Author Topic: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...  (Read 23238 times)

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Offline Smokey

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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/triggertrap/triggertrap-redsnap-modular-camera-trigger/posts

"We have a final working prototype, but it cost five times more to get to this point than we had planned for, and will cost three times more to manufacture per unit than we had hoped.
The upshot of this is that we can’t afford to put Ada into production, and are refunding the remaining Kickstarter funds to our backers as a result. "

and

"We did promise that we would release our product as open source, and will do so as soon as we can - we’ll make the source code available on our Github repository in the next couple of weeks, and we’ll also make the PCB designs, schematics, and all the other things we've created along the way available as soon as we can."


What's the deal here?  I don't think their price points for something like this are unrealistic, especially in the volumes they are talking about.  I guess we'll see when they release their board files.  Another one bites the dust....
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2015, 10:17:49 am »
What's the deal here?  I don't think their price points for something like this are unrealistic, especially in the volumes they are talking about.  I guess we'll see when they release their board files.  Another one bites the dust....

They have apparently vastly underestimated the software development costs, overshooting the budget by almost 1000% and how much it would cost to have the stuff manufactured in small quantities.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2015, 10:37:17 am »
My reading of it is they were clueless about how to make something, outsourced all the development and the people they outsourced to were probably taking the piss, or at the very least failed to be honest about what the final costs would be.
If you're paying someone by the hour to develop something, it's not in their interest to point out that feature creep is a really is a bad idea.

The figures quoted here like $1m to develop a consumer product and $350 sell cost are just ridiculous.

This is a classic lesson in Kickstarter Greed - limit initial numbers, keep initial functionality sensible, start off with an off-the-shelf case, or soft tooling for an initial run, and only once these sell think about investing in moulding etc.

... or just sell cards with kittens on them : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/elanlee/exploding-kittens?ref=nav_search

« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 03:22:46 pm by mikeselectricstuff »
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Offline Seekonk

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2015, 02:47:28 pm »
These things always look like a done deal and they just need some money for a pretty box and buy parts for a production run.   Strange things happen to people when they have OPM (other peoples money) and they get a sense of entitlement.  This looks like something the Chinese could develop for a quarter of that and sell for $19.95.  Often think of the movie The Producers when they say we can make even more money by failing.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2015, 03:25:08 pm »
Also the use of their word "agency " when referring to hardware & software subcontractors suggests to me they weren't even dealing direct with their subcontract developers, which is a recipie for disaster, both financial and logistical.
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Offline tom66

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2015, 04:15:32 pm »
The design for the Triggertrap does look ridiculously simple; how on earth would it cost $350 to make?  :-//
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2015, 05:56:24 pm »
This is why I learned mechanical and electrical engineering, CNC machining, casting, PCB layout, validation testing, software design and programming, and more. While I am not amazing in any of those disciplines, I know them well enough to be realistic and run a team effectively.

Kickstarter in full of ambition without any experience or skills to back it up.
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2015, 06:25:02 am »
On another forum, there was a discussion of millennials, and how they are way overconfident and way underexperienced.  I've seen that in my own line of work... 20-something people who have spent a year or two working somewhere and believe they are experts at developing products and running businesses.

Seems like these project creators are cut from that same cloth.  They just have no experience and weren't smart enough to hire someone with experience.  Kickstarter offers a perfectly wonderful repercussion-free way to let other people take the risk and walk away scot free without any liability if things go south. 

Their project is not complicated.  Talking about tens of thousands of pounds for mold costs?  Ridiculous!  Totally unnecessary.  And they say "we have experience making electronics in China".  Apparently not.  Their "experience" is merely having someone else handle making stuff in China.

It's upsetting that KS lets this kind of shit go on.  And it's really telling that they asked for 50k originally and got 300k, and still couldn't make it happen.  Obviously, their 50k number was totally bogus.  And since they never made it to production, they must have known they were in quite deep as soon as they surpassed the 50k mark and were nowhere near completion of R&D, let alone manufacturing.  Why not have a reality check at that point and get commitments on remaining costs and do a quick analysis of viability?  Because no reason to - it ain't their money!

Just another reason that crowdfunding needs to be regulated.  It's the wild west, and 20-something buffoons with orders of magnitude more confidence than experience are behaving cavalierly with other people's hard earned money.  Reprehensible.
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Online BradC

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2015, 06:29:03 am »
Just another reason that crowdfunding needs to be regulated.  It's the wild west, and 20-something buffoons with orders of magnitude more confidence than experience are behaving cavalierly with other people's hard earned money.  Reprehensible.

Yet another example of "I made a bad decision based on bad information and lost money on it. Please Mr Government write some new laws to protect me from myself".  Suckerbait will always find new suckers.
 

Offline BlueBill

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2015, 06:39:43 am »
They should open source and publish whatever they've done to this point.
 

Offline all_repair

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2015, 06:50:05 am »
If you examine the breakdown, you shall see that they bill for everything including their time doing the kickstarter promotion, etc etc etc.  They shall have great career joining the banks.
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2015, 07:05:13 am »
If you get $300k for free...why bother making a product?
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Offline poorchava

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2015, 07:15:24 am »
I'm baffle dby the fact that they couldn't make it with the sum they have gathered. It doesn't seem like a particularily complex device, if there was 20+ people working there, I wonder what was the remaining 15 doing. One person for electronic hardware, one for mechanical engineering, one for software + 2 to manage finances, order stuff, talk to suppliers and so on. PCB + circuit design looks like something that one person would need 1-2weeks to design (at least that's what I would estimate to my client for a board of that complexity). Dunno how about software development, but seems like a one-man job for maybe 3 months max if they knew their shit.

One thing in such projects that is really expensive is making the mold, which can get really expensive. It is less so when the engineer designing it knows their stuff, but still costs upwards of 10k€ for a simple 2-part mold for something of apple size. I somehow can't see a price per piece of the enclosure higher than maybe 5€/piece @1k pcs/run for entire enclosure, perhaps more in the vicinity of 3€...

Someone did something really stupid here...
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Online coppice

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2015, 07:35:03 am »
Just another reason that crowdfunding needs to be regulated.  It's the wild west, and 20-something buffoons with orders of magnitude more confidence than experience are behaving cavalierly with other people's hard earned money.  Reprehensible.
Who could regulate and ONLY kill off dumb things? You would end up with all the genuine innovation of crowdfunded things being stifled along with the garbage.
 

Offline WBB

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2015, 08:13:16 am »
It's not like inexperienced 20 somethings could get man to the moon or anything like that...

Base decisions on the merits of the individual projects not on whether or not the people involved are grey headed.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2015, 09:14:37 am »
if there was 20+ people working there, I wonder what was the remaining 15 doing. One person for electronic hardware, one for mechanical engineering, one for software +
As far as I can see they had no in-house developers, as they talk about software and electronics "agencies". Fail.
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Offline tom66

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2015, 09:15:53 am »
 I don't think the government needs to be involved. But I think the platforms should bear some responsibility for fully vetting the creators of projects. And perhaps they should offer a form of "crowd funding insurance", which means they then have a financial interest in the project success - perhaps for some high risk projects they could release funds as certain goals are reached... first prototype demonstrated to KS/IGG, etc.

The Dragonfly futurfon is going to be fun to watch when that collapses. Trouble is, most people aren't engineers and can't see that something is impossible or poorly budgeted for.

I think it'll only take a few more bad projects before people lose confidence in the platform... Just wonder which one it'll be...
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2015, 01:12:26 pm »

I think it'll only take a few more bad projects before people lose confidence in the platform... Just wonder which one it'll be...
indiegogo are way more in the firing line for allowing blatent scams & incompetent projects than Kickstarter.
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Online EEVblog

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2015, 01:22:49 pm »
I don't think the government needs to be involved. But I think the platforms should bear some responsibility for fully vetting the creators of projects.

Never going to happen.
The whole idea of KickStarter is exactly as the name suggests, to kick start new businesses.
If you limit it to people who already know how to do this and have a track record of success, then you wipe out 95% of kickstarter projects and essentially the entire concept along with it.
 

Offline tom66

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2015, 02:03:48 pm »
Never going to happen.
The whole idea of KickStarter is exactly as the name suggests, to kick start new businesses.
If you limit it to people who already know how to do this and have a track record of success, then you wipe out 95% of kickstarter projects and essentially the entire concept along with it.

I didn't say the creators have to have created projects before. But, let's take an analogy. I could go to a bank and ask for a loan to make Tom66's Awesome Widget. But, I have no prior experience in creating such a widget before, so the bank might ask for references or a proof of concept, before loaning me money. Same idea for crowdfunding.

Right now, you can go to IndieGoGo with some CGI renderings and walk away with several hundred thousand dollars (that's Dragonfly futurfon, Bleen 3D, etc...)

Kickstarter at least wants a basic proof of concept such as a hardware model, but you can make that on a 3D printer. They don't require a proof of practicality or reasonable BOM costs.

It's also very hard to find much info on some of these crowdfunding campaigns. Most Google searches are full of news orgs fluffing up the latest impossible project. The last I saw much criticism was an EEVBlog search for mu optics... but that was several months after the crowdfunding had actually finished.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 02:06:36 pm by tom66 »
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2015, 02:33:21 pm »
The problem is that as soon as KS etc. say they will look harder at this stuff, they open themselves up to possible action for not spotting things people think they should have, so they just put their fingers in their ears and say "la la la I'm not listening"

I suppose one possibility is for them to cap amounts for first-time users, but then that cuts into their profits, so probably unlikely to happen.
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Online Howardlong

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2015, 03:01:49 pm »
If you get $300k for free...why bother making a product?

Regrettably, for some time now many of these KS campaigns do seem to be attracting the scammers. The proof of the pudding in this case will be if they refund and release source code - and what state that code will be in.

I am somewhat confused that they couldn't at least make an effort at a production run with the money they allegedly still have.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2015, 04:34:28 pm »
Just another reason that crowdfunding needs to be regulated.  It's the wild west, and 20-something buffoons with orders of magnitude more confidence than experience are behaving cavalierly with other people's hard earned money.  Reprehensible.

Yet another example of "I made a bad decision based on bad information and lost money on it. Please Mr Government write some new laws to protect me from myself".  Suckerbait will always find new suckers.

What makes you think I lost money on this project?  I didn't.  It's just the same old story... a bunch of people invest and then the creators blow all the money and walk away without feeling any pain other than having to say "sorry".   The simple fact is that the backers don't have the tools to appropriately evaluate these projects, and the venue (the only people empowered to provide those tools) have no incentive to do so because it would expose them to liability and cut into their profit.  You're correct about one thing - bad information was given.  But there is virtually no risk in giving bad information, and backers have no way to correctly identify bad information.  That's why every other investment vehicle is regulated. 

If people have the tools and fail to use them, then it's on them.  But they don't have the tools - that is the problem.

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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2015, 04:38:16 pm »
Just another reason that crowdfunding needs to be regulated.  It's the wild west, and 20-something buffoons with orders of magnitude more confidence than experience are behaving cavalierly with other people's hard earned money.  Reprehensible.
Who could regulate and ONLY kill off dumb things? You would end up with all the genuine innovation of crowdfunded things being stifled along with the garbage.

Well, we can prove that the above statement is false.

Traditional investment is heavily regulated, and was it killed off in the process?  No, investment is alive and well... stocks, bonds, private equity, selling debt and more.  Crowdfunding venues are a great addition to existing investment vehicles, but there is really no reason to replace what we have or supplant it with something new, when it was working fine.  The good ideas never had a problem getting investment, it was mostly just the shit that did.  And now we see all the shit turning up on KS, IGG and others.
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2015, 05:13:28 pm »
It's not like inexperienced 20 somethings could get man to the moon or anything like that...

Base decisions on the merits of the individual projects not on whether or not the people involved are grey headed.

I agree - it's not like inexperienced 20-somethings got a man to the moon.  The Apollo program is a very interesting piece of history - you should read up on it, as it perfectly illustrates my point.  NASA knew the Apollo program was going to be a massive undertaking, so they recruited the best man they could find - Samuel Phillips - who was the guy behind the Minuteman ICBM project, which was the only thing similar in size and scope that had been done before.  They gave him whatever he wanted, which was complete and total authority to do things his way, and that's what he did.  He and his upper management team retained full control and authority over every aspect of the Apollo program from administration to construction to training.  He also assembled a group of the most experienced and knowledgeable engineers, managers and designers to make it happen - guys like Werner Von Braun, George Mueller, etc.  The woman who did the software was director of a research department at MIT.  It really couldn't have been further from a group of inexperienced 20-somethings.

Hence the difference.  NASA got guys walking around on the moon.  Triggertrap blew $350k of other people's money before they realized the 90 grand they had left wasn't enough to manufacture and ship 2,000 units and get various injection molds made. 

That is the difference experience (and humility) makes.
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Offline Marco

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2015, 05:43:05 pm »
I don't think the government needs to be involved. But I think the platforms should bear some responsibility for fully vetting the creators of projects. And perhaps they should offer a form of "crowd funding insurance"

Mandatory insurance is the best way, it creates a single party with a claim on the project starters (which keeps them honest) and with a monetary incentive to vet them beforehand (which keeps the crowd funding site honest).
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2015, 06:38:21 pm »
Just another reason that crowdfunding needs to be regulated.

Why? Gambling, poker and stock markets still exist, It's just another way to make or lose money, depending on luck and expierience.
I'm sure some see it as placing a bet. I also think the 1,971 backers learnt something here, and aren't broke.
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Online donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2015, 06:46:07 pm »
Civilized society works on trust, so it's important trust is maintained. If people can't play nice, then government will step in.

Crowd funding is a new thing for everyone, they exist in a legal loophole between regulated investments and consumer protection laws. Outright fraud is obviously illegal, but the majority of business ventures fail, even if they are done with the best intention. The general public have no idea about viable business plans.

The problem is one of learning and perception. Eventually people will learn that crowdfunding is quite risky, and is effectively like gambling. Some good quotes from the comments:

A backer:
Quote
I must say that I'm very disappointed. I backed this project after supporting the original triggertrap and assumed that the management had learned from their previous mistakes and experience. Apparently that is not the case. My read of the terms of service does suggest that a full refund is indeed due and I will be asking Kickstarter to make a formal decision on what type of refund is appropriate in this circumstance.

From Kickstarter staff:
Quote
Kickstarter is built around minimizing that risk through all-or-nothing funding, which allows the collective voice of the people to decide which projects reach their goal. On our end, we review projects, uphold our rules (link to kickstarter.com/rules), practice careful governance, and use anti-fraud filtering. The foundation of the entire system, however, is the collective wisdom of the people who back projects.

So basically projects get the money if people vote for it, and if people are stupid, then tough. And most are stupid (or ignorant, innocent or naive if you prefer).

It seems inevitable that crowdfunding will get regulated when they have pissed enough people off, and authorities can work out to actually regulate it. In the meantime, KS could help themselves a lot by putting up a big message saying "NO REFUNDS. NO GUARANTEES. YOU RISK LOSING ALL YOUR PLEDGE. DO NOT BACK IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE THE PLEDGE". Of course they might get less backers, but it would be difficult to claim they weren't warned.

But, while there is an almost limitless supply of fools with money, KS, scammers and legitimate businesses alike will continue to gather funds from unsuspecting people who don''t know any better.

Does anyone know if the lawsuits over failed projects have ever got any money back? Or is that just throwing good money after bad?
Bob
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2015, 06:48:26 pm »
I don't think the government needs to be involved. But I think the platforms should bear some responsibility for fully vetting the creators of projects. And perhaps they should offer a form of "crowd funding insurance"

Mandatory insurance is the best way, it creates a single party with a claim on the project starters (which keeps them honest) and with a monetary incentive to vet them beforehand (which keeps the crowd funding site honest).
Can't see how that could work (other than for traditional risks like team members dying etc.)- premiums would be too high to be viable. 
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Offline AndreasF

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2015, 08:04:07 pm »
...

Crowd funding is a new thing for everyone, they exist in a legal loophole between regulated investments and consumer protection laws. Outright fraud is obviously illegal, but the majority of business ventures fail, even if they are done with the best intention. The general public have no idea about viable business plans.

The problem is one of learning and perception. Eventually people will learn that crowdfunding is quite risky, and is effectively like gambling. Some good quotes from the comments:

...

I agree 100%. Crowdfunding is the new cool thing and too many people treat it as a pre-order system. Once they got bitten, they might re-consider backing a project next time around. If not - tough luck!

my random ramblings mind-dump.net
 

Offline max_torque

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2015, 09:21:30 pm »
The bit i don't get is that if you have a genuinely commercially viable idea, why do you need crowd funding, and if it isn't commercially viable, how is it going to work just because it is crowd funded??
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2015, 09:23:56 pm »
Just another reason that crowdfunding needs to be regulated.

Why? Gambling, poker and stock markets still exist, It's just another way to make or lose money, depending on luck and expierience.
I'm sure some see it as placing a bet. I also think the 1,971 backers learnt something here, and aren't broke.

I'm sure some do see it like placing a bet.

But a much larger majority actually think they are backing a project which is at the point claimed by the creators.  Look @ Mu Optics - they claimed they were essentially done but just needed to go to production.  The Triggertrap guys also made some claims in their proposal that appear to be patently false. 

That's not gambling.  That's swindling.  Not to mention, when you walk into a casino, it's pretty clear that it's a game of chance and there are no refunds.  KS tells users that creators must either deliver or refund - but when the creator says "lol.. no", KS disclaims any responsibility. 
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Offline eas

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2015, 09:26:37 pm »
On another forum, there was a discussion of millennials, and how they are way overconfident and way underexperienced.  I've seen that in my own line of work... 20-something people who have spent a year or two working somewhere and believe they are experts at developing products and running businesses.

Some young people are cocky and overconfident. This is news? No, no, it isn't. That you think it is suggests your own experience, or your ability to learn from it is lacking.
Some older people thing that kids today are X & Y (where X & Y are unfavorable). Also not news.

While kickstarters like this seem like slow-motion trainwrecks, what's the harm, really? So, a bunch of people are out an average of, what $150 or so after refunds are paid out? Yeah, that sucks, and if it were me, I'd feel shitty about it, but, on the other hand, this is a tool for people doing high-speed photography, not exactly a cheap profession or a hobby. I doubt $150 is a very significant loss.

And lets compare kickstarter to some of the other things people spend their money on: Skying: I haven't been in quite a while, but I gather equipment still costs hundreds, lift tickets cost quite a bit, travel and lodging (if needed) add up, and there is always the risk that you'll injure yourself, that the snow will suck, or that the weather is too bad to ski.

Perhaps a better comparison would be professional sports. People spend hours watching games on TV, they buy big TVs, and pay for expensive satellite dish or cable service. Some buy logo-wear to show their devotion. Some buy season tickets, or maybe they just go to a couple of games. How much does that cost? Particularly if they get a hot dog and a beer.  They get emotionally invested, and at the end of the season, they have almost certainly suffered a bunch of disappointment, even if their team ends up triumphing.  With kickstarter you might get to see "your team" triumph too, and get what you paid for to boot; or you might be disappointed.

Contributors should go into these things with their eyes wide open: the project may be late, or fall short of promises, or not deliver at all. The funding platforms should educate people on risks, and be proactive about dealing with fraudulent projects and maniacs.

This didn't seem like fraud or mania though, just too much foolishness, and to their credit, they finally figured out for themselves that it wasn't going to work, before they ran of money AND they decided to quit, rather than doubling down and refund the remaining funds.

As for regulation, it may be called for at higher dollar amounts, particularly if the contributors are actually investors, rather than just customers/fans and the promise includes a large financial return, rather than just the product being developed.

Oh, and back to the topic of experience, or the lack of it. People learn as much from failed projects as successful ones, sometimes more. I don't have a problem with a world where people can raise modest amounts of money from a few thousand people and succeed or fail, and try again.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2015, 09:29:58 pm »
Does anyone know if the lawsuits over failed projects have ever got any money back? Or is that just throwing good money after bad?

There was at least one well publicized case for some type of gooseneck iPad stand where one of the backers sued the creator and won.  The article ended, IIRC, with the creator having gone into bankruptcy.

It may seem harsh, but that is the right outcome when you take people's money and fail to deliver.  It's like ponzi schemes... you bilk a lot of people out of a small amount of money.  The transgression upon any individual is small, but due to the quantity of victims, it's huge and winds up being a serious liability (criminal or civil).  It's shameful that these Triggertrap fools can say "yeah, we just realized we didn't have enough $$ and soaked too much of it up in salary that there wasn't enough left to manufacture.  But we ain't gonna risk our existing profit center, so you guys just lots all your $$".

In a court of law (at least in the USA, and I bet in the UK too), they would be civilly liable for refunding the full amount.  The question will be whether anyone takes them to task on it.  If their existing business is as sizeable as they say, I'd think a motivated and hungry lawyer could file suit on behalf of the aggrieved investors and work out a nice little settlement.
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Offline chicken

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2015, 09:41:16 pm »
There's more detail about how Triggertrap failed in this earlier post by their CEO - they hadn't given up yet at that point:
https://medium.com/@Haje/hardware-is-hard-getting-a-kickstarter-project-shipped-59c9596bdd7f

 

Offline Smokey

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2015, 10:33:48 pm »
The bit i don't get is that if you have a genuinely commercially viable idea, why do you need crowd funding, and if it isn't commercially viable, how is it going to work just because it is crowd funded??

I see kickstarter more as a marketing and pre-order system than anything else.  Having your project on the site gets it exposure, and essentially pre-selling units lets you build intelligent batches without a lot of overstock. 
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2015, 11:21:29 pm »
Civilized society works on trust, so it's important trust is maintained. If people can't play nice, then government will step in.
That one government that can be trusted, right. Keep it out, makes it worse.
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Offline IanB

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2015, 11:32:25 pm »
wait a minute ... if these blokes outsourced everything to the "real" people who actually designed more of it than they did ... then what have they been doing?  :palm:

There's a common way of thinking that "ideas" are much more important than execution. If you have a brilliant idea you can just pay some techno-dweebs to do all the boring work of design, prototyping, testing and manufacturing (which of course is a purely mundane detail) while you pay them as little as possible and reap all the profits of your brilliance  ::)
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2015, 06:02:32 am »
Some young people are cocky and overconfident. This is news? No, no, it isn't. That you think it is suggests your own experience, or your ability to learn from it is lacking.
Some older people thing that kids today are X & Y (where X & Y are unfavorable). Also not news.

Who said it was news?  It's not - it's simply an observation.  Your inability to separate one from the other while drawing incorrect conclusions from it suggests you suffer from the very problem I highlighted.

The forum in question is populated mostly by successful business owners ranging from 20's to 70's in age and most employ several dozen people.  Out of 100+ people discussing, I don't think there was a single one who disagreed with the premise.

Quote
While kickstarters like this seem like slow-motion trainwrecks, what's the harm, really? So, a bunch of people are out an average of, what $150 or so after refunds are paid out? Yeah, that sucks, and if it were me, I'd feel shitty about it, but, on the other hand, this is a tool for people doing high-speed photography, not exactly a cheap profession or a hobby. I doubt $150 is a very significant loss.

And lets compare kickstarter to some of the other things people spend their money on: Skying: I haven't been in quite a while, but I gather equipment still costs hundreds, lift tickets cost quite a bit, travel and lodging (if needed) add up, and there is always the risk that you'll injure yourself, that the snow will suck, or that the weather is too bad to ski.

So it's OK to be lackadaisical and careless with other people's money because, hey, they are rich people and they can afford to lose it, eh?

Quote
This didn't seem like fraud or mania though, just too much foolishness, and to their credit, they finally figured out for themselves that it wasn't going to work, before they ran of money AND they decided to quit, rather than doubling down and refund the remaining funds.

What credit are they due?  They claimed they could do it with 50k.. ended up getting 300k, and burned through 240k of it before getting a quote on manufacturing and realizing they couldn't pay for it.  It appears Triggertrap shares your ideas about the responsibility one takes on when taking hundreds of thousands from people to accomplish a task.


Quote
Oh, and back to the topic of experience, or the lack of it. People learn as much from failed projects as successful ones, sometimes more. I don't have a problem with a world where people can raise modest amounts of money from a few thousand people and succeed or fail, and try again.

Oh, well, as long as they learned something... it's all good then.  ::)
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2015, 06:06:17 am »

There's a common way of thinking that "ideas" are much more important than execution. If you have a brilliant idea you can just pay some techno-dweebs to do all the boring work of design, prototyping, testing and manufacturing (which of course is a purely mundane detail) while you pay them as little as possible and reap all the profits of your brilliance  ::)

Well said.

One of the most shocking reality checks for would-be entrepreneurs when dealing with "real" investment capital is that their idea isn't worth shit.  There are countless bitter self-titled 'entrepreneurs' out there who feel that the investment world failed them because it didn't recognize the brilliance of their idea and give them millions in VC money for a minority share in their greatness.

Meanwhile, one look at the success rate of hardware projects on KS or (especially) IGG shows what happens when those peopl DO get the $$ without the risk.  It usually goes to shit pretty quickly.
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Offline JuKu

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2015, 09:55:38 am »
One of the most shocking reality checks for would-be entrepreneurs when dealing with "real" investment capital is that their idea isn't worth shit.  There are countless bitter self-titled 'entrepreneurs' out there who feel that the investment world failed them because it didn't recognize the brilliance of their idea and give them millions in VC money for a minority share in their greatness.
There are also those ideas that are worth something. An investor wants to see xM$ in, 5xM$ out (at minimum). There are also truly worthless ideas, but there are also ideas in the 100k$ in, 250k$ out range. Worth of doing, but not with investors. Tough spot if you don't have the 100k and can't give guarantees to a bank. Crowdfunding works in this field. But...

If you limit it to people who already know how to do this and have a track record of success, then you wipe out 95% of kickstarter projects and essentially the entire concept along with it.
People who already know how to do this and have a track record of success don't need kickstart, they either already have the money or can access cheaper funds. Therefore, kickstarter projects are by definition run by people who don't have the track record. Kickstarter doesn't make it clear enough that you are making a bet, not a pre-order.
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Offline Marco

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2015, 03:52:45 pm »
Kickstarter makes it perfectly clear, legally it's a pre-order ... the rest is just fluff. If you don't fulfil it's at your own risk, you might get taken to the cleaners in a class action or by an ambitious state AG if you're American.

Really more of the fulfilment risk needs to be put on project starters through legal means, there is way too much moral hazard at the moment.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 04:09:41 pm by Marco »
 

Offline all_repair

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2015, 04:51:12 pm »
Kickstarter makes it perfectly clear, legally it's a pre-order ...
Yes.  Anything more, they have to be selling part of their equity with the fund raising.  From their billing, they were clearly misusing the fund. 
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 04:53:51 pm by all_repair »
 

Offline workwithme

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2015, 10:02:53 pm »
That's unfortunate. Hopefully the backers appreciate the honesty from the Triggertrap team. 
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2015, 11:02:18 pm »
There are also those ideas that are worth something. An investor wants to see xM$ in, 5xM$ out (at minimum). There are also truly worthless ideas, but there are also ideas in the 100k$ in, 250k$ out range. Worth of doing, but not with investors. Tough spot if you don't have the 100k and can't give guarantees to a bank. Crowdfunding works in this field. But...

I'd have to disagree on that... I don't think there are ideas that are valuable.  I don't know of anyone who ever sold an idea alone.  Even if you look at companies which have generated massive value, like Whatsapp or PayPal - great ideas, but the idea of "we will make a virtual currency" or "we'll make a low cost communication system" are worthless.  It's the implementation of the idea that is valuable. 

As far as investors, they are looking for a minimum of a 10x multiple on their investment.  Out of 10 deals, 7 will return nothing.  2 will return around what was put in.  The last one will return a lot more.  They don't want "around" 10x (like they would be OK with 7x), they really want a minimum of 10x, or it's just not worth doing.  There is no shortage of deals available, so it's really about picking the best ones with highest likelihood of success. 

The 100k deals are where angel investors come in.  They do deals below the traditional VC level but outside of more traditional financing (i.e. debt).  If the deal is solid enough, getting funding is no problem.  But for only a 2.5 ROI, it would have to be tantamount to a guaranteed return.  Look at all the deals on KS/IGG.  In the mind of the creator, they are all solid - almost a guaranteed return.  Yet most of them flounder and very few make $$.  In other words, thinking your deal is solid and a sure-thing is a lot different than it actually being so, or being able to convince an investor of that :)

People who already know how to do this and have a track record of success don't need kickstart, they either already have the money or can access cheaper funds. Therefore, kickstarter projects are by definition run by people who don't have the track record. Kickstarter doesn't make it clear enough that you are making a bet, not a pre-order.

Having a track record of success doesn't preclude using KS.  Why would a company sell equity or take on debt if they can just get money for the promise to try to deliver something?  It's the greatest deal in the world (for the creator).  Unfortunately it's a crappy deal for the backers - no control, no accreditation and no tools to properly evaluate projects.  I completely agree that KS doesn't make it clear what backers are getting into.  Reading the comments makes it clear people thought it was a much different deal than it was.  KS even lists TOS that they don't do anything to enforce. 

For backers, it's like betting on a shell game in the subway in Rome  >:D
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Offline Bassman59

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #45 on: March 09, 2015, 04:29:30 pm »
The bit i don't get is that if you have a genuinely commercially viable idea, why do you need crowd funding, and if it isn't commercially viable, how is it going to work just because it is crowd funded??

The only reasons which make sense to me are:

a) a creator (and what a silly term that is!) has a product idea which has been prototyped and debugged and is ready to go into production, but the creator lacks the funds to start the production line (not independently wealthy, don't want to/can't max out credit cards, banks won't give a loan to someone without a track record, whatever), and

b) to gauge whether an idea which has been prototyped and debugged and is ready to go into production is viable. In other words, if nobody is interested in the product idea, the creator won't spend $50K and have boxes of unwanted things lying around the garage.
 

Offline matkar

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #46 on: March 16, 2015, 01:27:01 pm »
The bit i don't get is that if you have a genuinely commercially viable idea, why do you need crowd funding, and if it isn't commercially viable, how is it going to work just because it is crowd funded??

The only reasons which make sense to me are:

a) a creator (and what a silly term that is!) has a product idea which has been prototyped and debugged and is ready to go into production, but the creator lacks the funds to start the production line (not independently wealthy, don't want to/can't max out credit cards, banks won't give a loan to someone without a track record, whatever), and

b) to gauge whether an idea which has been prototyped and debugged and is ready to go into production is viable. In other words, if nobody is interested in the product idea, the creator won't spend $50K and have boxes of unwanted things lying around the garage.
Don't forget the significance of promotion KS/IGG offer to the creator. If you create a product and even have funds to start the production, who to and how will you sell your niche product? Where will you advertise? If you are a newcomer, where are your references? Who knows you?
KS/IGG present your idea to masses and allow cummulative euforia. Therefore you stand a chance to get the initial kick.
Yes, KS/IGG campaigns make commercially unviable (in normal circumstances) ideas commercially viable. At least for a short time :)
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #47 on: March 16, 2015, 05:52:15 pm »
They should open source and publish whatever they've done to this point.

it will turn out to be based on some industrial PC104 style ARM7 $500 board :) this is what you get when you outsource product design with no clue
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Offline Smokey

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #48 on: March 16, 2015, 07:25:14 pm »
The funny thing is that in this case strapping some sensors on an Arduino would probably have been all they really need  :(
 

Offline Warhawk

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2015, 07:50:36 pm »
The funny thing is that in this case strapping some sensors on an Arduino would probably have been all they really need  :(

This is a way easier device but works very well. Some people in this thread may like it.
I made my own , however I've already sold my DSLR.  ::)

edit: Eh, I forgot to add a link:
http://www.doc-diy.net/photo/smatrig21/
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 07:03:30 am by Warhawk »
 

Offline MasterBuilder

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2015, 07:53:57 pm »
They should open source and publish whatever they've done to this point.

They have, its over here:
https://triggertrap.reamaze.com/kb/triggertrap-redsnap/ada-open-source
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2015, 07:58:09 pm »
STEP files are a bit lame. SolidWorks files are much more useful since minor changes will likely need to be made depending on how it is manufactured.
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Offline Smokey

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #52 on: March 17, 2015, 10:11:09 pm »
STEP files are a bit lame. SolidWorks files are much more useful since minor changes will likely need to be made depending on how it is manufactured.

As someone who needs to share 3D CAD files a lot, I've found STEP is pretty much the standard.  Just going STEP cuts out the whole chain of emails where people say they can't open whatever version solidworks file you have and all that other hassle.  It may not be as easy to modify, but it sure is universally useable as it is.
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #53 on: March 17, 2015, 10:16:10 pm »
STEP is a great format, don't get me wrong. It's just like getting a PDF file and you want to change the middle paragraph a little.
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Offline SL4P

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2015, 07:18:36 am »
The bit i don't get is that if you have a genuinely commercially viable idea, why do you need crowd funding, and if it isn't commercially viable, how is it going to work just because it is crowd funded??
I've faced exactly that problem...  demonstrated the first level of disclosure (and sometimes working prototypes) to 'interested' corporate parties - sometimes very substantial multi-nationals - and as soon as their legal / risk management people see it - I get a photocopied letter back that says -

"We do not accept or entertain unsolicited offers of intellectual property"

- i.e. we don't want to know what we don't know - in case we may have already been thinking about it already - but we don't know, so we can't look at what you're doing in case it overlaps what we may or may not be doing.
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2015, 12:25:31 pm »
I've faced exactly that problem...  demonstrated the first level of disclosure (and sometimes working prototypes) to 'interested' corporate parties - sometimes very substantial multi-nationals - and as soon as their legal / risk management people see it - I get a photocopied letter back that says -

"We do not accept or entertain unsolicited offers of intellectual property"

- i.e. we don't want to know what we don't know - in case we may have already been thinking about it already - but we don't know, so we can't look at what you're doing in case it overlaps what we may or may not be doing.

Well I do exactly the same thing (in my business).  I'm not interested at all in helping someone else bring an idea to market.  There are many reasons, but in a nutshell... there just isn't anything in it for me.   I have a profitable business that took me years to build up.  The person approaching has.... what?  An idea?  Ideas are worthless... executing on ideas is where the value lies (which is why so many of these dolts on KS and IGG can't get it right - because it's not easy).  It would be a stupendously bad idea for a profitable business to engage with a lone inventor when the former brings so much to the table and the latter brings nothing.  Not to mention, I don't know any businesses who don't have any idea how they are going to grow and are looking for ideas.  So not only area ideas worthless but they're not really something most companies are even looking for.
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Offline SL4P

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2015, 12:46:59 pm »
I think you missed the part where... I offer to present under an NDA etc - a working hardware prototype (or in the case of software a functional POC) for them to review as relevant/suitable to ...
buy outright
licence
take equity
... we never get to the offers, as they have no idea of the product capability!

The weirdest case I had was a multi-national auto component supplier actually went most of the way with me (almost a year of presentation, negotiation etc) and eventually they hit the same barrier!  The car manufacturers wouldn't accept their presentation unless the car co had expressed a need for such a product development beforehand!  it's just their protocol?!
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2015, 01:02:11 pm »
I think you missed the part where... I offer to present under an NDA etc - a working hardware prototype (or in the case of software a functional POC) for them to review as relevant/suitable to ...
buy outright
licence
take equity
... we never get to the offers, as they have no idea of the product capability!

The weirdest case I had was a multi-national auto component supplier actually went most of the way with me (almost a year of presentation, negotiation etc) and eventually they hit the same barrier!  The car manufacturers wouldn't accept their presentation unless the car co had expressed a need for such a product development beforehand!  it's just their protocol?!

Sorry, I wasn't commenting on your case specifically when I said ideas are worthless - I realize you took it further than just an idea.

However, in terms of prototypes and such - they are much better than mere ideas, but they are far from what most inventors (in my experience) believe they are worth.  In a licensing deal, the company gets to do all the hard work and give up some of their profit for their trouble (usually right off the top too).  But with in-house developments, they don't need to do that, so it makes licensed deals mostly worthless unless it's a solid bit of technology that is already patented *and* the patent has been tested (untested patents are mostly worthless also).

Couple of cases in point (again not speaking to your specific product or pitches).  I had an acquaintance contact me about 5 years ago with a "massive, multi-million dollar idea".  I refused to sign an NDA and after much back and forth, he eventually said he was "going to hang his ass out and trust me with his baby".  Turned out it was LED home lighting.  No shit, just LED lighting for home.  It wasn't as prevalent back then as it is today, but it was most definitely being done by tons of major players at that point.  I had another inventor whose idea was tubes containing LED's that would be used for accent lighting on cars.  And again, it had been done ad nauseum already.  Another one was special arrows for hunters containing a transmitter that would allow you to pinpoint your kill (I guess deer run for a ways before they collapse and die after being shot).  Pretty much technologically impossible, certainly for a price that would make it sellable, but he was sure it was a billion dollar idea.
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Offline JuKu

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #58 on: March 18, 2015, 01:12:57 pm »
I think you missed the part where... I offer to present under an NDA etc - a working hardware prototype (or in the case of software a functional POC) for them to review as relevant/suitable to ...
buy outright
licence
take equity
... we never get to the offers, as they have no idea of the product capability!

The weirdest case I had was a multi-national auto component supplier actually went most of the way with me (almost a year of presentation, negotiation etc) and eventually they hit the same barrier!  The car manufacturers wouldn't accept their presentation unless the car co had expressed a need for such a product development beforehand!  it's just their protocol?!
Been there, done that, on both sides of the table. No company should or would accept unknown IP with any restrictions. There is way too much legal hassle in case they already have or ever in the future want to do something even slightly similar. The only way to do this is to get a patent or even application for one filed and then present what you have without any strings attached. Or, in some limited cases do what chip manufacturers do: Show what the chip can do, detailed datasheet under NDA.

It is a very unwise business decision to sign an NDA without knowing exactly what is covered, in small details. Big companies didn't get big by doing dumb things.

I've run a consumer audio business more than 20 years and attracted more than my share of inventors and wannabes. My standard answer is "Show it to me. I f it is useful, I steal it i I can (if you have a patent, I can't), or if it makes more sense to buy it or hire you than steal it, I might do that. I won't sign anything." Nine out of ten walk away, none of the rest have ever shown anything both new and useful.
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Offline SL4P

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #59 on: March 18, 2015, 01:38:33 pm »
Sorry accepted!
The approach I most often follow is to prove it can work / be done...
and acknowledge integration by the buyer will likely involve complete reengineering to fit their supply chain, form factor and other constraints...
They may use my algorithms or not... up to them if they pay the fare.

Provisional patents allow you to open the door quite a bit at low cost for decent protection of innovation.
Cheers
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 01:41:09 pm by SL4P »
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Offline Smokey

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #60 on: March 18, 2015, 08:39:19 pm »
Note to self..  start company to make hunting arrows with transmitters in them. 
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #61 on: February 18, 2017, 12:20:11 am »
The developer of the failed Trigger Trap product was on a podcast explaining the whole saga and why it failed:
http://thisweekinphoto.com/triggertrap-saga-itl-07/

 
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Offline f4eru

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #62 on: February 19, 2017, 07:38:10 pm »
The weirdest case I had was a multi-national auto component supplier actually went most of the way with me (almost a year of presentation, negotiation etc) and eventually they hit the same barrier!
"a year of presentation, negotiation etc" is very very far from starting a series project in the automotive world.

The typical product cycle from a supplier is :
1) idea
2) concept study
3) strategy planning ( does it fit the strategy of the company)
4) patent, if applicable
5) talking with5-6 OEMS under NDA
6) having a demonstrator made
7) talking with 1-3 OEMS under NDA
8) talking with 1 OEM under NDA, relizing he doesn't need or want it
9) talking with the other two OEMS under NDA
10) having one accept, finally
11) 2 Years development of a series product
12) 1 Year validation and adapting the production line
13) first SOP

total : 6-9 Years.
Usually 99% of ideas don't make it to step 10. Cancellations happen between step 1 and 9 usually.
Your idea made quite a way.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #63 on: February 19, 2017, 07:58:28 pm »
The developer of the failed Trigger Trap product was on a podcast explaining the whole saga and why it failed:
http://thisweekinphoto.com/triggertrap-saga-itl-07/
Listening to that, it seems the fundamental problem was they had no in-house electronics people, and were relying entirely on a subcontractor who were either incompetent, or were cynically taking advantage of being given a woefully inadequate specification.

AFAICS the product was basically little more than a flexible timer with a few simple interfaces, and its own UI.
How they got to a $100 BOM and 1% of their intended battery life is beyond me.
It wasn't mentioned if they'd made good on their earlier promise to open-source everything.
 
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Online donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #64 on: February 25, 2017, 03:22:14 pm »
The developer of the failed Trigger Trap product was on a podcast explaining the whole saga and why it failed:
http://thisweekinphoto.com/triggertrap-saga-itl-07/
Listening to that, it seems the fundamental problem was they had no in-house electronics people, and were relying entirely on a subcontractor who were either incompetent, or were cynically taking advantage of being given a woefully inadequate specification.

That sounds like an unfair characterisation? The design was done by Cubik Innovations, who had already worked successfully on a previous version of Triggertrap. The picture detailed here gives a different view https://medium.com/triggertrap-playbook/how-a-half-million-dollar-kickstarter-project-can-crash-and-burn-5482d7d33ee1#.ynlshzrrv. There is only a little hint there of problems with the designers, but indicates feature creep caused redesign. This is also alluded by Cubik themselves : http://www.cubik-innovation.co.uk/trigger-trap-ada

Quote
Both Triggertrap and ourselves were thrown a few curve balls during the development of Ada, the benefits of Kickstarter meant that Triggertrap could keep in contact with their customer base directly, but this did mean a change in dynamics. Triggertrap had a set of extremely complex specifications and expectations from their customers, so the race was certainly on to smooth any bumps in the road which appeared along the route to getting The Ada into its backer’s hands.

Quote
AFAICS the product was basically little more than a flexible timer with a few simple interfaces, and its own UI.
How they got to a $100 BOM and 1% of their intended battery life is beyond me.
It wasn't mentioned if they'd made good on their earlier promise to open-source everything.

That's a good question, the design is here https://github.com/TriggerTrap/ada. It appears to be based on ATXmega128? It seems to be professionally presented. Possibly Arduino based.

I think this is an interesting case study of why things go wrong, and Triggertrap seem to be quite genuine about the failure and not hiding anything. I think the main thing is that a lot of business plans assume a fairly plain sailing - with little added for contingency, which is usually swallowed by all the tasks that were under estimated. If you get a "perfect storm" of problems - there is simply not enough contingency. Crowd funding can bring punters quickly but also leads to feature creep.

Another key thing is the "upside down" nature of mass production. If you have tooling that costs £50k, you can't start with a small run and ramp up, because the unit cost is whacked and few people are willing to pay for it. You have to hit production at day 1 with 50,000 units to get the unit cost down. That is a tough ask.

I wonder if anyone is working on an open source version.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 03:24:22 pm by donotdespisethesnake »
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #65 on: February 25, 2017, 04:32:42 pm »
Regardless of the actual detail - any company going into something like this without in-house electronics expertise, even if only to keep specs under control and realistic, is taking a colossal risk.
Considering how much they've watsed, hiring an engineer would have been small change.
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Online donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #66 on: February 26, 2017, 02:06:25 pm »
Regardless of the actual detail - any company going into something like this without in-house electronics expertise, even if only to keep specs under control and realistic, is taking a colossal risk.
Considering how much they've watsed, hiring an engineer would have been small change.

Certainly agree with that. I think a problem that an earlier project was successful, without realising the risks they were taking. This is described in his "lessons learned" summary:

Quote
Lesson 5: Get the right skills.

We thought we had all the skills we needed to deliver this project. We were incredibly wrong. As soon as the Kickstarter money hit our account, we should have hired an experienced hardware product manager.

Lesson 6: Don’t be naïve.

Towards the end of the project, we engaged an extremely experienced hardware project manager, both to discuss how things were looking, and to see if we could salvage the project.

To kick it off, I figured I’d ask him how we should have run this project. The challenge we set him: “If you have £300k to develop a consumer electronics product, how would you go about it?” He looked me straight in the eye, blinked twice, and said “I wouldn’t. Not with a budget of under £1m.”

In my experience, having in-house engineers is not necessarily an advantage, if you don't have the right management skills. It is easy for bad managers to indulge in feature creep, and the engineer usually feels obliged to accommodate, rather than say "no way, that was not in the original spec".

I did actually work for a start-up as the sole engineer (the rest marketing/management), and it was pretty hopeless. Requirements changing every day, no spec of any sort, completely ridiculous expectations of cost and timescale.
Bob
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Offline ebastler

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #67 on: February 26, 2017, 07:24:19 pm »
They are paying a hefty price for the failed Kickstarter campaign now: The Triggertrap company is going out of business. (They predate the project by several years, I understand, had up to 15 employees at their peak, and have some simple hardware + phone app products for photographers.)

https://medium.com/triggertrap-playbook/triggertrap-going-out-of-business-faq-988112eebfef#.ot5lsmhr2
 

Online donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #68 on: February 27, 2017, 03:36:32 pm »
Well, that sucks.

It seems that Triggertrap started 6 years ago with a more successful Kickstarter that time. Without knowing all the details, smart camera remotes seem like quite a niche market.
Bob
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...
« Reply #69 on: February 27, 2017, 05:20:29 pm »
In my experience, having in-house engineers is not necessarily an advantage, if you don't have the right management skills. It is easy for bad managers to indulge in feature creep, and the engineer usually feels obliged to accommodate, rather than say "no way, that was not in the original spec".

I did actually work for a start-up as the sole engineer (the rest marketing/management), and it was pretty hopeless. Requirements changing every day, no spec of any sort, completely ridiculous expectations of cost and timescale.

Having in-house engineering does not guarantee success. Not having in-house engineering is very risky as @mikeselectricstuff pointed out.

I have tried to outsource engineering that was totally out of my league, and it failed. We hired in-house engineers for totally projects and they failed as well. The primary reason is the person (former partner) had little to no understanding of challenges and could not manage the projects. That was when I decided to push the partner out and dust off my EE skills. I can design reasonably complex systems on my own but more importantly - I can manage a team based EE project now that goes well beyond my personal skills. Without the in-house understanding at a practical level - we would be doomed. I would not know what to ask for or know how long things take. I would struggle to understand the difference between a good engineer and a bad one.
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