Indienogo: This Week’s Questionable Campaigns

The Pro Is The Con

The great thing about crowd funding is that it gives small start-ups and visionaries a chance to get their projects funded from the general public, rather than making high stakes pitches to venture capitalists. Got an idea? Put it up on a crowd funding site, and you may get the money you need to take your project from dream to reality. Everyone has a chance.

And that’s exactly the downside of crowd funding: anyone can throw up an idea and see if it sticks. And, even if a project does run a successful crowd funding campaign, it doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. Here are four of this week’s Indiegogo campaigns that have us scratching our heads.

The HIPPIE Premium Triple Function MOD Vaporizer

Our first Indienogo entry. There’s no doubt that the desire to smoke inspires a great deal of creativity — there are lots of ways to get your favourite smoke-based refreshment into your body. This campaign seeks to develop a sleek vapouriser that will work with oils, wax, and liquids.20141211181044-mod_copy

While it’s certainly a noble goal to give people an alternative to tobacco-based smoking implements, the bottom line is that this is a $30,000 campaign to develop a device that does not seem all that different from products already on the market. The minimal amount already raised is probably a good indicator that this isn’t a product that’s really desired by the general public. (


It’s always curious when a crowd funding campaign is wildly successful despite the fact that it’s for a product that already exists in several iterations. The inspiration for Boozestones is that ordinary ice cubes water down whiskey and other hard liquor, yet without ice cubes, the drink isn’t as cold as it should be. As a solution, Boozestones are soapstone-based cubes that stay cold for a long time and chill drinks without watering them down.

20141112060119-IMG_7882However, products that essentially do the same thing are already on the market and readily available from several different retailers. Still, the Boozestones’ campaign to raise $1,000 has been met 18 times over. That’s right — $18,000 to support the development of a largely unoriginal product. (

8Cups: Love Your Water

20141215063856-23_8cups_indiegogo_stillWe all know that drinking water is good for us. We all probably have at least half a dozen reusable water bottles, and we all probably forget them at home every time we go out. The concept of a smart water bottle isn’t inherently a bad one, but you have to wonder if a product like this is truly necessary, especially at a price in excess of $50 USD.

It does use some pretty advanced technology — app integration, of course, along with infrared sensors for water level, LED alerts, and more. Sure, the 8Cups can track how much water a user has drunk in a day, but with the volume measurements on a lot of water bottles these days, this may not be a job that needs digital tracking. Even though the campaign has over six weeks to go, the initial response has been lackluster. (

The Internet Archive In Your Pocket

It’s hard to tell if this project is worthwhile because the actual description is rather sparse. Having an internet archive (presumably in one’s pocket may be nice, but with a basic Google search able to retrieve just about any piece of information you’ll ever want, and with the site at least somewhat mobile friendly, it’s hard to see the purpose of a stand-alone app.

This campaign is still quite new, so it’s not clear if there’s any real support for it. However, the goal is £10,000 — a bit lofty for a single redundant app. (

Always research any products you are planning to help fund and remember to keep checking back for the latest Indienogo campaigns.

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