Author Topic: Kickstarter, Triggertrap ada camera trigger.... Calls it quits...  (Read 23155 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....
 

Online 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.
 

Online 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.
 

Online 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.
 

Online 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...
 

Online 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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Offline 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 »
 

Online 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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Offline 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.

It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 

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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