In early May of this year Bob Ferguson, the Attorney General of Washington State, filed what is believed to be the first consumer protection lawsuit against a Kickstarter campaign from investors wanting their money back.
Many in the US believe the current raft of new tech products across sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter (take Smarty Ring as an example) are either chasing a commercially unviable space or will simply never deliver on their promises and Bob Ferguson’s lawsuit is just the start of a new era where the ‘Crowd gets Angry’.
Kickstarter was initially frequented by a very savvy crowd who had expertise to help them judge whether or not tech projects were ever capable of being delivered. Now the audience of such sites has broadened to include average consumers and some of those consumers treat Crowdfunding like an Amazon.com for products that don’t yet exist.
Stronger screening and better communication of what a project’s level of complexity is along with more responsibility by the platforms is the only way to avoid a free for all in legal claims that could kill Crowdfunding.