In what might be a cautionary tale for those of us who like to back people on Kickstarter, reports indicate that Meyer Optik Görlitz’s bankruptcy has led to the cancellation of numerous, successfully-backed Kickstarter projects.
For those who have never used Kickstarter before, this basically means that the backers who funded these Meyer Optik Görlitz projects will never see what they backed and the company, in essence, kept their money and threw it on the pyre – or worse.
And, to add salt to the wounds of donors, those who backed the projects for the lenses will not only never receive their lenses but also no refunds are available for this kind of eventuality.
Tragic, indeed, but the number of projects that have failed because of this is drawing attention to what, from the outside, looks quite suspicious indeed.
As FStoppers reports, the amount of money raised was in the millions and the failure of Meyer Optik Görlitz’s parent company net SE in August leaves tons of backers in the lurch who funded numerous projects aimed at resurrecting classic brands.
Like many Kickstarter projects trading on nostalgia, Meyer Optik Görlitz’s moves have drawn attention to the less seemly side of the crowdfunding platform.
Back in August, PetaPixel talked about how whispers indicated that the company’s internal management was abysmal and that the company was launching new Kickstarter projects in order to fund older ones in what seems now like a crowdfunding Ponzi scheme of sorts. In that same month, the CEO of net SE, Stefan Immes, was in a serious car accident and could no longer run the company.
In addition to Meyer Optik Görlitz, net SE also attempted to resurrect such storied brands as Emil Busch A.-G. Rathenau, Oprema Jena, C.P. Goerz, Ihagee Elbaflex, and A. Schacht.
Failed projects is nothing new for Kickstarter although the relative rate of success does leave something to be desired.
If anything the Meyer Optik Görlitz situation is illustrative of the need for backers to be judicious in what they fund – or at least be comfortable with nothing ever coming of it in the end.
I have become quite leery of photography related Kickstarter projects. I have funded three, and all three were not smooth experiences.