNov 201662/5

WipeBook Pro
White-board like notebook. Really expensive for a notebook of any sort. Barely used it. Huge mistake.

$44 (CAD)ElectronicsAug 201610/5

Monument Photo Storage
Local photo storage device. Haven't set it up. Switched to Google Photos before it arrived, negating its need. Still in my closet next to the Nuimo.
$124ElectronicsSept 201650/5

Fidget Cube
Much cheaper knockoffs have hit Amazon before I got mine. Apparently they are very similar, at least close enough that the savings is worth it. Perfect case of "wait until it's released." Used it for about 3 minutes before putting it back in the case. My hands didn't like it.
$31ToySept 201650/5

Bears vs Babies
A card game by the Exploding Kittens team. Should be close to Exploding Kittens in quality. Played it a few times and don't love it. It's a bland game, suitable, perhaps, for patients recovering from surgery.
$28GameJun 201702/5

Conclusion

Looking at this list there are some very clear trends which lead to obvious conclusions.

Board / card games are a good bet. I'm two for two there, so I may continue to back any games I find interesting.

Unfortunately Kickstarter (for me) is not a good place to buy electronics. Only one of them actually made it into regular use and it was the cheapest one. If you include all physical products that aren't games, the conclusion is the same. It takes so long to get the product, that your needs will change. Or perhaps you never had the need in the first place and it was only the marketing that made you think you did.

This is a good reason why you should generally only buy products to fit a well-known need. That is, don't see something interesting and think, "yeah, I could use this."

It makes me wonder a bit more about purchasing in general. How many of the things we buy get long-term use? It's probably a small percentage. Knowing that, the thing to work on then is the purchase accuracy.

If only it was a companies' best interest to only sell us stuff we use. Data-driven consumerism would be a huge area of research.

Looking at this list, it's obvious I shouldn't buy anything from Kickstarter. Unless I'm supporting a friend or a concept I really want to help out product-aside, it's generally wasted money.

I've unsubscribed from their emails and don't browse Kickstarter anymore. It was fun while it lasted.