Kickstarter pledges new guidelines to protect backers

Kickstarter pledges new guidelines to protect backers
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

September 21st 2012 at 1:50PM

Crowdfunding site 'is not a store' say founders as new rules are brought in

Kickstarter has implemented new guidelines for developers to help protect backers from unrealistic expectations.

A new section named 'Risks and Challenges' has been added to the project page requiring developers and creators to answer numerous questions proving how they can bring their product to market.

The question, “What are the risks and challenges this project faces, and what qualifies you to overcome them?”, has been added so backers can judge the creators' ability to complete the project and whether the developer is being open and honest about the risks they face.

Potential contributors can find the new section below each project’s description.

Kickstarter founders Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler also insisted that the crowdfunding site should not be used as a store, and has implemented further measures to curb creators using the website solely to generate pre-orders.

Product simulations are now prohibited, meaning projects can now only show how they perform and what they look like in their current state of development.

Renderings are also banned; with product images needing to be photos of the prototype as it currently exists.

Developers and creators making projects under ‘Hardware and Product Design’ are also now prohibited from offering multiple quantities of the same reward.

“Hardware and Product Design projects can only offer rewards in single quantities or a sensible set (some items only make sense as a pair or as a kit of several items, for instance),” read a statement from the founders.

“The development of new products can be especially complex for creators and offering multiple quantities feels premature, and can imply that products are shrink-wrapped and ready to ship.”

It added: “We hope these updates reinforce that Kickstarter isn't a traditional retail experience and underline the uniqueness of Kickstarter. Thanks for reading, and thanks as always for using Kickstarter.”