Kickstarter cracks down on hardware vapor

Kickstarter has bolstered its new hardware and product design project guidelines in an effort to prevent scams and temper unrealistic expectations.

Indeed, the site recently banned product simulations, meaning projects can no longer simulate events to demonstrate what a hypothetical device might do in the future.

“Products can only be shown performing actions that they’re able to perform in their current state of development. Product renderings are prohibited,” the Kickstarter team confirmed in an official statement.

“Product images must be photos of the prototype as it currently exists. Products should be presented as they are. Over-promising leads to higher expectations for backers. The best rule of thumb: under-promise and over-deliver.”

The Kickstarter crew also announced that project creators are now required to detail the risks and challenges faced by a particular device or initiative – and how they are qualified to overcome them.

“We added the ‘Risks and Challenges’ section to reinforce that creators’ projects are in development,” Kickstarter co-founders Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler explained.

“Before backing a project, people can judge both the creator’s ability to complete their project as promised and whether they feel the creator is being open and honest about the risks and challenges they face.”

Finally, the co-founders also noted that offering multiple quantities of a reward is now outlawed. Meaning, hardware and product design projects can only offer rewards in single quantities or a so-called ‘sensible’ set.

”The development of new products can be especially complex for creators and offering multiple quantities feels premature, and can imply that products are shrink-wrapped and ready to ship… We hope these updates reinforce that Kickstarter isn’t a traditional retail experience and underline the uniqueness of Kickstarter,” they added.