These bits of news warrant a mention but not a full post:
- A Kickstarter project has fallen $28 short of its $50,000 goal. This prompted speculation that Kickstarter might offer some flexibility in its rules. I have to point out here that that would be a terrible idea. What Kickstarter is, is a revelation mechanism. It is designed to reveal how much it would take to launch a particular project. That means that if you ask for too much, you carry significant risk. Allow people to adjust the goal on the fly when it turns out interest isn’t high, and then the ‘required funding’ will be overstated. Basically, what is good about Kickstarter is that it asks ventures to consider what they need irrespective of demand.
- News Corp starts subsidising tablets. This is hot off the heals of Felix Salmon writing that The Daily’s problem was the tablet. Now News Corp will pretty much give a tablet away with an 18 month subscription. This sounds like they are encouraging people off print. And for good reason too. It is possible to demonstrate that, say, the NYT would be better off giving subscribers an iPad each year than delivering a paper to them.
- Microsoft engineers predicted the folly of DRM a decade ago. They were well ahead of their time and spot on. Basically, they concluded that ‘one smart agent’ would unravel any DRM scheme and so going with these would just harm legitimate customers.