Scribble Pen shut down…again



Thanks for playing folks.  I think this is the final nail in the coffin of the Scribble Campaign.  It’s not very likely that they’ll find another crowdfunding platform that will accept them.

Though it never should have gotten this far, a lot of interesting things happened during this campaign.  Firstly, we learned that Kickstarter will step in to force creators to be more forthright with their campaigns.  Secondly, we got an excellent piece from Hackaday explaining how little was known about this team and how poorly the news media covered the project.

Finally, I found it particularly interesting how precisely information was revealed during this campaign.  First, a completely non technical concept design by Jinsun Park (in no way associated with the Scribble guys) blew up on the web and established an excited user base for a color picking pen.  Years later, Scribble formed and released a “teaser” several months before their campaign launched which allowed the team to get their name out there and start collecting email addresses.

This early press release contained just enough information to get people excited while hiding enough to prevent skeptics from riling up against it.  By time the campaign actually launched, thousands of excited backers received emails and immediately backed the project causing the team to reach their $100,000 goal in just six hours.  Furthermore, any new developments on the project were drowned out by the overly exuberant coverage from months before.  Even now, searches for “Scribble Pen” will return results singing the praises of the pen from articles dated well before any of the project’s controversy.  This makes it difficult for even an uneasy backer to get any good information:


I hope this project serves as an example to all crowdfunding enthusiasts.  Being a little skeptical can bring around real change and strengthen the legitimacy of the crowdfunding movement as a whole.  More importantly, just because The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and CNet write about a project doesn’t mean that they know anything more than you do, and seeing their logo on a campaign page is not an indicator of legitimacy.  Look for assessment from technical experts or journalists who have actually touched a prototype when deciding where to spend your money and send your support.

Or just keep reading this blog 🙂


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

  1. There’s always Indiegogo, which has proven time and again that they’re more than happy to host blatant scams.

  2. Keep up the good work! I love reading your blog almost as much as I love browsing kickstarter and laughing at the projects.

  3. Quiet Desperation

    Most web sites are like that. They reported last week about buying an XBox One next week and getting any game free. With a global network of computers no one went beyond the press release. No one called Microsft for details, not even major gaming sites.

    I had to call around today to three stores to find out (1) you have to choose the game from a list of six and (2) they are for digital downloads after you bring the console home.

    Then I called three more stores and got completely contradictory answers.

    Information Age? My ass.

  4. The reputable sites playing parrot is what made this blog a gem.
    I wonder those lazy journalists will feel guilty for what they have done.

  5. @FY Lim: “I wonder those lazy journalists will feel guilty for what they have done.”

    I doubt it – I don’t have to tell you this, but always remember – you are product.

    They got their page views for their hosted advertisements – that’s all they care about.

  6. Wow, thanks for this site. I have a morbid fascination with these scampaigns and even compiled a list of my own, but the investigations and analysis here are orders of magnitude better. I’m sure you’ve noticed there are lots of perpetual motion campaigns on KS, at any point in time? Example: I guess they’re not worth covering?

  7. Looks like they are back at it: I just got invited to be a beta tester. They’re offering the pen for free, but are charging $14.99 for shipping. I’m tempted to do it since I could just dispute the charge with my credit card company if they don’t deliver.

  8. You ought to take part in a contest for one of the highest quality
    sites online. I am going to highly recommend this blog!

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