This morning I received a backer email from the Peachy Printer CEO which said they are bankrupt due to the embezzlement of half their Kickstarter funds ($325k) by their financial officer. He used to build a new home, leaving their company unable to complete its product.
Their website has a full text account of what happened (peachyprinter.com) and we were sent a video with a confession and some other dramatics.
I really liked this little project and was excited to see what would happen with it. They made a really cool product and I was always excited to get updates. Unfortunately it seems the CEO put too much trust in his financial advisor and let him keep funds in his personal account.
I really liked the Kickstarter model, and watching products develop, but this trend of failing and/or scamming of crowdfunding supporters has really turned me off to the concept. As it sits I have invested in a total of 34 crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter & indiegogo.
- 28 funded
- 23 received
- 18 on time
- 18 as advertised
- 6 funded
- 2 received
- 1 on time
- as advertised
The majority of the projects I received have been small single piece injection molded plastics or crafted leather. The larger more expensive projects seem to fail at a 70% rate in my funding pool.
Suffice to say that is not a good turnout. It looks bad on the community to the point there is a new company being put together to offer crowdfunding with some sort of responsibility behind it. We’ll see how that works out.
Having said all that it is nice to know that the glowforge has private backers, it was fully funded before the campaign, and there’s no sign of trouble from the team. I really hope that glowforge comes out of this as a shining example of how to properly fund and manage a product campaign, so that others in the industry will have something to go by, and the instances of failure like with the peachy printer will be greatly reduced. Your openness, honesty, and dedication to a good product has kept us around through the delays. Keep it up guys. We’re rooting for you and this awesome piece of gear