Indienogo: This Week’s Questionable Campaigns
More Headscratchers From Indienogo
For developers who have a truly innovative idea for a product — one that offers a viable solution to a lingering problem — crowdfunding is a true blessing. However, crowdfunding sites also leave the door open for anyone to ask for capital for a project, and there are some truly questionable ideas out there.
Here are three of this week’s Indiegogo campaigns that have us wondering why the products they’re working on are necessary and how the huge sums they’re after will be raised.
Plum: The First Completely Anonymous Network
With the overwhelming success of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, it’s no wonder that other developers want to jump on the bandwagon and create new social networks. While it’s not completely impossible for one of these new networks to truly take off, it would have to be truly great or different to do so. Unfortunately, Plum does not look like it will be the next hot site.
Plum’s big offering is total anonymity, which may be appealing to some. However, there’s a fine line between being anonymous online and opening the door for cyber stalkers. Plus, it ignores one of the biggest reasons why people use social networking sites: to stay in touch with friends and family, and to meet new people. How can you meet someone new if you’re anonymous all the time? The campaign’s $16,000 goal has so far received a tepid response. (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/plum-the-first-completely-anonymous-network)
Vectorbase: World’s First Artificially Intelligent Logo Maker
It’s been the dream for a long time: have a computer or robot handle mundane tasks that typically have to be done by humans. This concept may work for mass production in factories, and it may even work for a lot of household tasks, but we’re sceptical about replacing human designers with an AI logo maker.
Design is fundamentally human. Designers have the ability to make the abstract visual, to make the verbal artistic. Of course, design is also difficult, time consuming, and expensive. While the idea of creating an AI logo designer is interesting in theory, it may not pan out as well in practice. The limited response to the campaign’s $15,000 goal suggests that potential backers feel the same way.
Motigo: The Race Day Encouragement App
Marathons are hard. Half marathons are hard. Even 5k races are hard. As all runners know, when you’re in the middle of a race, it’s nice to have some encouragement to keep you going. Motigo is an app that aims to play pre-recorded motivational messages from friends and family when you need it most: on race day. It can play these messages in one of a few preset ways, and it works with your running playlists to mix encouragement with your music.
While Motigo may be appealing to some, we feel like the developers may be asking for too much and delivering too little. The campaign’s goal is a lofty $68,000 — huge for the creation of a single app that basically plays some audio files here and there. While there has been some positive response to the campaign, it’s barely measurable because it’s such a small percentage of the overall ask. (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/motigo-the-race-day-encouragement-app)