I love early stage businesses. It’s exciting and full of possibility. Equally it’s ridiculously hard and stressful, particularly as a founder. But the highs do occasionally counter act the lows to be worth it.
I don’t have anything against helping early stage businesses either. I think crowdfunding, especially a product, is a great way to build community and longevity.
There’s a problem
Two years ago I invested in a set of bluetooth headphones. They seemed radically innovative at the time and the company seemed savvy.
The campaign ended being one of the largest investments on KickStarter. Win! Two years later, I’m still waiting for the product to show up. Reviews are riddled with bug issues and there’s a number of pretty good competitors on the market.
Another campaign I paid an equally large amount only for the delay to be so long, the use I had for the product has now passed. I can also buy very similar products for a quarter of the price.
Small businesses shouldn’t be left to die
But they do need to understand how to better manage expectations and recognise how the time passing open the market up further for competitors to step in.
For now, I won’t be backing any more projects. At least not this way.