Crowdfunded food gadget marketer Tellspec threatens to sue critic

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I’m a star trek fan too but…

that indiegogo pitch was complete bullshit. Remarkably, being given money did not result in being able to produce the magic gadget.

Alchemy of the New Century: Turning Bullshit into Gold

brought to you by specious claims backed up by photos of fake gadgets and apps that can do literally anything if only you send us a few dollas.

Did anyone here buy into this, tell us why you thought a handheld gadget smaller than your hand could do what that thing claims would be possible in the pitch with one unspecified spectrometer, if only it were funded.


While crowd-funding amazing new technology should always give funders pause (if it was really so amazing, they shouldn’t need crowdfunding), Indiegogo seems to be where the worst fraudsters go.

Kickstarter, for all it’s faults, actually requires working prototypes, and it occasionally enforces this on the most gee-wizz gadgets.

This absolutely ridiculous “laser razor” recently raised $4 million on Kickstarter, before Kickstarter pulled the plug on it. So they turned around and put it on Indiegogo instead, where it still managed to raise $300k.

GoBe was also on Indiegogo, natch.

Edit: Indeed, Indiegogo removed it’s antifraud language, so it doesn’t even pretend to be looking out for consumers.

Edit Edit: The Scio, though, a similar gadget to the Tellspec, was on Kickstarter. They claim to be delivering now, though. I wonder how it will turn out.


To be fair, Indiegogo only changed their fraud language because they did a fraud review on the statement, “All campaigns and contributions go through a fraud review, which allows us to catch any and all cases of fraud,” and found it to be fraudulent, as it was an impossible claim. So that just proves that their fraud detection system is, um, working?
Indiegogo has been problematic, from the start - being able to collect the money even if you don’t hit the goals always indicated to me that success for the funded endeavor was always a secondary concern of theirs.



Man, people were taken for a fucking ride with that one.


My default starting position is that all crowd-funded initiatives are frauds. I’ll only be convinced otherwise on close inspection of the proposition and some google-research (as distinct from rigorous academic research). I’ve backed one initiative where a musician was raising money to fund a recording of some Bach (WTC). I’d enjoyed the free music (GV) she had made available from her previous effort, so I kicked her $30 for something I know I could later have legally downloaded for free. Everyone’s a winner.

My starting position for viewing crowdfunded projects is that they’re completely honest and well-meaning, but the people behind them are either totally incompetent and out of their depth and/or are promising far more than they can reasonably fulfill based on the resources they’re trying to raise. For video game Kickstarters, this is true for 100% of them - the successful projects are only completed because they rely on substantial resources outside the crowdfunding raised.

I ascribe to people both more intelligence and more greed than you do, I guess.

Functionally, it really amounts to the same thing…

I dunno, that hasn’t been my experience. I’ve backed 11 Kickstarters including six games; of those, FTL has been delivered quite satisfactorily, and A.N.N.E, Night in the Woods, Catacomb Kids, TerraTech, and Mighty Tactical Shooter have all been chugging along quite happily, with frequent, recent status updates and (where applicable) positive reports from the closed-beta backers, and no outside resources mentioned yet on any of them. They’re all hilariously behind schedule, of course, but that really is pretty much universal, and as long as development continues and I get the game eventually, I really don’t care much.

It’s easy to forget that the ginormous AAA Kickstarters from big-name creators are not representative of Kickstarter gaming as a whole. All of the games I mentioned are one- or two-man 2D projects (except for TerraTech, which has all of seven people), but they’re all looking absolutely gorgeous and I have every reason to think that I’ll be as happy with the rest of them as I am with FTL.

(Of the other five projects, BTW–Mobile Frame Zero, Bicycle Frame Handle, Pucs, Acadia, and Mechabrick–the first four have been delivered, and the last has hit some snags but has continued with frank and regular updates and is nearly ready to ship. Kickstarter is a risk, and you should never back unless if you’re not willing to court disappointment, but my overall experience has been positive.)

Which is a lack of transparency, as they’re all using outside resources (with a couple exceptions), even if it’s just their own savings. With a couple exceptions, no one is raising full game development budgets. This makes the project precarious as Kickstarters have failed because somebody on the team could no longer afford to eat through their savings working on the game, had to drop out of the project, and there were no funds to actually hire someone to replace them. It’s not to say that this dooms game Kickstarters, as obviously most of them do get completed, but it’s only because they were lucky (or at least, not unlucky) in their circumstances. The big-name game Kickstarters are in safer positions, usually, as they have company funds or deals with third parties to make use of to actually pay everyone involved.
There are also a large number of game campaigns run by people who are first-time would-be developers who are totally inexperienced and unable to complete the project, but those don’t tend to get funded. (Although I’ve seen a few that did and even managed to make their way to Steam.)

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