Matt Haughey (of Metafilter) has a good post about a bad Kickstarter experience. First off, I’m surprised this is the first one of these I’ve read. Second, I think there’s actually a really interesting question in the post around what you’re really doing when you “fund” a Kickstarter project. The project he talks about, a metal iPhone case, shipped with serious signal issues. In an email explanation the creators wrote, “This is also to remind people about what KickStarter is about. KickStarter is about investing/backing a product or idea and funding that idea. When you fund the idea there are ‘rewards’ involved for that investment. Backers are not ‘purchasing’ anything, but merely given a ‘gift/reward’ for helping fund the project. That’s the way I understand KickStarter’s crowd funding model.” I assume this is officially true for lots of legal reasons, but it’s not the way you feel when you’re on the site (or, as Haughey explains, when you see a prototype). It’s easy to forget that many of the people with projects on Kickstarter have never made objects before. It will be interesting to see this continue to play out.