The JOBS Act: Other Sources On The Developing Kickstarter Story

William Carleton, Contributing Editor, VCExperts

More on Kickstarter.

On my Counselor@Law blog I cautioned Kickstarter not to overreact to growing awareness of failed projects by stigmatizing failure. Then recently, in a guest post, Jonathan Sandlund asked whether the newest Kickstarter policies may be over "over-optimizing for failure."

I bring my perspective as a private securities lawyer to the subject; Jonny brings his background from finance and his views as an equity crowdfunding evangelist.

The story started with Aarti Shahani's report on KQED radio in San Francisco, which morphed into a higher profile piece for NPR nationally.

In Shahani's first report, about a month ago, a Kickstarter founder reacts as though the company had never confronted the problem of a project that fails.

Circumstantially, at least, that initial innocence was belied by two quick rounds of changes to Kickstarter's terms (the first, commented upon in my post; the second, the focus of Johnny's post).

On September 23rd, Wired ran a story about projects that have disappeared from Kickstarter, the inference being that many or most were suspended after the company received DMCA takedown notices.

As Jay Parker said in a comment here yesterday, the dialogue would be helped immensely by some data on how long it takes for successful projects - success, to date, being defined as those that meet their funding targets - to deliver on promised benefits.

How Kickstarter navigates the pressure is important outside donation-based crowdfunding, too. Both those supporting and those opposing the equity crowdfunding exemption are watching.

Photo: Stephanie Megan/Flickr.

William Carleton

Bill is a member of McNaul Ebel Nawrot & Helgren PLLC, a Seattle law firm. He blogs every day at