In an effort to prevent projects from over-promising and under-delivering (or not delivering at all), Kickstarter has issued some new guidelines that new projects must adhere to. With so many projects lately being labeled as scams or potential scams, it’s no wonder that the company has felt it necessary to increase backer security, and I’ve got to say, some of the new rules should be quite affective.
The first guideline tweak that affects every Kickstarter project is that a “Risks and Challenges” section must be added to the info page. This will be used to explain the challenges that lay ahead, and gives reason to your potential backers why they should be able to trust you. This is a very important addition in my mind, as many people create Kickstarter projects not understanding what it actually takes to bring a product to market.
Another guideline affects hardware and product design projects – those that are selling a physical product. Going forward, simulations and mock drawings are prohibited. Instead, a project must only be prepared if you have photos of an actual prototype. There have been many projects that have been on-going for over a year that have had only simulations, so it’s clear that this rule is extremely important.
This doesn’t affect all products, however; board games and video games are safe. Those projects carry far less risk as what it takes to bring either of them to mass production is modest compared to a hardware product.
In order to coax backers to spend a little more, it’s become routine that projects would offer multiple units of the project for the higher tiers. That’s no longer going to be allowed, as Kickstarter believes offering that before production has begun is a little premature.
For the past few months, I’ve shrugged each time I’ve heard about a new Kickstarter project, but I believe these new rules will change that a bit – especially the one that requires a prototype to have been produced. Only someone truly serious about their project will be able to make that happen.