Kickstarter’s making a few changes to its guidelines for the sole purpose of reminding users that backing a project on Kickstarter is not buying something at a store. There’s no guaranteed shipping date and what you see may not be exactly what you get.
To make sure people understand this two major changes have been made.
The first change requires creators to answer the question:
What are the risks and challenges this project faces, and what qualifies you to overcome them?
The purpose of this question is to reinforce to backers that the projects they are considering funding are still in development and give them an extra tool to judge the creator’s ability to complete the project.
The second change sets new hardware and product design guidelines and are as follows:
- Product simulations are prohibited. Projects cannot simulate events to demonstrate what a product might do in the future.
- Products can only be shown performing actions that they’re able to perform in their current state of development.
- Product renderings are prohibited. Product images must be photos of the prototype as it currently exists.Offering multiple quantities of a reward is prohibited. 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). 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.
These guidelines will hopefully keep creators from making promises they can’t keep and avoid any surprises for backers when they receive the final product.
While I’m not positive the “challenges” question will help much — hopefully it will help creators be honest with themselves about what they can produce — I do like the restriction of only being able to post what the project can do right now. I feel like this will give creators the chance to continually show progress while keeping expectations at a reasonable level.