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Kickstarter is cracking down on hyperbole, asking creators to be more honest when pitching their products. While Kickstarter isn’t going to enforce these rules with an iron fist, it is incentivizing creators to start following the guidelines.
Kickstarter has been the source of some amazing products over the years. And some are products that would never have made it to market without being crowdfunded. However, not all Kickstarter projects deliver on their promises, and Kickstarter has had enough.
Creators Should Underpromise and Overdeliver
In a post titled “Honest and Clear Presentation in Projects“, Kickstarter spells out the new guidelines. Kickstarter rightly points out that “transparency is one of the most important components of cultivating trust to build a healthy, vibrant community”.
First, Kickstarter is asking creators to choose honest language. A project should be presented “as an idea, not as a finished product”. This means describing a project in its current state rather than making all manner of promises as if they’re guaranteed.
You might think your project is the world's greatest but is it *really*?
— Kickstarter (@kickstarter) June 13, 2019
Kickstarter also wants creators to “underpromise and overdeliver,” and stop using superlatives such as such as “the world’s best / smallest / fastest / first / etc.” or “the ultimate / unrivaled / revolutionary / etc.” Because that’s all highly unlikely to be true.
Secondly, Kickstarter wants creators to be more honest with their visual presentations. The company notes that while visual media is important, it should be “honest, transparent, and based in reality” rather than “slick, salesy, or deceptive in any way”.
Kickstarter Incentivizes Creators to Play Ball
While these are just recommendations, Kickstarter claims that “failure to honestly and clearly present your campaign may result in a range of actions, from your project being ineligible for promotion to account restrictions or even project suspension”.
As with most things these days if you’re going to crowdfund a project you need to look past the bullshine. And here are the things to consider before backing a Kickstarter project. Always remember the old adage that if it looks too good to be true it probably is.