I have been a very strong supporter of crowd sourcing community sites to help innovators develop their dreams.
I have supported many projects for over five years now. My first pledge was a fantastic success, 6,500% of the initial goal. Over the last five years I have backed many, many projects but now come the challenge when these projects have been over successful.
When you are planning for the project , you need to decide up front how many models you are prepared to make, describe and plan the production process (a lot of these projects use China as their production base).
Lets take an example, if you have planned to build 1,000 units with a contingency plan for 2,000 units. You start the project and it becomes very successful and you have pledges for 20,000 units. All your plans are then wrong, the production capacity is wrong, the negotiations in China are all messed up and the production project quickly extends out by months to even years.
This is happening to many of the projects (that I have backed). Most projects are delayed but lately these projects are delayed by 9 months to a year to a number that are over 2 years delayed.
What happens is that the project turns from a great idea to a massive negative campaign , where all the backers ask for their money back and / or give the project owners a lot of negative press and hassle.
Last week i was invited to look at a project on the day of its launch, a brilliant idea, a pledge of 2,000 $. Within the first hour, the project was 75% funded, Day two the project was already 300% funded. Today, day 7 the project is 4,824% funded with 23 days remaining before the project is closed. I decided not to back the project on the first day because the chances of seeing this product is zero, which really does not feel good.
I feel that the crowd sourcing sites need to take a bigger responsibility and govern the projects.
What i mean is that when the project is funded by more than 100%, the project shall close for more funding. These crowd sourcing sites are making money in a big way too, therefore they should also take responsibility for a “no show” and provide some of the original funding back to the people who made the pledge.
As a true supporter for innovation and crowd sourcing sites, I really think that we need some form of governance to ensure that these crowd sourcing sites will be successful , sustainable and that the backers do not get disillusioned (like i am) so that we all can continue to back crowd sourcing projects.