53 minutes of reading and more than 13,000 words: the inquiry on the collapse of the Zano mini-drone project by Mark Harris, independent journalist appointed by Kickstarter to shed light on the failure of the largest crowdfunding campaign in Europe, was published on Medium on January 20.
“Kickstarter wants to understand what happened in order to ascertain that it was really a failure, and not an offense”, explained Mark Harris. Conclusion: Torquing Group started producing Zano without having the capacity to do so. The company nevertheless “offered serious and well-intentioned attempts to develop, produce and deliver” the product. The video presentation of the mini-drone for the Kickstarter campaign that showed an operational product is however considered as “fallacious”.
The “fallacious” video of the Zano project presentation:
What now? Mark Harris draws conclusions from his inquiry.
– For creators: be objective and not cover up their weaknesses;
– On the contributor side: remain conscious of the risks of crowdfunding;
– For platforms: reinforce the control teams and assign mentors to funded projects.
It is in fact this last point that draws the most comments: numerous Internet users reckon that Kickstarter, the only winner of the Zano affair since the platform raked in 5% of the 3 million euros raised, should have more responsibilities.
Kickstarter sent this inquiry to the 12,000 contributors an hour before it was made public but has not yet communicated on the conclusions.