Late last year, Kickstarter hired journalist Mark Harris to investigate what went wrong with the Zano handheld drone project. He found that Torquing Group, the company that raised $3.5 million on the crowdfunding site, didn’t intentionally deceive backers but suffered from, shall we say, unbridled enthusiasm and technical incompetence.
Zano is far from the only Kickstarter project to have delayed or underwhelming products. But sometimes the companies behind the crowdfunding efforts can rally despite setbacks. Need/Want hopes its Smart Bedding will have post-Kickstarter success, even though it had to issue refunds to about half of its backers. Smart Bedding isn’t smart in the sense of being Wi-Fi-connected, but instead is simply designed to simplify making your bed. The top sheet snaps to the duvet cover, so you don’t have to pull them up separately or wake up with half the covers on the floor. It proved a popular idea, with the campaign raising over $57,000. Then Need/Want hit a few snags.
“Long story short: everything went wrong,” co-founder and CEO Marshall Haas tells Mashable. The manufacturer took the company’s money and only delivered a third of the product. This led to delays and Need/Want seeking cash from an investor.
With a new manufacturer, Smart Bedding went from cotton to linen, which means the sheets are more expensive to make than the co-founders initially thought. The Kickstarter backers who stuck it out still got sheets for the same price, but if you buy a queen set (which comes with a fitted sheet, two pillowcases, and the snappable top sheet and duvet cover) from the website, it will now cost $349. Before the switch to linen, a 300-thread-count cotton queen-and-duvet-cover combo was going for $116. Need/Want promises the product is in stock and ready to ship.
Smart Bedding’s Kickstarter slogan was “Never make your bed again.” That’s actually good advice, according to some scientists, because airing out your sheets and mattress can help kill dust mites. Then again, others believe making your bed is linked to better productivity, so at least Smart Bedding makes that chore a little more efficient.