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The thing that is weird about this case is that one of the principals, Morgan Gustavsson, is actually the dude who invented the real laser hair removal that is used in clinics and has been involved in dermatology since.

I don't know if he was actually involved in this project or not, but that was the one thing that made me think that this maybe wasn't 100% a scam?

Anyway, the implication they make in their pitch isn't that it's an open laser, but that it is a laser confined to a fiberoptic wire which leaks into the hair when pressed against it. Gustavsson has published some papers on this a few years ago in which he refers to the concept as a TRASER.

Of course, if this really is such a revolutionary advance, why go to Kickstarter to bring it to market? Why not traditional investors. Gotta be easier to get funding for a significant manufacturing outlay, right? Just to not have to sell a piece of the company? To justify that there is a market?

I personally don't have the background to make any judgments about this and I definitely don't understand the article he published, but I just thought it didn't completely fail the smell test.




> Of course, if this really is such a revolutionary advance, why go to Kickstarter to bring it to market? Why not traditional investors.

The obvious benefit being that you don't actually have to give Kickstarter "investors" any money back.


Yeah, this shouldn't be overlooked.

Kickstarter = funding without having to give anyone a stake.


>The obvious benefit being that you don't actually have to give Kickstarter "investors" any money back.

Shouldn't that make them have strong check and balances in place to help people funding these projects?


You would think...


In an article in the Huffington post a while back, it said the Feds are now going after people who don't follow through. I also hope while they are at it, they can do something to help protect these vulnerable people giving money to support projects without proper education about what they are supporting.

Here is the article -http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/11/feds-regulate-crowd...


The Feds go after people who just walk away with the money. They do not, and should not, go after people who fail to achieve the objective -- that would defeat the point of crowdfunding.


> They do not, and should not, go after people who fail to achieve the objective -- that would defeat the point of crowdfunding.

I agree. But they can somehow force the hands of Kickstarter and its competitors to have some mechanism in place to protect consumers from contributing to such bogus projects. I looked at the Kickstarter page and it seems any creature can post and request their projects be funded. Some of the scam are poorly disguised while others are masterfully disguised such as the one for which the is thread is created.


Sure, some validation is important, and Kickstarter has their own incentive to ensure some baseline quality independent of regulation. Fraudsters should be prosecuted, but I hope that people aren't discouraged from launching Kickstarter initiatives because they're afraid of genuine product execution risk turning into personal criminal or civil liability.


> The obvious benefit being that you don't actually have to give Kickstarter "investors" any money back.

This is pretty interesting, so what's stopping new startups to make apps and publish on kickstarter to avoid paying the investors back later? Also, why do these "investors", more like donors, so willing to throw their money at the screen?


> so what's stopping new startups to make apps and publish on kickstarter to avoid paying the investors back later?

Absolutely nothing, plenty of niche games are funded through Kickstarter.

> why do these "investors", more like donors, so willing to throw their money at the screen?

Because someone is promising to try to build a thing they want, that no professional investor is willing to fund.


If Mr. Gustavsson is involved I wonder why there's no mention of the regulations they need to pass before they can sell units in the US. I did a quick search [1] and found a few of the systems he has been involved in and they are all FDA Class II devices which is a long, involved process. They'll need data showing substantial equivalence to a predicate, unless they've come up with a way to get around the FDA. At a minimum they'll have to register as a laser product with CDRH before they can ship anything. [2]

[1] http://pathsurveyor.com/510k/K013366 [2] http://www.fda.gov/radiation-emittingproducts/electronicprod...


Perhaps that is why they are going through Kickstarter... to get at the "dumb money" -- meaning that they want investment from people who arent going to ask about imperial entanglements regarding class II devices...

They want to get the thing made and out the door before scrutiny from FDA types would cost them more money than the actual product dev.


Still makes no sense. The heat/power requirements to burn off hair are ridiculous and dangerous to use. Look at those overpowered laser pointers that can barely pop a balloon. These devices can blind a person easily. Hair is much, much tougher and would require magnitudes more power.

>Morgan Gustavsson

Dunno, but people cash out all the time. Race car drivers endorsing crappy mass produced cars, etc. I'm especially critical of anyone nearing or at retirement age. There's a "give no fucks, give me easy money" attitude that kicks in around then, as well as worrying about taking care of those you love after you pass. Not to mention, these people being way past their prime and perhaps trying to chase old glories via questionable methods.

>why go to Kickstarter to bring it to market?

Lets assume the tech isn't all snake-oil. Maybe investors know things that Joe Blow Internet Geek doesn't. Concerns about safety, power usage, lawsuits, regulations, etc. This seems like a nice way to side-step informed investing and push all the high risk liabilities onto random schmucks.

Or its a "semi-scam." I watched the video of the prototype and its clear that its just cutting using a hot wire, which seems to be heated up via some kind of light source, perhaps a laser. Sure its a "laser" cut, but not exactly what people are expecting.


Your experience with people nearing retirement is exactly the opposite of mine.

I don't find them all to be money-grubbing hucksters -- but rather more concerned about doing what's right. I think a lot of people at that age are looking at their legacy (kids, business, etc.) and want to have a positive impact. My mom is such an example: quitting her private industry work to spend her last working decade at a non-profit.

And working in the start-up world, I know a lot of people my age and younger that are willing to bend ethical rules too far to make a quick buck.


Well, I imagine a "celebrity" retirement is a little different than a regular retirement. These people know their name carries a certain amount of social capital that can be turned into real money. That means a larger estate to leave their kids, bigger trust funds, a yacht, whatever. It must be very tempting, especially considering a lot of these characters are probably being hit up by various groups asking for their paid endorsement all the time. Now that they're in a non-serious part of their career and end of life issues have appeared, its common for them to sign off on things they normally wouldn't have.


Considering how many celebrities have disastrous finances it could be more about not running out of money before dying than having anything left over.


It could be like the Lumea from Philips where light energy is absorbed by the hair causing it to fall out. Note, the Lumea does not work on blonde hair, its working principle is based on absorption of energy by the pigment that also colors hair (like a black shirt getting hot in the sun).


A successful Kickstarter campaign raises your negotiation position significantly with investors. Not only have you proved market demand, but you also have a good BATNA - if they don't give you money, you can take it to market off the Kickstarter funding, and they're the one that loses out.


I knew this was a scam the instant I saw it. Kickstarter needs to have something like a $1 buy to comment without pledging or simply allow those of us with sufficient Kickstarter "karma" (however that is measured) to comment for free.

The fact that they didn't have a video of someone actually shaving was icing on the cake. The video "demo" that's on youtube is such bullshit I wonder what they thought they'd accomplish by posting it. Show me someone putting laser to face, someone with warts, pimples and less-than-smooth complexion. Then, maybe then, we can talk.


They already have that feature: You can select "No thanks" on the rewards screen and pledge a $1 to comment.


Ah, thanks, didn't know that!


Or he's involved simply because he lends so much credibility to an otherwise obvious scam.




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