Can you imagin more than 96,000 crowdfunding and pre-order camera stabilization campaign backers have their $41 Million locked into an unhappy situation?
All successfully crowdfunded stabilizer or aerial photography drone campaigns have compelling video showing how good their products are, telling the story that they have spent more than a year doing engineering development on the product, and now just need funding for mass production. Yet how could some later delivered poor performing products or delayed shipment for over a year?
$1,125,000 47X funded SMOVE Phone Stabilizer. Campaign ended Nov 26, with next month target delivery schedule in December. With such a short gap, incredibly they fail to ship anything in December, makes people wonder if their announcing shipping December is deliberate to get Christmas shopper orders, thus 47X funded. It's a strange campaign without company name nor campaigners' name. No one appears to be responsible for later replacement, repair, or refund if defective products were received. The non-suspecting 7,500 backers are unaware of problems associated with SMOVE.
http://bit.ly/2iUHZ3S (inadvertently showed they didn't design & make this SMOVE product)
$603,341 52X funded Snoppa M1 Phone Gimbal. Campaign ended Nov 10, with next month target delivery schedule in December. Similarly with such a short gap, incredibly they failed to ship anything in December. They later revealed having problem with a key component for its end of November pilot production. No company would naively expect able to mass produce and ship to all backers within a month right after pilot production without finding problems and going through iterations fixing. Again it makes people wonder if their announcing shipping December is also deliberate to get Christmas shopper orders, thus 52X funded. The 6,900 backers are unaware of inherent problem associated this radical new low-cost $59 design.
http://bit.ly/2iiF73Z (pilot production)
http://www.proview-s3.com/blog/brushless-motor-vs-alternative (inherent problem)
$379,864 5X funded Revl Arc Stabilized Action Camera. 2 month without any Update, missed its December 2016 shipping schedule, backers getting upset. Its 1,000 backers are unaware their claim of The Most Stable Action Camera to combine both electronic and physical stabilization to eliminate shakiness completely is unfounded. All cameras including GoPro and smartphone cameras has Electronic Image Stabilization. Revl Arc having only roll motor to keep camera level is a 1-axis device. When in motion, it'll show shakiness on the other 2 axis (pan/tilt axis) where it lacked motors for stabilization, worse performance than 2-axis X-CAM stabilizer seen in above SMOVE problem link.
$487,199 9X funded REMOVU S1 GoPro Gimbal, shipping delayed over 11 month, with unhappy backers.
$456,894 5X funded SLICK GoPro Gimbal, estimate shipping delay 1 year from March 2016 to March 2017, with unhappy backers.
$152,148 2X funded Aetho Aeon GoPro Gimbal, shipping delayed over 9 month, with unhappy backers
$58,734 3X funded AutoSteady Phone Gimbal, poor quality with unhappy backers
EUR$505,621 3X funded SteadXP Software Stabilizer, shipping delayed over 9 month, with patience worn out backers
$882,478 3X funded CyPhy LVL 1 Camera Drone, shipping delayed 7 month, didn't deliver, luckily refunded backers
GBP$2,335,119 18X funded ZANO Camera Drone, shipping delayed over 22 month, with unhappy backers
$34,000,000 Lily Camera Drone funded by more than 60,000 pre-order customers, shipping delay from Dec 2015 to Early 2017, with unhappy customers (pre-order, non-crowdfunding)
https://www.facebook.com/lilyflyingcamera/ (see comments in Lily's post)
These hugely successful over-funded campaigns (totaling over $41M funding and 96,000 backers) reported by ENGADGET, TechCrunch, CNET, The Verge, Wired, PetaPixel, 4K Shooters,… etc. seemingly credible projects, all had the backers on roller coaster ride with delivery uncertainty. Why?
Crowdfunding or Pre-Order campaign videos could be made to look like real without a fully working prototype. With a partially working prototype, one cannot anticipate what technical hurdles might be ahead. Many later spent 6 month or longer getting a fully working prototype. Since finalizing molding for mechanical parts might take another 3 ~ 5 month, shipping-delayed campaigners usually yield to tremendous pressure built up without thoroughly going over product testing prior to finalizing design and prepare mass production; that's why often long delayed campaigns still ship out crappy products.
With imaging related crowdfunding pre-order products like above, not knowing real project status and what will be eventually delivered, to reduce risk one can always ask for an in front of mirror demonstration rotating the gimbal or disturbing the hovering drone to see how well it stabilizes recording video of itself, of which the video cannot be faked, to ascertain readiness of the project and its real performance.
When coming to Indiegogo crowdfunding with 3-axis ProView S3 smartphone gimbal, we were already refining on 4th iteration of CNC-milled working gimbal prototype, and during the campaign period we were refining on the 5th iteration perfecting performance. Through a total of 6 prototype iterations of testing and refinement, we are able to ship out ProView S3 and have happy customers.
Who comes to Kickstarter & Indiegogo crowdfunding?
a. Startup with some truly great product ideas needing fund to make it come true
b. Company with new product testing water to see how it's received.
c. Company with lesser performing product testing their opportunity. Taking advantage of pre-order nature of crowdfunding, providing compelling marketing video with no one ever seeing real performance of the product before, makes it possible to have a one-time hugely successful sale for some item that may be difficult to sell in normal retail channel such as Amazon due to customer reviews.
d. Marketers who do not involve in design, manufacture, or after service of the product. Their sole purpose is to make the campaign hugely successful to make a quick buck with no intention of building brand or building long term business. Indicative signs are campaigns without company name and campaigners without names.
Good to consider which type it is if backing one.
NAVIN is a small company that previously delivered miniHomer GPS product that stands out in German Wander Magazine product review competing with Garmin, Falk, and Magellan. We now move into gimbal products and provide good customer service, which can be seen from our Indiegogo campaign Update & Comment sections, customer support forum and Facebook fan page. Our ProView S3 smartphone gimbal is now available through Indiegogo InDemand. We hope our well designed gimbal can help make the most of your excellent phone camera, and enable more casual sharing of wonderful experience and memorable moments through cinematic video footage.