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They Did What?: 

5 campaigns that were kicked off Kickstarter

Kickstarter is home to some of the most exciting technological innovations around, but not all go on to meet with success. Some flounder along the way, and some are pulled from the site altogether. This could be for a number of reasons, and it doesn’t necessarily mean the end product will be no good. So what’s been yanked in the past? Let’s take a look.

Five campaigns kicked off Kickstarter:

1. Laser-powered razor


The Skarp Laser Razor promised to usher in a new style of shaving, breaking the decades-long grip that traditional razors have had on the shaving industry. And how? With the same laser technology used by hair removal specialists the world over.

Despite the campaign raising over $4 million, Kickstarter booted it off because the makers couldn’t show a working prototype. “We encourage creators to bring early-stage and ambitious ideas to Kickstarter, as those are often the ideas that are most in need of support,” a Kickstarter spokesperson told CNBC. “But we require that from the beginning, backers are given a realistic sense of where the project stands in the development process.” It’s not all doom and gloom for Skarp – it subsequently found a home on rival site Indiegogo.

2. Anonymous router


A router designed to keep your online activity anonymous was suspended about a year ago after accusations the makers were passing off another router as its own. Anonabox claimed to be equipped with “custom-built” hardware, but as many Redditors pointed out, it looked quite a lot like a Chinese-made router that was already available. Doubts were also cast on how open source it could be, considering most of the hardware was made by another company.

3. Kobe Red beef jerky


This was the biggest scam in Kickstarter history, and it almost worked. A company calling itself Magnus Fun Inc claimed to be raising funds for a brand of beef jerky made using Kobe beef. It raised over $120,000 before the plug was pulled. Filmmakers putting together a documentary about Kickstarter raised the alarm after their suspicions were raised, and the project was canned, leaving many saying, “Where’s the beef?”

4. One-handed watch


The Periscope was a one-handed wristwatch. It was pulled from Kickstarter after raising only €5,000 because the creators couldn’t show off a prototype. “Whatever happens,” they explained in a blog post, “we do respect their decision, but are very, very sad this has to happen (and trust us, that’s an understatement) as we have welcomed quite a few backers in just six days.” You can still buy the watch from the firm’s website, however, so all is not lost.

5. Blood-sucking games controller


Yes, you read that right. The Blood Sport controller feeds into the player’s arm, and each time they’re shot in the game, it takes some of their blood. Makers Brand & Grotesque described it as an “immersive gaming” accessory. Its goal was admirable – it aimed to promote blood donating among gamers, with the firm hoping to develop a multiplayer unit that would let gamers donate blood while they played. Kickstarter banned the project at the end of last year.

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