About the Blog

Drop-kicker investigates the technical claims made by crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and on other platforms. Despite what many backers think (or wish to believe), they are not preordering an item; they are making an investment. When a project is funded, backers have no guarantee they will receive the item they were promised, or even that they will receive anything at all. Project creators are required only to make a “good faith effort.”

We see tremendous opportunity in the crowdfunding movement, but we are all too aware of the burden it places on project backers. There are no independent ratings boards, no detailed prospectuses, just the campaign marketing and the a few people’s reputations. And often, the marketing is very, very slick.

Though we may sometimes be harsh in our assessments, we empathize with project creators – it’s hard work to see an idea through its early prototypes and into production. (Our background is in engineering and product development, so we know first hand.) Only in rare cases do we believe project creators intentionally mislead their backers, though it does happen. More often it’s over-enthusiasm, inexperience, or compromises to the marketing team that’s to blame. We simply try to ask the questions an experienced engineer or skeptical venture capitalist might.

Like everyone else, we base our judgments on the published technical information. Often that information is incomplete. We’re not out to ruin anyone’s credibility, and we openly welcome additional information and clarification from project creators. We just hope that a little level-headed skepticism (indeed, pessimism) to the crowdfunding movement will strengthen its integrity and help it flourish in the years to come.

In general, we focus our attention on technology projects, typically hardware projects, because that’s our area of expertise.

tl;dr: Crowdfunders beware. We’re going to objectively, fairly, and intelligently judge the shit out of your project.

Ethics Statement

The writers of this blog work professionally as engineers for a product development consulting firm.  We take both our jobs and this blog very seriously, and we want to remind readers that these two spheres have not and will not intersect.  Our opinions on this blog are our own and do not in any way represent the opinions of our employer. Likewise, we respect the ambitions and confidentiality of our professional clients and will never discuss them on this forum.

DropKicker in the Media

Crowdsourcing.org

Think of Drop Kicker as a kind of consumer report for crowdfunding. They specialize in technology and hardware campaigns, they say, because that is their area of expertise. It’s also an area where the non-geeks among us could use a little advice. Their tagline says it all: Providing a healthy dose of pessimism, though I find them to be fair and even-handed.

Fastcoexist.com

Their tag line is “proving a healthy dose of pessimism,” but it’s not just snarky takedowns–it’s snarky takedowns chalk full of technical analysis, similar in content (if not in tone) to the engineering perspective the pair might offer in their day jobs as an electrical engineer and software engineer…

Atlas Wearables

Thank you for calling us out. Blogs like yours help us to improve.

Zendure Batteries

We understand that we are an early start-up and we are questioned a lot. Thank you for making our project better.

Hydrobee

Your DropKicker review was fair … and yes, there is a lot more work to do to make this a commercial product!  And yes, I have not done it before, so I got smart.

 The Dash headphones

Just saw your teardown of The Dash. I’m impressed with the analysis.

{ 8 comments to read ... please submit one more! }

  1. Hi,

    I really like this idea.
    Would you be interested in being interviewed by Skype for The Pod Delusion podcast about it?

    It’s not live interview – there would be an edit to tidy things up.

    And I can provide a list of questions up front so there would be no surprises. In fact you could suggest questions you’d like me to ask!

    Cheers
    Kash.

  2. Is it too much to ask you to extend your reach beyond crowd funding? Deception is everywhere , so many feet need holding to fire. Thanks for what you are doing , it is of real value I think. Leslie

  3. What a lovely blog, thank you!

  4. Nice. Really like the concept here. I love the way that this intends to bring more clarity to the crowdfunding space and hold those accountable and let a few bad eggs spoil it for the rest of those that his benefits.

    Cheers!

  5. God, I wish I could know you guys earlier! I was even thinking off creating a same website as yours to unveil those things!

    I highly suspect the “Legion Meter” has sort of misleading and scam. It’s clear that the concept was taken from some Chinese mature products. They basically just changed the OLED screen and the outside looking and added few stuffs in it. The spec is exactly same as one of the Chinese USB charging meter. The comparison table which they are showing is very unclear and confusion. They do not even want to talk about their so called patent. The assembly in USA is definitely fault. All the manufacturing images are from China. The biggest scam is that they try to make everyone believes their Legion Meter is going to boost their charging speed anyhow. Check the comments section, the team rarely (or I would say never) clarifies their technology by directly answering the backers question but split around with uncleared words.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/plxdevices/legion-meter-charge-your-smartphone-92-faster

    Take a deep look into this project. You will find many suspectable spots. No matter how successful are they right now. The backers have the rights to know the truth!

    Here is the link for Chinese product, the price is only about less than $7~8 !
    http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.0.0.YVbIMR&id=38790485811

  6. Hi guys

    Been a fan since 2013. Noticed there hasn’t been much activity/reviews in 2015. Just curious as to why?
    Hope you guys will continue tol bless our crowdfunding community with your knowledge and reviews!

    • Hi Bill,

      Thanks for the kind words. We’ve been pretty busy with other projects recently, and to be honest, it seems like we’ve reached “peak scam” where there are enough news articles out there reporting on crowd funding fraud, so we aren’t needed quite as much as we used to be.

      Also, due to a bug in our inbox, we didn’t get any email from mid-February until last week or so, so when we get more tips on good projects to investigate, we might dig into them.

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