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Thread: Are Kickstarters ethical?

  1. #16
    Originally Posted by EUS View Post (Source)
    If you consider kickstarting anything as an investment, it doesn't make kickstarter shady, but it does mean you're a fool.
    That.

    Personally, i'm not a fan of it, and agree, if your company wants capital, issue bonds/stocks.
    That not so much. Issuing shares in any form is a hugely resource-intensive process that is far out of reach of projects that platforms like KS or IGG were originally meant for. Even if you somehow manage to do it outside the regular stock markets, you're still stuck with a regulatory and management nightmare that alone would require more dedicated personnel than many projects have in total.

  2. #17
    Originally Posted by wesmacdon View Post (Source)
    Out if curiosity do you have experience of running a share issue?
    No, but the cursory insight I've had on some occasions say that one doesn't go on the stock market lightly, and not without capital. You need robust planning, bookkeeping, and legal advice—if you fail to turn your IP into RoI, some prissy shareholders will sue you—, and generally a long-term company structure aimed at long-term profitrevenue growth (we all know investors don't give a damn about profit, right Elon?). Generally speaking, it's for people who want to seed a company, which many crowdfunded projects don't.

    Kickstarter and its ilk were initially meant to be (not that the high-level projects indicate that any more) a platform for some people with a one-off idea to gather money and make it. Looking at my backer history, there's stuff like acquiring an embroidery machine gofundme-style (backers got embroideries as rewards) ending up at around 16kUSD campaign total, or photo books by an independent photographer netting 30–40kAUD. They did their stuff, delivered the perks, went on to do more interesting things, and everyone was happy without a long-term relationship.

    That said, there are investment platforms like Fig or Indiegogo Equity (not an endorsement) that do allow proper investment.

  3. #18
    Originally Posted by wesmacdon View Post (Source)
    You're assertion that companies don't want to list because of the admin is tacitly untrue. It's also completely irrelevant in the context of FDev as they are listed.
    Frontier were not listed at the time they floated Elite Dangerous though. They were at a point where frankly only a damn fool or a clairvoyant (same thing really, only difference is marketing) would have given them money as a major investor. They announced their IPO around mid-2013 when they knew they had at least the hint of a chance to keep a bunch of major stakeholders happy for any length of time.

    And if you have, please send me a list of companies who are going public with disregard for what's coming to them, so I can give them a wide berth.

    (edit) And while we're here and talking "ethics", presented with two options

    1. "Here's a thing we want to make. If enough people give us X amount of money each then we will go ahead, and when it's done you get stuff based on X", and
    2. "Here's a thing we want to make. You can now give us any amount of money in exchange for which you get a share in our company which so far has no product of its own and will be starting a high-risk project. If we survive and your shares are still worth anything, you can even go ahead and buy the product."

    I have a solid idea about which proposal I'd call more "ethical" or attractive.

  4. #19
    On the crownfunding site, "GoFundMe", a woman, former TV presenter who is ruined, to launch a campaign to help her.

    She asks 9965 euros and in 15 days she obtained 122 donations for a total of 7272 euros.

    Apparently the campaign is not limited in the time.

    There is an English translation on the project at the bottom of the Webpage, and also the video is in English

    https://www.gofundme.com/dreamachine

    Is it ethical ?

  5. #20
    Is kickstarter ethical? Is any of thousands of charities out there ethical? Can every penny from save the children of "we establish our country in hurricane ally because we are morons" be accounted for? No.

  6. #21
    Originally Posted by wesmacdon View Post (Source)
    Yes but my question wasn't really centred around that. A project failing isn't an ethics question. 30 years ago if a company wanted to fund a project they would have to raise capital either through the normal course of business or a share issue, giving investors a stake in the ownership of the company with voting rights (ie the company is accountable to investors). It feels like they've found a way now to convince you it's legitimate to ask for a handout without offering accountability in return.
    Well you may have also noticed a sharp increase in people sleeping rough and beggers in the streets over this last 30 years also? Times are tough.

    As a separate issue to the above i LIKE the idea that i can help fund a game that a traditional publisher would not. In the era of console AAA dominance, where only massive franchise fps games rule, it has been refreshing to see other types of game come out of the kickstarter phenomenon and all the stuff that gets released on places like Steam etc and the whole 'early access' thing.

    Sure not everything is perfect, but we have had some gems over these years since kickstarter first arose as a method to fund games.

  7. #22
    Originally Posted by wesmacdon View Post (Source)
    Well that was the most mental thing I've read all week.
    Your welcome

  8. #23
    Originally Posted by Zak Gordon View Post (Source)
    Well you may have also noticed a sharp increase in people sleeping rough and beggers in the streets over this last 30 years also? Times are tough.

    As a separate issue to the above i LIKE the idea that i can help fund a game that a traditional publisher would not. In the era of console AAA dominance, where only massive franchise fps games rule, it has been refreshing to see other types of game come out of the kickstarter phenomenon and all the stuff that gets released on places like Steam etc and the whole 'early access' thing.

    Sure not everything is perfect, but we have had some gems over these years since kickstarter first arose as a method to fund games.
    This kind of goes back to something I mentioned earlier. Would folk say Kickstarter was devised for the small 1 or 2 man band projects rather than multi million quid projects? Perhaps the way things have gone was not really what the person who divided KSer had in mind

  9. #24
    Originally Posted by Mad Mike View Post (Source)
    This kind of goes back to something I mentioned earlier. Would folk say Kickstarter was devised for the small 1 or 2 man band projects rather than multi million quid projects? Perhaps the way things have gone was not really what the person who divided KSer had in mind
    I think the guy who devised KS thought he could make a buck by providing a platform for people to sell their ideas. He didn't think large companies would try to sell multi million dollar ideas and that people would be dumb enough to pony up the money but he ain't turning down the green, it's all the same color.

    Did I make a post about that earlier? Oh, yes I did.

    Originally Posted by metatheurgist View Post (Source)
    This is pretty much the entire reason companies exist. What's sad is how much we let them get away with.

  10. #25
    Originally Posted by wesmacdon View Post (Source)
    Yes but my question wasn't really centred around that.
    yes, your concern seems to be lack of accountability, and no answer so far seemed to address this.

    but in fact there is some accountability, at least in kickstarter. project owners are required to complete the project and deliver as promised. if they can't they are bound by the terms of service to explain and refund. if they don't, they risk their reputation and being sued by the backers. now, ks themselves don't take much responsibility, and tos might not have the legal weight of a bond issue, but they provide a way to clarify expectations vs actual delivery for a court to get an idea. so there is plausible accountability and i don't think the system is inherently unethical, although it of course can be used unethically by any of the parts. (and talking about ks only because i've not bothered to read the tos of other similar systems).

    anyway, it's refreshing (or unsettlingly ironic) to hear someone in the financial sector worrying about ethics!

  11. #26
    I'll say one thing "Star Citizen".

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