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Oculus VR: Crowdsourcing Or Mass Exploitation?
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PatR987
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PatR987,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/26/2014 | 7:37:13 PM
The benefits of late adoption
I've been following this project closely for a while. I'm very big on flight sims amd I was looking forward to this coming out. I -almost- bought in to the kickstarter effort. but decided to wait for a product. Glad I did. Pretty sure Zuck & Co are going to lock this down for FB's -awful- games. Farmville in 3D...
Axulus
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Axulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/26/2014 | 8:04:55 PM
Re: The benefits of late adoption
Crowdfunding sites can't offer equity without violating U.S. securities laws.  Perhaps the laws need reforming to allow for more financing alternatives in today's world.

I think the expectation was that the Oculus Rift would remain completely open platform for independent developers to make custom games and content without having to get licensed.  The Facebook acquisition threatenes that.  However, this is the nature of crowdfunding: there are no guarantees of what will happen with the product years into the future.  The only promise is that the rewards will be provided.  $300+ backers got a developer unit, which was a very fair price for what was received.

I do like the idea of offering the seed capital back to the original donors if an acquistion like this is made.  
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/26/2014 | 9:32:02 PM
Re: The benefits of late adoption
I think it will go further and be more ambitious than that.  Could lead to Facebook's answer to Google Glass.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
3/27/2014 | 9:43:08 AM
Re: The benefits of late adoption
@Joe that's a possibility, though I'd mind wearing Google glasses a lot less than wearing those huge boxes I see for Oculus.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
3/28/2014 | 9:09:14 PM
Re: The benefits of late adoption
I wouldn't wear either, but I am interested in what Facebook will do with it. I saw a few comments on Facebook posts from Facebook employees who indicated that the company is more interested in the technology behind Oculus rather than the actual headsets.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2014 | 9:56:32 AM
Re: The benefits of late adoption
Indeed, Kristin... Reminds me of this episode of South Park.  Maybe this is exactly what Facebook has in mind!
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2014 | 9:55:11 AM
Re: The benefits of late adoption
Maybe, but then Google Glass doesn't seem to have the capability to offer VR at this point -- and VR is intended to be a fully immersive experience.

Of course, VR was big in the 1990s... and nobody really succeeded in any meaningful way with that back then.  I wonder how things will shape up w/ Oculus/FB.
jekarayan
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jekarayan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/26/2014 | 7:45:25 PM
were the kickstarter contributors exploited
You have raised a very important issue, and a very uncomfortable one:  did the kickstarter contributors get what they paid for.  Were thier contributions made in exchange for a promise to use teh funds in a certain way, or did they just buy a T shirt?
applesauce87
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applesauce87,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/26/2014 | 7:59:52 PM
Wefunder estimates that had backers bought equity, they'd get a 145x return
Wefunder posted a blog post today estimating that had backers bought $1000 in equity back in the Kickstarter days that they would (could) have experienced a 145x return. 

https://wefunder.com/post/42-what-if-oculus-crowdfunded-for-equity-145x-return
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
3/27/2014 | 9:47:09 AM
Re: Wefunder estimates that had backers bought equity, they'd get a 145x return
@applesauce87 a 145x return is quite something. But I got the impression from the Guardian's article about it that people who put money into Kickstarter projects do it more as a way of funding people whose ideas they like than as way to make money. 
Juan MarioI563
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Juan MarioI563,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/27/2014 | 9:06:32 PM
Re: Wefunder estimates that had backers bought equity, they'd get a 145x return
Really interesting Thomas, thanks!

 I think that you would be really interested in some of the most cutting-edge research that I have come across explaining crowds, open innovation, and citizen science. 

 http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=1919614

  And you may also enjoy this blog about the same too: 

https://thecrowdsociety.jux.com/


 Powerful stuff, no?
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
3/28/2014 | 9:12:11 PM
Re: Wefunder estimates that had backers bought equity, they'd get a 145x return
I'd probably harbor many of the same feelings if I contributed to the crowdfunding campaign, especially with that sort of potential return. But like many mentioned, there's really no obligation on Oculus'side to do so.
Joe Stanganelli
IW Pick
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/26/2014 | 9:30:55 PM
That's the whole point.
This happens all the time whenever the founder or creator does something that Kickstarter donors don't like.  Kickstarter donors feel a huge sense of entitlement -- and there's a major hipster vibe/clique fostered there.

What they fail to realize is that -- no matter how "indie" the project may seem -- Kickstarter donors are helping a person or persons try to get rich -- with no expectation of anything in return (outside of the tokens promised for certain levels of giving).

Oculus just happens to be a major success story.  THAT'S THE POINT OF KICKSTARTER.
Madhava verma dantuluri
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Madhava verma dantuluri,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/27/2014 | 8:51:42 AM
Yes
FB is on verge of massive expanding and taking the right steps towards growth. This would help expand the broader genere because of FB data.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2014 | 7:23:48 PM
Silly people
As has been stated by a few here already, this is just silly. If you fund one of these projects, you are simply a beloved donor, and that's as far as your relationship goes. You get rewarded with token gestures like T-shirts, or having your name up in lights somewhere, but that's it. It might be nice if there were a way to invest in these companies, but I suspect that would be legally and financially complex to say the least, even if it were made legal.

 

I wonder if people who donate money towards towards making a movie expect to get a cut of any backend royalties? 


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