The sad fall of a crowd funding campaign and the rise of the Sue Birds.

Inter-Generational Knowledge Transfer: The Edison Scale of success by [Andersen, Scott]I’ve taken my Edison Scale blogs, added some content not on the blogs and published all of that as a Kindle Book. I am considering publishing it as a physical book, but frankly I find the process to get a physical book on the shelves doesn’t move at cloud speed. Kindle books move at cloud speed.

Yea though I walk through the crowd funding valley I will not fear delays.

They happen, idealistic views of the universe turned into agonizing, slogging projects that slide week after week into the forgotten zone. First off delays happen. Delays are a part of technology. It is really interesting to me to see how quickly your crowd funding group turns into Sue Birds. A sue bird is a bird that appears with legal threats. Normally that at least wait until the original projected delivery date of the project.

That said, the project can avoid Sue Birds. The first thing to do is communicate and talk about delays. Yes, you get a lot of Vitriol thrown your way. But the Sue Birds (and boy oh boy do they like to flock) don’t start swooping in.

So far, the best project communication on a delayed project has been Keecker. I can’t say how engaged and interested they have kept their backers. Recently they shipped a box with a VR presentation (application) for the Keecker and the accessories bag. Before that it was a series of communications about delays and why. Before that they actually had calls with backers and offered the lesser model right away or wait for the new and improved version in 8 or so months. Frankly bar none the best at helping people understand the delays.

There are campaigns that have failed miserably. Campaigns that have missed their mark and eventually just tried to disappear. I have backed a few of those. There is a risk in backing new innovative ideas. The risk is the idea is too far from the beaten path to ever hope to succeed. The other side of that is if it succeeds you move not one, not two but four or five steps forward. Jibo, Keecker and many other projects are exciting innovations that I am looking forward to playing with and understanding. The Trident ROV (underwater robotic system) is one that I am really thinking will be a game changer.

But the path to greatness as is always the case, strewn with the bodies of those that just couldn’t quite make it. It is not the famous “Que Sera, Sera” because at some point as the body begins its final failure the Sue Birds appear.

All things that are new and innovative contain a measure of risk.

The phrase throws out as the Sue Birds circle their prey “I am going to sue you,” makes me sad. It removes the risk from the concept. With no risk you can do anything in life. Eat bacon for every meal because you are going to, when suddenly ill because of your choice, sue the farmer, the store that sold you the bacon, the meat packer and the company that made the wrapper for the bacon.

Come on people.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are dream platforms. A place where people go with dreams that they choose to share. To expose to other people. They face the risk of rejection. If their project is not funded, they are the ones that lose. The step back, hurt and angry and figure out what went wrong. They don’t, the many innovators of the crowd funding sites sue the site and the people that didn’t fund them. They pack the project in and start over, or move on to something else.

The presence of risk does not create the need for Sue Birds. It creates the need to reach out to the campaign and offer condolences, offer to help to see if there are things that can be done to move things forward.

In the time it takes you to inhale, you can say thank you. In the time it takes to inhale, you can say how can I help. The smiles you produce last forever.


Avid Crowd Funder. Anti-Sue Bird advocate