The hard truth of crowdfunding is that campaigns fail all the time. Sometimes they never deliver, sometimes . Usually you get something for your money either way, even if it's a partial refund or a subpar product. But every now and then there's a fail that just completely wipes out. Take the IndieGogo campaign for the . Once a million-dollar crowdfunding darling, it's now bankrupt, and .
The PopSlate 2 was a compelling little package—an iPhone case complete with a backup battery and an e-ink screen for easy, low-battery reading. It's not a surprise that the IndieGogo campaign was able to raise $1,117,836 from 12,177 backers with perks like $99 for a case or $189 for a pair. The estimated ship date was July 2016, but the actual ship date is never as the project's most recent update .
There is no way to sugarcoat what this all means:
- popSLATE has entered into the legal process for dissolution of the company
- Your popSLATE 2 will not be fulfilled
- There is no money available for refunds
- This will be our final update
The update goes on to explain the very basic causes of the project's failure: the "housing material is not compatible with Apple OTA requirements," meaning the cases would not be able to work with iPhones as intended without a thorough and expensive reworking of the entire project. Welp!
is understandably full of unsatisfied backers. As one writes:
Ill never invest my money to indiegogo ever again. I founded two projects here, one 2015, and this one. Still waiting for the first one, and now this?! If there is some international lawsuit against this creator Im in!!!
While it is certainly unfortunate for any backers affected, this serves as yet another example of why you should be extremely careful while crowdfunding, and kiss your money goodbye with no promise of anything in exchange should you decide to give a donation. The words "donation" and "backer" are very meaningful and apt in crowdfunding—you are not an "investor" because you get no payout should the product be a wild success, and you aren't a "customer" because you won't necessarily get anything in return for what you pay if it fails.
The PopSlate crowdfunding fail is especially savage for unlucky backers because its premise isn't that ridiculous. If you back a nebulous laser razor you might deserve what is coming to you, but a e-ink phone case isn't too hard to imagine. Besides, . But the PopSlate 2 never will, and that money is never coming back. Be careful out there.