Product Campaigns Designed to Fail



photo credit: Howdy, I’m H. Michael Karshis


Some of you know that I have a real problem with crowdfunding (CF) as it currently exists.

More and more, I see campaigns out there that from my standpoint not only could not work as claimed – they seem designed never to bring an actual product to market at all. Some others are simply ridiculous to contemplate.

Perhaps they were never intended to come to market in the first place. Any work done on the alleged product being developed was merely eyewash to mask the fact that the money raised is used to line someone’s pockets under the guise of R&D. R&D which ultimately fails, leaving backers out their money with no recourse to recover any part of it.

Here’s a random look at a few that could be in those categories. They could be legit, they could be intentional failures in the making, or just plain silly.

You decide, it’s your money at risk.


This is the banner for a campaign that wants to franchise you a bicycle repair business that’s mobile. It’s on Indiegogo, and is a sight to behold.

Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? A bunch of people own bicycles that need repair work done. For reasons never explained in the video, they are unable to get these broken bicycles to a repair shop, so the repair shop comes to you in their business vision.

What’s wrong with this vision?

In many countries, bicycles tend to collect cobwebs and dust in the corner, while doubling as hangers for various household items as time goes by. At best, they’re used as weekend exercise items, so when do they have the time to wear out and break down?

Next, think about this thing in action:


This is the thing you’d be pedaling around, just waiting for your next breakdown customer to flag you down via a smartphone app (which you hope the customer has downloaded) – and pray that she’s not only not too far away, but out of all the bicycles on the market, it’s one that you carry around parts for in that portable bin on wheels.

Strangely, this is only a CGI that MyTool shows you for the proposed miniMyTool. What they apparently currently use is this:


A truck. A fossil-fuel burning truck, with ample space for all parts and tools needed for repairs, as you can see.



Now you can physically be just like a part of a computer printer!

This device on Kickstarter will have you believe that you can channel your inner banksy.

Yes, it uses the ubiquitous smartphone app to get you there, too

It’s SO easy, like 1-2-3  as they say:


2. SET UP YOUR PHONE…on a stable platform or a tripod facing the camera toward the wall you want to decorate. You can see how the design will look on your wall through your phone’s screen.

3. GO! Attach the first spray can to SprayPrinter, put it against the wall and start moving the device. Your phone tracks every movement of the printer and knows its exact position all the time.

3.5 SWITCH CANS FOR DIFFERENT TONES. (Oops if you forget.)

You do one tone at a time. That’s an important consideration if you have a moderately complex artwork you’re trying to tag, as you’ll need to switch out paints – frequently – and clean between paints as well to prevent carry-over of previous colors.

Just like a dot-matrix printer did it!


“As Dinosaurs became extinct long before humans were around, Fossils and modern science have helped us learn a lot about the extinct Dinosaurs.” goes this Indiegogo’s campaign introduction.

Dinosaurs went extinct long before humans? Quick, somebody let Ken Ham know!

This is very much a cool factor product for people with too much money in their lives.

Bring me the head of Nicolas Cage!

Since Nicolas Cage is no longer interested in obtaining the real thing, these folks have stepped into the breach to give you your old bones fix through 3d printing of models.


Your mother will be happy to have one – or more – of these in your home. Can’t you hear her now when she sees one in the basement where you keep all your ‘hobby’ gear and movie collectibles?


At last, the most mind-blowing crowdfunded item ever offered. You will gaze upon this and wonder how you have existed without this. The funds you can give the developers through Indiegogo will indeed be money well spent as the product makes its way to the screaming masses of humanity. Cast your eyes upon this marvel, and weep tears of joy:

A box. A box that can hold your charger and cable for it! Is this not magnificent?

Well, as I said earlier, it’s your money. Choose wisely


Copyright 2016 John Lewis

All rights reserved. Anyone wishing to republish this content, in whole or in part, contact for permission.

John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire. Reach him at . To see more of his product write-ups on LinkedIn, join the group Products In Search of A Market . On Facebook, join Products in Search of a Market (Facebook). He also writes for the site Crowdfunding Hell.


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