Failed crowdfunded gadgets are forcing Kickstarter and Indiegogo to change

When the creators of Mousr, an autonomous cat toy, launched their crowdfunding campaign in 2013, they hoped it would either be a clear viral hit or an obvious failure.

“The goal was $100,000. We raised $117,000,” says Dave Cohen, one of the co-founders. “We got pretty much as middle of the road as we could.”

Still, the team took the cash and began work on their product. They anticipated shipping within a year of launch, but backers ultimately didn’t receive their cat toy until four years later, in 2018.

“I think the saddest part for us was the total span of our project development was 20, 25 percent of a cat’s lifespan, so when you have 1,000 backers, it’s going to…

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