I recently caught this article about Kickstarter scams, referencing one project in particular, which has caused controversy about the ability of Kickstarter creators to take the funding and run. This isn’t really something shocking to me, because it was one of the first things I noticed about Kickstarter’s policies before I used it for MILLIONS. The backers technically have no recourse to get their money back if they don’t receive their rewards. So backers should really take due diligence and do some research if they don’t know the creators personally. BUT even with ZionEyez, I’m not entirely convinced the project was a “scam”. They merely set a release date which they failed to deliver on. Their Kickstarter Page still has updates every few months. Backers are just frustrated they weren’t sent the product at the time they were promised. This is always going to be a risk when buying products from start-ups.
On July 31, 2011, Joe Taylor and his colleagues at ZionEyez successfully raised $344,000 to fund the development of a new pair of eyeglasses that could supposedly record high-definition video and stream it directly onto your Facebook account.
The team promised a pair of those eyeglasses to any backer who pledged more than $150, all of which were to be distributed by the winter of that year. Fast forward to June 2012, backers have still found no trace of Taylor or anyone responsible for the development of the ZionEyez glasses.
The team effectively made off with $344,000 of crowdfunded money—split from the scene without a single trace or a single line of recourse for the project’s 2,106 backers
What’s worse is that Kickstarter, the governing body that hosted the campaign and helped facilitate the fundraising of all this cash, had taken itself out of the conversation (presumably after collecting its five-percent share for successfully funded campaigns).
Unlike ZionEyez, I didn’t set hard release dates, because I knew I couldn’t promise anything. But I wanted to take this time to mention that I really hope none of my backers of MILLIONS feel that I’m “scamming” because I have yet to fulfill all of the rewards. I understand that it’s been over a year. Which is something I never wanted. But film production is unpredictable and no matter how hard you try to move things forward in a timely fashion, it’s often impossible to do that without a lot of money. I’ve already spent all the money that was donated. The project right now is being funded entirely on my dime. We are currently still in production, and I wanted to send out all of the rewards at the same time the first season was ready to be released. This way the publicity for the show would coincide with the time that the backers receive their “publicity”, and the show would be in the public consciousness all at once. Some rewards can only be sent after the show is complete (I.E. DVD’s, Posters, etc.). The t-shirts however, are ready and sitting in my office. But if you are a backer who absolutely can’t wait to receive some of your rewards, please e-mail me, and I’ll send you what we’ve already produced right away. I’m not here to “scam” anyone. I know you’ve helped fund my project because you wanted to see the show more than anything else. The rewards are just a bonus. So my focus has remained on the show for you guys. I hope you understand. I’ve appreciated you all.