May. 11th, 2017

izard: (Default)
As a backer of few dozens of kickstarter projects (that is the only way of shopping that I like), I noticed a pattern..

Many projects that I backed were very similar:

There is a product/gadget/tool (I'll call it bells and whistles, or B&W for short). One can buy B&W at one dollar shop for 10$, made in China, and the quality will be awful. You could probably use it once or even less, and it will break. In a supermarket, B&W will cost 50$, and you may use it 1-20 times before it breaks, if you are careful enough. Sometimes there is a high end variation available online, you may buy it for 100$, and it will last almost forever in non-professional use. Very often there is also a luxury/professional version that costs 500$, which is perfect but too expensive for an occasional user.

All above is likely manufactured in China, with BOMs of 1$, 10$, 20$ and 80$ respectively. Retail, marketing, brand/revenue combined makes up the rest of the price.

So at kickstarter, there are plenty of successful campaigns that have many nice words about R&D, but in fact it is just a procurement of B&W from a Chinise manufacturer at $60 BOM, selling it for 120$. For the end user, B&W from kickstarter at 120$ is often as good as a professional thing for 500$.

I guess this pattern is not fulfilling original kickstarter's mission to fund new R&D, but that is how it is.


izard: (Default)

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