We have big news. Hopefully good news.
As of Thursday, Novemeber 8th Lumawake was rejected from Kickstarter.
A pioneer in the crowdfunding space, Kickstarter set out in 2009 to allow people to bring creative projects to life through the direct support of others. To date, over $350 million has been pledged by more than 2.5 million people, funding more than 30,000 creative projects.
Hardware projects quickly became a crowd favorite and innovators flocked to the Kickstarter gold rush. Projects like Pebble and OUYA raised millions and blew their funding goals out of the water.
However, Kickstarter wasn’t created for pre-sales. They don’t vet or track projects after funding is met and have no way to monitor or enforce refunds when projects fail to deliver. It has been reported that up to 75% of Hardware and Product Design projects missed their projected ship date. Stalled projects led to unhappy backers and things began to unravel quickly. In an effort to stop the bleeding and reinforce their original mission, Kickstarter announced some big changes to their project guidelines on September 20th.
Our team had originally planned to launch Lumawake in late September using renderings and simulations – a common practice on Kickstarter that is now prohibited. We spent the entire month of October feverishly polishing up and finalizing our working prototypes, finishing our video and taking product shots.
When we finally submitted our project plan last week we were confident that we had successfully navigated through the roadblocks and were fully compliant with the new guidelines.
Our prototypes were done and worked as advertised. We did not use any photo-realistic renderings or simulations. We had identified our “Risks and Challenges” and our manufacturing plan was in place.
What happened next took us all by surprise.
We received a form email from Kickstarter informing us that we been denied for not meeting their “guidelines and focus”. Our initial reaction was that there must be a misunderstanding and we could easily clear it up. Since we had put so much additional effort into meeting the new requirements , we didn’t expect any problems. We immediately sat down and began the appeal process.
Limited to only 500 characters, the equivalent of just 3 Tweets, we did our best to explain the situation and asked for clarification. We even linked to a heartfelt letter which we posted on our website, and as a backup sent the same message in an email to their support team.
12 hours later a final decision was made. Here is the response we received from Kickstarter:
Following a brief stint of depression, we emerged more driven and inspired than ever. We had come too far to let this stop us. We rallied together, locked ourselves in the office, and vowed to overcome yet another setback. We ultimately decided to follow in the footsteps of app.net and more recently, Lockitron, who created their own crowdfunding platform after being denied by Kickstarter. They famously raised $500,000 in the first 24 hours and have amassed a whopping $2.3 million to date. The makers of Lockitron then open-sourced their funding platform, selfstarter.us and put it on GitHub.
We can’t thank them enough.
We’re scrambling to put the pieces together and will be self launching Lumawake early next week.
Since we won’t be taking the pre-order money until Lumawake is ready to ship, we will be minimizing our backers’ risk and will have extra incentive to ship a quality product as soon as possible.
We’re nervous. We’re excited. But more than anything, we’re fired up and ready for the challenge!
Feel free to drop us an e-mail
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