Author Topic: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)  (Read 4305 times)

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Offline b_force

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Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« on: June 05, 2017, 02:10:07 pm »
Sorry guys, but I just have to write down my frustration somewhere.

First of all, I do like new ideas, technologies and innovations. Nothing better to discover the possibilities with and open mind. Sometimes see what will come out on a playfull way and so on.

But it seems that pretty much 90% of all new projects on websites like kickstarter are barely anything better on a level like a todler playing on the beach with sand castles or are just straight out scam.
Or are some people maybe that stupid really?

Anyway, it just completely blows my mind how much junk can be found nowdays. Apperently people are even willing to pay for it! To me, as an engineer, it's embarassing and sometimes even bad, makes me angry. Especially for non-technical people who get a false sense of what is possible and what not.

I mean how many different variations can be found and are being developed on the concept 'raspberry pi' and 'arduino'? I see a new programming platforms popping out almost every day! One even more bad and sad than the other.

With audio it's even worse. Claims are being made that simply are straight out lies. The products are very badly engineered (from an acoustics point of view). It just looks fancy.

In what kind of world do we live in?
Where every brainless person, with some kind of 'degree' (major sales points) but without any kind of sense of a product is even viable.
Just post a random idea, make some fancy graphs and a fancy video and people just automagically donate.
Things like safety, reliability are of course less important. Of cource also every idea can just mass produced without any effort right?

Apperently standards are getting very low......
People used to share a new idea, see what others would think of it. Nowadays they just simply dump it on kickstarter and ask some bucks for it.

We can better change the topic titles. Instead of "list of dogy kickstarter projects", make a list with "actually viable ideas". Smaller and easier list to make.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 02:12:00 pm by b_force »
"If you can't explain it simply (or at all), you don't understand it well enough." A. Einstein

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Offline abraxa

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2017, 02:59:24 pm »
While I agree with your general sentiment, I just want to comment on one aspect of it:
Quote
Or are some people maybe that stupid really?

Yes. But also in the other direction. During the time it takes for the kickstarter for a truly good idea for a commercially viable product to even be funded, Chinese companies have cloned the idea and flood the market with their product - before the original inventor could even collect the money from the kickstarter crowd. If I had a really good idea, kickstarter is the last place I'd turn to. I'd immediately give competitors a deep insight into what I'm about to finish developing, essentially killing any time-to-market advantage I originally had. Not a smart move.

Example: https://petapixel.com/2016/10/21/popular-selfie-stick-kickstarter-copied-undercut-china-record-time/
 
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Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 03:02:48 pm »
I hear you.

But this is hardly new.
Scamming gullible people is as old as humanity itself.

There is another, very popular thread on this forum titled "Snake oil salesmen" or something to the effect.

Caveat Emptor.

 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2017, 03:08:42 pm »
People like buying junk, as long as it's pretty, makes lot's of claims, costs plenty and they can show it off to there acquaintances on social media. Sort of selfie ish.......
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2017, 03:17:05 pm »
 why I do think some people believe Dave has a flux capacitor in has lab.  :-DD
what makes time travel possible. on youtube that is!  ;D
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Offline b_force

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2017, 04:31:51 pm »
I wasn't talking about scamming directly, that's indeed another big issues.
More just about 'I have a fun very rough idea, don't know if it's viable, but just start a funding project'.

The comments on that Chinese copy cat story are cute. Even if you have a patent, it doesn't garantuee protection. It simply means you have to spend a lot of time, energy and money to sue people.
The best of luck if these people are overseas/Chinese.
"If you can't explain it simply (or at all), you don't understand it well enough." A. Einstein

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Offline Kjelt

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2017, 05:28:25 pm »
My two cents, if I look around in my country at the next generation and parenting I get pretty disillusioned.
The child makes a drawing that looks terrible and the parents applaud, great job! They could have done much better with more time and focus but why should they their parents applaud everything they do even crap. The children play soccer and the parents cheer as if a new superstar has been born and so on. I do like positive reinforcement but these days it is getting rediculous with the result that a lot of teens think they are the next genius.
They think of some idea that might work if you have ten experienced engineers in mechanics, electronics and software and a million dollar to build 10k pieces. They call themselves CEO while having zero experience on any of those important areas, a friend helps him with a nice video and webpage, he is made marketing director with a salary and off to kickstart. One year later the funds are gone, the idea is now some better drawing if what it should have been, no line of code has been written, no prototype pcb tested all because they had no clue what it takes or where to begin. That is what I see besides impossible ideas.
 

Offline earl colby pottinger

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2017, 02:12:34 pm »
Worse, as a computer tech who has made his own designs to solve problems so that I know the limits of what tech can do I get asked to help design/build people crazy ideas all the time.

But when I point out the faults with their ideas and how they need to be improved (usually costing much more money) I get told that I don't know what I am talking about and they will find someone who will understand their genius.

Worse, sometimes the idea is just impossible or super expensive with present day tech, and when you tell them that it is like you are trying to kill their baby the way they act.

The thing that gets me is that I have a ton of ideas of my own for things to work on, but these people think I should drop my dreams and want to work on their half-ass half-design ideas.

Ha!
 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2017, 08:28:40 pm »
I pulled this from another thread: https://bestcompany.com/crowd-funding/company/indiegogo/  >:D Read the consumer reviews!
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Online blueskull

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2017, 10:44:32 pm »
Put it simple, you're just jealous to these people, who seems to be stupid in engineering, but brilliant in marketing.
I too hate them, as a hard core engineer, but I don't think they serve no purpose to our society.
After all, people pay money to get euphoria, some buy sensible tools to enhance their workflow and life quality, some buy simple and impractical toys.

Frankly speaking, to a non-EE's perspective, what's the sense of maker movement?
Can a personal DIY project compete German quality? Can it compete Chinese price? Can it compete anything? No.
It's just a matter of spending money and time to get sense of "whoa! it works!".

As for Chinese clone of ideas, that's legal in China. Chinese patent law only protects 3 cases:
a. Invention patent, which has heavy research and details of implementation, it takes years to approve and is usually protecting high value research outcomes. Typical use cases are DNA sequences, chemical synthesis routes, IC designs.
b. Utility patent, which protects a simple idea to solve a particular problem, usually engineering related. Typical use cases are circuit designs, system architectures, mathematical algorithms, mechanical mechanisms.
c. Appearance patent, which protects artwork design of a product, used as a complement of trademarks and logo copyrights.

Chinese patent law doesn't protect just an idea with no further implementation backing it.
Also, Chinese IP laws are not foreigner friendly. A foreign entity, in order to practice IP rights in China, must have a legal representative or a subsidiary in China or be physically in China.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2017, 12:11:28 am by blueskull »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2017, 12:09:04 am »
But it seems that pretty much 90% of all new projects on websites like kickstarter are barely anything better on a level like a todler playing on the beach with sand castles or are just straight out scam.
Or are some people maybe that stupid really?

Most people who run these campaigns are completely clueless about what it takes to manufacture something, and/or practical product engineering. They think they if they get the money then they just throw it at some Chinese company and a product magically comes out the other end as a rainbow coloured unicorn looking and working exactly like their renders and fantasy idea.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2017, 12:11:44 am »
The comments on that Chinese copy cat story are cute. Even if you have a patent, it doesn't garantuee protection. It simply means you have to spend a lot of time, energy and money to sue people.

A patent is nothing more than the right to attempt to sue someone if they copy your idea. It doesn't "protect" you in any way.
 

Offline earl colby pottinger

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2017, 09:28:23 pm »
Frankly speaking, to a non-EE's perspective, what's the sense of maker movement?
Can a personal DIY project compete German quality? Can it compete Chinese price? Can it compete anything? No.
It's just a matter of spending money and time to get sense of "whoa! it works!".

In-fact the answer is YES!

I have seen a number of maker projects that in design and finish are as good as anything you can buy from a manufacturer.

Second for many people including myself we make items that are IMPOSSIBLE to buy because no-one makes it or if available it is sold a a price that we can not afford.

If I can afford to buy or can not buy it then that outside stuff is just junk to me.


 

Online blueskull

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2017, 09:42:54 pm »
I have seen a number of maker projects that in design and finish are as good as anything you can buy from a manufacturer.
Second for many people including myself we make items that are IMPOSSIBLE to buy because no-one makes it or if available it is sold a a price that we can not afford.

Me too. Despite there are quite some great DIY projects, the point is most DIY projects you see online are nothing more than controlling a relay with Arduino or so.
To the mass, the majority of DIY projects are pointless, and I really don't think any of my friends are interested in my DIY gadgets, even though some of them are also pro EEs.
I'm not saying DIY doesn't have a real world purpose, but I sincerely don't think DIY projects of most people can attract eyeballs either.
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2017, 08:56:40 am »
"With audio it's even worse. Claims are being made that simply are straight out lies. "

Face it, most claims made for audio products are snake oil. Even the biggest and most respected manufacturers are at this game. At least with a respected manufacturer you probably won't be wincing at the distortion, whereas you might be with some kickstarter products.

Many of the crowdfunded projects are for small portable devices which claim to give excellent sound quality. The reality is that this is extremely hard to accomplish, except perhaps where headphones are used. It's a simple question of how much air you can push per stroke with a given diameter piston that moves a given distance. Anyone who claims to be providing deep bass and adequate loudness for normal listening from a 1" speaker, is basically claiming something which violates the laws of physics.

Face it, if it could be done, laptop manufacturers would have figured it out years ago.
 

Offline CJay

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2017, 09:15:49 am »
The comments on that Chinese copy cat story are cute. Even if you have a patent, it doesn't garantuee protection. It simply means you have to spend a lot of time, energy and money to sue people.

A patent is nothing more than the right to attempt to sue someone if they copy your idea. It doesn't "protect" you in any way.

It puts off companies who are scared of litigation and those who have ethics but the companies who think Ethics is a county to the east of central London don't give a toss about that, I reckon a patent may even attract their attention and make it more likely your product gets cloned.
 

Offline b_force

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2017, 08:36:05 pm »
Put it simple, you're just jealous to these people, who seems to be stupid in engineering, but brilliant in marketing.
Jealous?
No, not at all.

For me personally it has to do with ethical views.
I find it ethically absolutely not done to sell people crap.
Especially in the case that this is deliberately done.

That's one side of the story.
There is also just the big group of ignorant people.

Btw, about ethics and patents, there are always two sides of the coin.
In my professional opinion most patents don't have anything to do with the technical side of it.
Most patents are very obvious for strategic reasons.

"If you can't explain it simply (or at all), you don't understand it well enough." A. Einstein

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Online blueskull

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2017, 09:55:52 am »
For me personally it has to do with ethical views.
I find it ethically absolutely not done to sell people crap.
Especially in the case that this is deliberately done.

Why Arduino is not crap in a non EE's eyes? What makes RPi not a piece of shit in a non EE's eyes?
Some people like to play with boards and code, while some else like stupid crappy (in our eyes) toys.
What's the value of buying $10k handbags? Why women like them?
KS bullshit is only unethical to EE's eyes (which are trained to be practical in engineering), but frankly I think that's just normal to a layman's eyes.
 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Sh*tstarters and Junkfunders (rant)
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2017, 04:27:16 pm »
For me personally it has to do with ethical views.
I find it ethically absolutely not done to sell people crap.
Especially in the case that this is deliberately done.

Why Arduino is not crap in a non EE's eyes? What makes RPi not a piece of shit in a non EE's eyes?
Some people like to play with boards and code, while some else like stupid crappy (in our eyes) toys.
What's the value of buying $10k handbags? Why women like them?
KS bullshit is only unethical to EE's eyes (which are trained to be practical in engineering), but frankly I think that's just normal to a layman's eyes.

You are comparing Apple to rotten oranges. Microcomputers and handbags may be nich markets, but they are not unethical. Unethical stuff is stuff that's an outright scam. Sure, a non-technical person may not realize a product can't work becuase of the of the laws of physics, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize they've been swindled when a product doesn't ship or doesn't work when they get it. The only exception is audiofools, they are too stupid to realize what conning even is.
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