First, one of the Linux video bloggers I follow griped about Kickstarters today. So let me get my view of Kickstarters out.
One: Some Kickstarters are started before they should be.
I've seen a few kickstarters for projects that felt as vaporware as TWIL was worried about. Sometimes I share them and sometimes I don't, but unless updates show more promise they don't get any money from me. I think you should have proof that you are going somewhere with your project first. (A side note, OUYA already had prototype devices, so I thought it was a bad example.) This is one of the reasons I haven't done a kickstarter for Krenna.
Two: Like any sales pitch, you should who its coming from as well as what it is.
TWIL was really worried about kickstarter projects finishing. Look at kickstarters the way you would any money loan, or purchase. Do at least some light research, and consider the people behind the project. If you wouldn't trust them to provide before the concept of kickstarters, nothing about kickstarter will really change that. This is a second reason I haven't done a kickstarter for Krenna. There's nothing out there for anyone to judge whether I will do well or poorly. I need to prove I can produce to myself before I try to pitch to you all.
Three: Kickstarters are an investment risk, same as all investment risks before them.
The difference between a kickstarter, and a business loan is who your borrowing the money from, and how you pay it back. In a buisness loan you make a pitch to a bank based not only on how much money you think you need, but what you plan to do with it. This is what a kickstarter is, but now your making it to the people you hope want what you're trying to make or do. When you borrow from a bank, you pay the bank back money, when you borrow from a kickstarter, you pay the people back by finishing the product (and usually providing free stuff to the people who funded the kickstarter.)
So there are differences between kickstarters and a bank loan, but what are the differences between kickstarters and personal investors? None, a backing a kickstarter is the same as investing in a small business project pitched to you in person. Kickstarter has allowed those investments to be smaller and more frequent, but they're the exact same idea. Now some will say, "but even the higher end rewards don't offer the same kind of return or long term voice that a private investment usually offers." So, investments that have long term voice are long term investments, or HUGE investments. I haven't seen any rewards in the $10,000 range, which is where "returns" like that would start.
So, in the end kickstarters only difference between what we had before is publicity, and the ability to make more smaller investments. Oh, and one more thing...
Four: Kickstarters are public, and loud
Like anything on the internet, kickstarters will get shared with others. This is why they've done great things for projects, but this is also why people are starting to be annoyed with them. They're loud. They're on facebook, twitter, google+, reddit, and peoples blogs. Battletech's message board has already banned non catalyst game lab kickstarter links and discussions, it won't be long before other business discussion sites follow suit. Can this be annoying, you bet. Is it bad, probably not, advertisement has been with us since before the newspaper, when its tasteful its tasteful, when its annoying we get annoyed.
I think Kickstarters are here to stay, and thats fine by me.
Now, for a buisness kicking up that doesn't involve a Kickstarter (yet)... my brother's officially taking commissions for miniature painting.
Men-At-Arms (basic quality), Knight Standard, Color Guard, and Lord (Highest quality)
I'll have more info soon. He's already taken his first few commissions and started the legal stuff, we're just trying to get him a website setup. (I hope to have this done for him by end of next week.)
In the mean time, if you want to talk to him about some work. Shoot me an email or message with contact info and I'll get word to him.