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Your post was thoughtful and articulate. I thought I'd check the site as though I were considering starting a project there. First I checked the Guidelines:


Part of the first Guideline says:

"A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it. A project is not open-ended. Starting a business, for example, does not qualify as a project."

If I were starting a project it seems clear that the expectation is that I deliver something.

I'm not clear if that agrees with your view or not I guess I'm not clear what the expectation of crowdsourcing is. Maybe it's just a buzzword.

Two things:

1) A project is more clearly defined as something that the creators intend an eventual completion. Or, perhaps better, a project is something that has a hard ship date. A project is not necessarily successful: that is, it may fail to make that ship date. If it fails, it may fail in such a way that it never completes. That is the worst case scenario: your money went into a black hole.

2) There's a difference between crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. Crowdsourcing is a riff off "outsourcing"; it's using "the crowd" to accomplish tasks. Crowdfunding is a specific instance of this, in which the task is "give me money".

"I guess I'm not clear what the expectation of crowdsourcing is."

And this is exactly my point. :) I don't think most people are clear -- or at least can't agree -- about their expectations for crowdsourcing, including the users of Kickstarter. The only thing that seems to be clear is that a lot of funders assume that crowdsourcing means crowd-buying. Whereas a lot of project launchers tend to think crowdsourcing means X, Y, Z, what have you. There's a disconnect between these expectations.

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