Lima, a crowdfunding project that promised to create your own virtual cloud based storage system – using your own hardware, successfully raised over $1.2 million crowdfunding on Kickstarter back in 2013. The funding goal was set at $69,000 – an amount that was topped in just 12 hours. In the end over 12,000 backers signed up – most expecting their reward to be shipped at some point later in 2013.
Jump forward to 2015 and most supporters have yet to receive their Lima. Some beta backers have received early Lima’s but the crowd is starting to grumble. While it is difficult to gauge the number of frustrated supporters versus those who remain supportive and willing to wait – the project highlights a frequent issue with crowdfunding campaigns and late delivery. Most projects, especially hardware projects, deliver late. With each passing month, questions mount in the backers comments as to when the project will be completed, if a refund is possible or if the project will deliver at all. Delivery risk remains a challenge problem on most rewards based crowdfunding platforms.
Lima did have a successful trip to CES this year. The young company received recognition for its product and received several positive write ups from the tech press.
Lima has consistently provided regular updates – even if they are not the type that backers want to hear. An recent timeline update placed backer shipping for this coming April:
- Starting mid-April: gradual shipping to all backers. You will receive your Lima devices and will be able to install the Pioneer Kit.
- September 2015 (estimated): software update to switch from the Pioneer Kit to the full Lima experience.
Another pressing issue that delayed delivery highlights is product relevance risk. Technology does not wait for anyone. Improvements in existing, similar services, may diminish the demand for Lima as competing products arise or current ones improve. There is no crystal ball that can tell you if the crowdfunding project you back today will provide a needed service months or years into the future.
Crowdfunding is not a store, yet many people treat it like a trip to Amazon. As the crowdfunding industry evolves project creators should be aware that extended delays (obviously) undermine campaign credibility. While Lima seems to be on track to finally deliver – this is a lesson for all projects. Set realistic project goals and then hit them as best your can. Your backers will appreciate the transparency.
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