"As someone involved in the project from its beginning, he felt entitled to know everything."
As a business owner, and a fairly transparent one, that sickens me. In what world should customers feel "entitled to know everything" about a business.
Absolutely entitled to ask, to take their business elsewhere if they don't like the (lack of) answers, but entitled to know? No way.
This sounds to me like another group who confused Kickstarter with Amazon pre-ordering, or an investment fund where they became shareholders. You assessed the risks, took the risk to put some money down, and it didn't work out.
It's often said that Silicon Valley works, in part, because of its acceptance of failures. This is a witch hunt that says more about the hunters than those they are chasing. Good luck building the American Dream in a society where failing to deliver on a Kickstarter project means it's "entirely appropriate that he never work in technology, finance, consulting or the coffee fields (sorry, that kills the barista career) again.”
I don't agree with your characterization of Kickstarter. They've always been quite clear that there is a legal contract between backers and businesses that obligates the business to provide the goods and services they promised. 
The company in question broke the terms of their contract. As such, backers are legally entitled to their money back. If the company cannot pay, the company is insolvent and may need to declare bankruptcy. That's life as a business; you need to pay your debts.
 As mentioned in the article, that contract changed recently. Businesses can now be absolved from their obligations by being transparent. Basically, backers for new projects are entitled to know what happened if the project fails. https://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use#section4
You make a good point in regards to Kickstarter, and while I still feel some of the responses in the piece are naive the link you provided certainly supports some of their arguments in a way I didn't fully appreciate.
I still don't think it extends as far as the two quotes I used (the first one was the NYT paraphrasing; the second was direct).
Even in a direct customer situation, where far less "there's a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised" grey area exists than with KS backers, there's no entitlement to know everything about the company. And to suggest people who try, and risk, and fail aren't even eligible for barista work sickens me personally and would create enormous problems for society.
"In what world should customers feel "entitled to know everything" about a business"
Even you are confusing customers with backers. That's the point and the problem with KS. Even the wording in the pledge suggests it's not a matter of if, but when:
"For a $200 pledge, you’re pre-ordering one of our very first machines, a $400 retail value! It can be hard to be one of the first to brave new frontiers, but don’t worry - there’s no river-crossings or dysentery in store for you, just awesome home-brewed espresso."
I think you've missed the central theme of this article. Kickstarter backers are not customers. If they were customers, they would receive merchandise. They're something between a customer and an investor and it's interesting to explore the details around that. Maybe full disclosure in return for funding an idea that may never come to fruition is a good compromise. I think that it would certainly have satisfied most of the people who were angry in this article.
If you are "sickened" by the prospect of exploring new business models, I suggest you stay away from crowd funding and avoid reading about it, for your own health.
Thanks Jacob. It's our dream to be able to roll it out in Brisbane, but given the size of our team and how young the project is, it won't happen quite so soon :)
Much like the concierge services (ie Magic) out there, we want The Loft Club to provide simplify people's habits of dining out. The added element of a pleasant surprise - as you mentioned - is something we want to focus on too as we build out the service.
Relevant quote from the article about a game 5 months ago:
> In the semifinal, O’Sullivan found himself 4–1 down and on the brink of losing to Stuart Bingham, the ninth-ranked player in the world. “That was a match where I just thought, I’m not going to be pushed around by someone like Stuart,” O’Sullivan told me afterward. “I’m not ready to accept that role yet. I fucking hated that match.” He won, 6–5.
(Bingham being the same player who just beat him)
After this defeat it sounds like he's thinking of quitting again, but I certainly wouldn't put money on him staying away.
I talk about "After the Startup Curve" , because the emotional roller-coaster has really only just begun. Take all of the ups and downs from the early months, and then multiply them by years in business and dozens (hundreds?) of team members.
Most of the founders I work with haven't taken funding and don't have the high profile that brings on the haters, which can be advantageous in that it forces you to become a mid-Stage company doing what it needs to do: Ship Great Things.
What do I see as the biggest Mid-Stage Pitfalls?
1) Not Knowing your Business Model
Your Revenue is a formula - Value Proposition x Activity x Conversion. As businesses pivot, and as founders get distracted by all the other 'stuff' in business, their model can wander without them realising.
Always be clear about your Value Proposition - why people are buying from you, and whether there's enough margin and volume for you. Traction  is one of the best books I've read regarding activity - keep asking yourself, 'What will move the needle for me?'
2) Celebrating too Fast
Sustainable business growth, for most of us, isn't an 18 month billion-dollar acquisition. It's a constant investment, and it requires your ongoing attention even after it becomes self-sustaining.
At some point you will want to reward yourself for your achievements - energetically, take from the business rather than continuing to give to it. But make that 'Payback' too big and too fast, and things can collapse on you literally overnight. (And often over a 2-4 week period, it's that fast.) This 2 minute video touches on that 
3. Needing to be 1 Step ahead of the business
This manifests in a few ways over time. Early on, you're pitching to partners / channels / investors about what the business will be - so you're already one step ahead. But then you ship, you sell, you produce or deliver or whatever, and you become a cog in the business.
You need to pull yourself out and be the CEO, be 1 step ahead. For smaller, lower-growth businesses this can be part of your role, some time each week or month. Over about 24 staff (and less than that if you have big growth plans) it's a full-time role.
And that transition is hard, because it detaches you from the operations and the clients. As Jessica writes, you become a manager (and a leader and an entrepreneur). The business is going on a journey; so are you. And if you're not steering the ship, you'll sail right into a brick wall and find yourself seeking acquisition / funding with a giant "desperate" tattoo on your forehead.
I talked about this journey 'After the Startup Curve', a little more on this recorded webinar, if you're super interested .