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Overfunded Kickstarter Projects Face More, Longer Delays



With the growing popularity of Kickstarter we’ve seen a number of interesting projects dealing with technology, art, movies, and almost anything else. There’s reason to question these projects, however.

To illustrate the problems with Kickstarter projects Appsblogger writer Jeanne Pi teams with Professor Ethan Mollick who teaches statistics at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The results of their effort give us more insight into how much money successful campaigns are likely to receive over their goal, and how many projects ship on time.

We know that a lot of Kickstarter projects fail, but the new data shows us just how badly most fail. The team was only able to scrape data from 89 percent f all failed Kickstarter projects, but of those that failed, 90 percent couldn’t even reach 30 percent of their goal. Only 97 percent of the failed projects didn’t even reach 50 percent. To put it another way “when you fail, you fail big.”

But what about successful projects? Well, of those scraped, about 25 percent of successful projects only earned 3 percent more than they asked for. About 50 percent of projects exceeded their goal by just 10 percent. It turns out, however, that those projects are better for backers who want their rewards on time.

According to the research, only about 25 percent of projects ship on time, and the more a project exceeds its goal, the more delays it faces. So, projects like the Pebble and the Ouya have a good chance of facing delays if the data holds true. The delays are quite long on many projects. Only 75 percent of projects deliver their products eight months after they finish.

Some projects, however, like video games and hardware need a lot of time to complete once the funding is available. We don’t expect super-funded projects like the Double Fine Adventure Game to ship incredibly soon, as the company still needs to work on the game. Likewise, the Pebble still needs to go through manufacturing which can take some time and always has a risk of delays.

Some of the data is surprising, particularly about how badly many projects fail. Unfortunately, some of us know how long users have to wait for successful projects to deliver. I’ve waited over a year for at least one project to the point where I almost forgot the book I backed was even coming. GottaBeMobile Editor Josh Smith also had to wait at least an extra month for his Geode iPhone credit card case to ship, leaving him with only a few months to use it before the iPhone 5 launches.

It’s easy to get excited about Kickstarter projects, but maybe this data will help temper that excitement, or at least give users an idea of how long they might have to wait to receive their rewards.

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