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19 Weird Crowdfunding Campaigns That Failed Spectacularly

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Crowdfunding has been a game-changer for getting new products off the ground.

Platforms like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo have allowed aspiring entrepreneurs to get their ideas in front of millions, while generating invaluable amounts of buzz and publicity. Highly successful campaigns include products or proposals such as Ethereum, Oculus Rift, Pebble, or Star Citizen, which have combined to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital.

However, because crowdfunding is open to everyone, not every campaign brings home the bacon. In reality, some campaigns are just plain strange or border on being nonsensical in nature.

Other ideas just bomb spectacularly. Either the concept has no product-market fit, or the prototype simply doesn’t do what it is supposed to do.

Weird Crowdfunding Fails

Today’s infographic comes from SSLs, highlighting 19 crowdfunding campaigns that were not destined to change the world in any meaningful capacity.

Note: These are all reward-based crowdfunding campaigns. Along the right-hand side of the infographic, it shows the platform used, amount raised, and the fundraising goal. Down the middle, it highlights the most ridiculous reward that was offered to backers, and how many people claimed the reward.

19 Weird Crowdfunding Campaigns That Failed Spectacularly

Where did some of these projects fall short? What can we learn from them?

Some projects such as the Induratus nuclear bunker were destined for failure because they were inherently selfish. The product could have been great, but if it doesn’t benefit the backers, it’s not going to take off. Sadly, the Induratus raised just $1, and as a result the project’s creator is now left very vulnerable to nuclear attacks.

The Triton, a set of artificial gills that could allow a user to breathe underwater, had the opposite problem. While the creators behind the project got the hundreds of thousands of dollars of funding they needed, the idea turned out to be scientifically impossible. In fact, the development of similar technology has eluded the world’s top scientists and military contractors for years. The group behind the product was forced to refund backers to the tune of $900,000.

Other projects were scientifically viable, while also solving a perceived market need. However, the problem with these products were that they did not serve a large enough market to make sense. The Sauceman’s Satchel is a good example of this.

While the creator loved the idea of a “convenient, carry-able, flyable, sauce transport” for camping and travel needs, the market overwhelmingly did not. That’s why it only raised about 40% of its funding goal from 105 backers. Now, the Sauceman Satchel is only serving sauce-lovers in product pitch heaven.

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Business

11 Things Leaders Should Never Say to Teams

Here are 11 common phrases that managers should avoid saying to their teams, and what they should replace them with to get a better result.

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Being a leader comes with great responsibility.

Not only are you accountable for the success of your division or organization, but your team is also constantly reliant on you for feedback, coaching, and guiding personal development.

While juggling these priorities, it’s not always easy for a manager to know the exact right thing to say to employees on the team. To further complicate matters, we all have bad management habits that have compounded over time, and they can be difficult to shed.

Building a New Lexicon

Today’s infographic comes to us from Headway Capital, and it highlights 11 things that leaders should never say to their teams.

More importantly, it breaks down the negative implications of each instance, while also providing suggestions on how we can evolve our managerial skills to ensure that we are approaching each situation far more proactively.

11 Things Managers Should Never Say to Their Team

Life as a leader is busy, and it has many competing priorities.

However, to grow the type of company culture that pays long-term dividends, it’s worth it to try and better develop the way you give feedback to team members.

Typical Mistakes

Using the list of items in the infographic, we can generally categorize these mistakes in a few distinct categories.

1. Gut Reactions

The quick dismissal of someone’s effort (“That’s not important”) or the temptation to play the busy card (“I don’t have time to talk right now”) can send the message that an employee’s time or thoughts are not valued.

Instead, small adjustments can be made to encourage better outcomes. For example, you could make it clear that while you may be busy in the moment, that a time can be scheduled at a later date to discuss the issue in detail.

2. Business Truisms

Likewise, spouting overused, quasi-motivational business phrases (“Failure is not an option”) or using dictative language (“We’ve already tried that before”) can stifle innovation at a company.

It’s better to instead ask questions, such as “What is our backup plan if this idea doesn’t work?” or “What other options do you see?”, to expand the range of opportunities that can be pursued.

3. Generic Feedback

Finally, although phrases like “Keep doing what you’re doing” or “Nice job today” seem to be positive and engaging, they actually are ineffective from a development perspective.

Employees need specific feedback to grow, so all that has to happen here is to mention a specific task or project along with the feedback. Team members can then internalize precisely what made a project or task a success, and apply it to other areas in the workplace.

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Entrepreneurship

The 150 Apps that Power the Gig Economy

You’re likely familiar with companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Craigslist, but here are 100+ other apps that help make the gig economy possible.

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Here are 150 Apps that Power the Gig Economy

Go back in time a decade, and you’d have a tough time convincing anyone that they would be “employed” through an app on their phone.

And yet, in a short period of time, the emergence of the smartphone has enabled the gig economy to flourish into a multi-trillion dollar global market. And by leveraging apps like Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy, it’s estimated that 57 million people in the U.S. now participate in the gig economy each year in some shape or form.

What apps do these people use to turn their time, skills, hobbies, or assets (cars, home, parking spaces, etc.) into additional income streams?

App Examples

Today’s infographic comes to us from TitleMax, and it lists 150 different apps that are used within the gig economy – including many that pay gig workers directly.

Here are just some of the apps that are used in some of the major categories above:

Ridesharing
Uber and Lyft are what many think of when they hear about the gig economy. However, there are now dozens of rideshare apps out there to fill different niches – for example, Wingz offers flat-fee rides to the airport, while Curb connects riders with professional taxi drivers.

Errands
TaskRabbit, which was bought by IKEA, turns errands such as assembling furniture or cleaning a gutter into payable gigs. Meanwhile, apps like Dolly and Bellhops will connect you with movers, and LawnLove is for lawn care.

Art, Design, and Crafting
Etsy, a marketplace for handmade goods, is one the of the best known brands in this category. However, there are many other niche options here as well – for example, UncommonGoods specializes in unique gifts, while Society6 focuses on gallery quality art prints.

Writing and Editing
Lulu and Kindle Direct allow you to publish eBooks online and sell them, while proofreaders and editors can get paid for their copy editing services through Gramlee.

Delivery
Fast and efficient delivery services are a centerpiece to the gig economy, and there are no shortage of options here. DoorDash, UberEats, Caviar, and GrubHub allow users to get food delivered to their doors, while apps like Instacart focus on grocery delivery.

Multimedia
We all know that you can create videos and monetize them on places like YouTube or Twitch, but did you know you can be a voice actor through services like VoiceBunny? You can also sell rights to your photos via Foap, or do freelancing work through Upwork or Fiverr.

Whether you are tapping into the gig economy for an extra income stream or you are incorporating gig economy services into your life for added convenience, there is no shortage of options to choose from.

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