This week has seen the launch at retail of Ouya, a small, $100 games console designed to play indepedendent Android-style titles. It can also be used to run emulators and ROMs, and/or as a media center using XBMC or similar piece of software. However, to get to the point when Ouya is available to buy through Amazon and in bricks-and-mortar stores, it first had to be funded through Kickstarter.
The Ouya story is an interesting and rather complex one: 63,000 people pledged $8.5 million, blowing away all expectations. The company then raised a further $15 million through VC funding, lessening the power of the Kickstarter campaign. The product has now arrived on store shelves before some Kickstarter backers have even received their consoles. Which has caused considerable angst and anger.
This is an extreme, yet fascinating, example of the positives and negatives of Kickstarter, which we’ll touch on below. Ultimately we want to hear your opinions on the subject.
This Week’s Question…
We want to know, What Are Your Views On Crowdfunding Through Sites Like Kickstarter? Kickstarter is, for those new to the idea of crowdfunding, a website on which anyone can detail a project or product and ask others to financially contribute to it. It’s perfect for those who have exhausted more conventional methods of starting a business from scratch, and there have been some phenomenally successful Kickstarter projects funded to date.
However, not all of the products are worthy of being funded, and there have been some downright failures pitched through Kickstarter and sites like Kickstarter. When a project fails, it can fail spectacularly, and the people behind the project are left to pick up the pieces.
Are you aware of Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, RocketHub and the like? Have you actively been involved in any of the various crowdfunding platforms on the InterWebs? If you have backed a project then how was your personal experience? Did the end result live up to your hopes?
Do you think crowdfunding websites offer a viable route for entrepreneurs and inventors? Does there need to be more stringent rules about who can seek funding and what happens if they don’t deliver on their promises? Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will even win Comment Of The Week, which will be included in the follow-up post! What more motivation than that do you need to respond?
We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to the MakeUseOf readership. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.
Image Credit: Rocio Lara