|Apr 19, 12.
Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android by Pebble Technology — Kickstarter
This is crazy. It seems like people are now using kickstarter in two different ways:
Rather than dealing with distribution contracts and hoping you can get store buyers to stock your cool watch, you can sell directly to consumers at a “discount” price (less than retail, still WAY more than wholesale), and distribution pack “rewards” so stores can stock the watches without going through a middle man.
In the first scenario, a new project will get made that might not have come together without financial help. That is awesome.
In the second scenario, the product would have been made anyway, but Kickstarter is enabling the company to manage the distribution themselves and make more money. Manufacturing and shipping 40k+ watches isn’t exactly something you can do out of your basement. These are serious operations.
I think Kickstarter can be a good platform for both types of projects, but I really think they should be treated separately, and if these multi-million dollar, sure-bet projects become more common, I think Kickstarter should discriminate between “project” campaigns and “product” campaigns, and perhaps structure the rewards systems differently for the two.
They should restructure the way that KSR gets paid as well. That watch is going to keep selling in stores well after this campaign is done. Why shouldn’t it be sold through a Kickstarter marketplace as well? I’d love to see a store where I can buy the Pebble watch, Elevation dock, or Double Fine Adventure game after their “fund raising campaigns” ended.