A tale of two Kickstarters

Winkletter  •  23 Mar 2023   •    

As it happens, I have two Kickstarter rewards shipping to me soon.

One is from a project that has been delayed for almost two years. The other was delayed three months.

For the two year project, most of the backers were already fatigued and wishing they’d never backed the project. Then they got an email to confirm shipping costs. For me the product is being shipped from here in the US and I’m spending as much as I did to have a similar product shipped from Japan.

People backing that project have become openly hostile, especially the ones in other countries who are spending as much on shipping as they spent backing the project. It’s obvious that after two years fiddling with the product to make it “perfect” the company no longer has any funds to cover shipping.

And people are not used to paying full price for shipping. (In fact, you can order the product on the company’s website with discounted shipping.)

For the project that was delayed three months, everything went off without a hitch. Shipping was sorted out and paid for almost a year ago. The company kept the backers updated every step of the way. They just had some delays with their printing company.

I think the main lesson I’ve learned from these two Kickstarters is to stay away from projects with stretch goals.

You may think it’s super easy to add gold foil to a product, but apparently it takes a particular set of skills that you will have to develop as you update files and wait for proofs to arrive. And that enamel pin is going to add more costs to shipping as well. Every new stretch goal adds cost and complexity to your product and every new customer you bring on is going to make you wish even more you hadn’t eaten up all of your margins.

Stretch goals only stretch out the finish line, and they shrink margins.


My lesson is to stop buying things on Kickstarter. It’s funny how this is referred to as “backing the project” and “receiving a reward.” I’m paying for a product, and I expect to get it, simple as that.

therealbrandonwilson  •  23 Mar 2023, 1:38 am

True. It’s better to just wait and see if they survive long enough to open up a store.

Winkletter  •  23 Mar 2023, 3:55 am

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