You're making an investment on a not-yet-actualized product, and there are plenty of risks involved in this. That's the message that Kickstarter wants to give its product backers. "Kickstarter isn't a traditional retail experience," they say, and even more bluntly, Kickstarter is not a store.
With that in mind, they've instituted some changes in how product creators can advertise their projects on the site. The first new mandate is that creators have to discuss "risks and challenges" to their projects.
Now, under the product description on Kickstarter page (starting today), Creators must answer the questions "What are the risks and challenges this project faces, and what qualifies you to overcome them?"
We added the "Risks and Challenges" section to reinforce that creators' projects are in development. Before backing a project, people can judge both the creator's ability to complete their project as promised and whether they feel the creator is being open and honest about the risks and challenges they face.
Translation: You have to tell people exactly what they're putting their money into, and describe what could go wrong so they can make a more informed decision. This new information will appear on every Kickstarter project.
And Kickstarter has made new guidelines for specific types of projects - hardware and product design. Once again, in order for backers to get the most accurate representation of what they're backing, Kickstarter has banned product simulations and renderings. Any videos and images of their products must be genuine, current versions of the product that only show what it's capable of right now.
"Products should be presented as they are. Over-promising leads to higher expectations for backers. The best rule of thumb: under-promise and over-deliver," says Kickstarter.
They've also banned the offering of multiple quantities of a reward (unless it makes sense as a pair or set).
Kickstarter continues to draw skepticism from backers who are concerned with where their money is going, considering not all projects come to fruition. With this update, Kickstarter aims to protect investors while also making sure they know the risks involved.