I’ve always been a fan of Kickstarter, the web site which allows, we’ll call them inventors, to pitch their ideas to the general public in hopes that they’ll gain investors and eventually get enough money to get their products produced. Up until recently I was a fan from the outside. I’d visit the site often to check out the newly launched products but I’d never actually invested in one. That is until I found the “Slingshot.” The Slingshot looked to be the perfect solution for videographers, such as myself, who rely on their iPhones so often for shooting.
So in mid-May I decided to back the product, coughing up my $14 with the promise of my own Slingshot with free U.S. shipping. I was already pretty late in the game and the Slingshot’s Kickstarter page had a delivery date of June 2012. I’d happen to have given my pledge on the same day that the product received it’s full funding requirement. The Slingshot ended up raising $70,074 ($50,000 more than it’s goal) thanks to over 2,000 backers.
Since then what I’ve gotten is not my very own Slingshot but rather excuse after excuse from the product’s creator Charles Waugh. First, when the initial delivery date in early June was missed, it was the product just wasn’t “right.” Then July zoomed past and backers were told the product would be arriving in the U.S. in late August. However that was followed by another update explaining that wouldn’t be happening because of packaging issues, instead Slingshots would be arrive in the U.S. September 7th and be shipped out to backers shortly thereafter.
I’ve been pretty patient. After all it’s only $14 and 3 or 4 months really isn’t that long to wait for a brand new product to be born and produced. However, today I learned that the Slingshot has begun showing up for sale in a variety of online retailers, including Adorama and Amazon BEFORE any of the actual Kickstarter backers have received their orders. That just doesn’t seem right. Not at all. Shouldn’t the people who actually pledged to the product be rewarded with their promised level of investment before anyone else?
Guess what I also got today. Nope, not a Slingshot. What I got was yet another excuse from the creator Charles Waugh as to why the product was being sold online when Kickstarters hadn’t gotten theirs ( it was a murky explanation, mostly blamed on shipping errors) and another empty promise of that September 7th deadline.
All in all what I’m left with is not a Slingshot but rather a terrible taste in my mouth after sampling my first Kickstarter project. I’m not sure I’ll take a bite out of Kickstarter again any time soon.