I post most tablet related Kickstarter projects on this site. If there’s something that doesn’t get posted, it means one of two things: it’s not a product I feel has any value in the current market, or I have reason to believe that the project is a scam of some sorts. Such is the case with the iPen, advertised as being the world’s first active digitizer stylus when the project got created back in November. The problem is, it isn’t the first such pen to be released, as demonstrated by this post of mine from October.
Now, mistakes like that can happen. Neither the original nor the rebrands are very easy to find, so when I first saw the project being posted, I sent a message to the project creators stating that I like the idea of such a digitizer stylus, but unfortunately it isn’t the first one. I still thought that their project had merit, being way more up front with the existence of the product than those rebranded versions that has failed marketing so completely. However, when I got no response to the message whatsoever, a picture of a company that isn’t all too interested in being upfront with such information started to emerge. As a result, I simply ignored the existence of the project, and you didn’t read about it on NBT.
Fast forward over a month, and the rest of the world finally caught up. With $160,000 raised in funding and close to 1800 backers, the project reached its goal and then some (and some more) on December 26th. The website The Verge posted about the pen two days later, bursting the bubble on the whole “not the first” thing. I guess that’s what I should have done when I first discovered it over a month earlier, but frankly if I were to post all the reasons why I ignore certain Kickstarter projects then there wouldn’t be anything else on this site. Having been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, the project creators posted an update apologizing and blaming it all on not knowing. All the while ignoring the fact that I told them over a month earlier.
I’m not saying the entire product is a scam. In fact, with the SDK and everything, it’s likely going to be a hundred times more useful than the others (which makes this such a sad issue since the project didn’t need false promises to succeed). That’s however not the issue. The issue is the fact that they tried to put a lid on the whole thing (and did fairly bad research beforehand, to be honest). Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site, and experience has shown that unless the project creators are completely open about what they’re doing, it can easily end in disaster.
Moral of the story? As I’ve said so many times, don’t pledge blindly on Kickstarter. And if there’s ever a Kickstarter project that you’re wondering why isn’t on this site, I’d be happy to give you the reasons why.