I was named as a creditor in the bankruptcy of one KS project I backed, and got the court notices, eventually with the 'debt' discharged.
I consider the education I got from following the status updates and comment battles with dissatisfied campaign funders a good value for my
investment in donation to the project, once it became clear that receiving (let alone creating/shipping) the physical thing (an iPad hands-free mount that could rotate over a bed) they intended to create was impossible; I believe this campaign was one that KS learned from in its evolution away from 'pre-order' framing.
In particular I came to appreciate and get a deeper understanding of:
- The disgruntled customers who pursued legal action, or chose not to, and the personality types and pressure it creates on the team.
- The management issues within the team, and the inability to fix things once past a certain point in spending.
- The "gee-this-is-harder-than-I-thought" common trope for anyone saying "I think we can do this" re making physical things, hiring Chinese manufacturing, etc.
Some of the campaign rewards I've received have been unsatisfactory, and a few are still pending years later, including a credit in a film that may or may not ever see the light of day. But so long as I stick with "never gamble more than you can afford to lose," I'm OK, and way ahead compared to investing in most startups/small businesses.
But the benefits I've gotten from this form of investment in innovative/local/emerging companies with interesting products have been immense.
I've also backed 54 unsuccessful campaigns (they didn't hit the minimum during the pledge period so never became eligible to collect; a few canceled once they could see the writing on the wall) and find that a great value: zero cost, in some cases a small risk that friend/family will pop up and push it over the line at the last second, a little credit tied up for a short time, in some cases minutes/seconds.