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Gear & Apps

Triggertrap Ada Joins Ranks of Once Promising, But Now Failed, Kickstarter Projects

By Anthony Thurston on March 13th 2015

Kickstarter is a beautiful thing. It allows inventors and people with ideas to be connected to consumers/investors who may be interested in their ideas. But just as with any investment opportunity, and don’t kid yourself – that is exactly what Kickstarter is – the risk for projects failing is higher than success. The Triggertrap Ada is one such story.

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As far as photography-related Kickstarter projects are concerned, the Triggertrap Ada was once thought as one of the most successful projects on the popular website. After starting their project with a goal of $50,000, 2,000 backers later, the company was able to say it collected close to $290,000.

All seemed well, and then the company missed the deadline for delivery of the Ada in May of 2014. Still, it seemed as if work was continuing and despite the original schedule being missed, things seemed to be on the right track. That was until recently, when the company posted a new update to their page announcing that the project would not be moving forward.

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According to the company, they have a working prototype, but the process of getting to that point have cost them about 5x as much as they had planned for, leaving no money left for the manufacturing process, and thus, not enough money to take the project further. If there is any consolation to the backers of the project, it is that the company has enough remaining funds to refund 20% of what each backer invested. A pittance, I know – but it is something at least.

[REWIND: Triggertrap Releases New Flash Adapter for High Speed Photography]

It just goes as a huge reminder to those who like to buy things, that Kickstarter is not an online shopping mall. It is not a store where you are going to get what you paid for, in fact, more times than not, you will likely not get (at least, not fully) what you thought you would. Kickstarter is an investment, and should be treated as such.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Kevin Young

    This is a really well written article. I appreciate the angle you took on it.

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  2. Leslie Troyer

    It was a great idea – to extend TT version 1. Unfortunately I think the goals were a little lofty, especially since they farm out 100% of the detail design and programming….. I was in for 150 pounds – so loosing 80% of that hurts.

    Les

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  3. Manfred Winter

    Unfortunately it is getting more and more clear that the project was a scam, possibly from beginning. The Creators posted lies after lies, refuse to have their ridiculous statements scrutinized. Legal action against Triggertrap and their front man Haje Kamps is in Preparation.

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  4. Jerry Atienza

    It was sort of telling when they kept missing their deadlines and instead of letting people know what was really happening, they keep posting “Soon” release notices instead.

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  5. Graham Curran

    I think many people often project too much of their own interest into kickstarters and over-estimate the market. The Triggertrap Ada looks like a neat unit but ultimately it is quite a niche product. I shall probably purchase a Camera Axe when I graduate to this.

    http://www.cameraaxe.com/

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    • Graham Curran

      I see Camera Axe are offering a 20% discount to Triggertrap backers (or anyone who uses the “Triggertrap” coupon code) through May 1, 2015.

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  6. Mark Redman

    When you go back and read the original kickstarter and all their updates, it’s clear that they have been stringing their backers, which included me, on for quite some time.

    They claimed to have a working device and was almost ready for manufacturing when they launched. This clearly was not the case. I was incredibly angry with the company and how they weren’t up front with backers when they realized things were going south.

    Its too bad, triggertrap was a company i deeply respected and enjoyed their products. Now i’m just waiting for their reputation to be completely destroyed and see them shut down.

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  7. Daniel Thullen

    I’m with Stephen on this one. Looking for Kickstarter funding without a working prototype seems odd to say the least. Hopefully the “investors” were aware of that fact before they “invested.”

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  8. Stephen Jennings

    They started a kickstarter without a working prototype? Something about this story just doesn’t seem right to me.

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    • Stan Rogers

      One needs to keep in mind that Kickstarter funding isn’t an investment; it never has been. The idea always has been to move neat ideas forward, often to the point that actual investment funding can be sought. There are some small projects, complete with working prototypes that are at a high level of finish, that can be completely funded by Kickstarter — the usual reason *they* fail is because they’re overfunded, and that little thing you expected to make maybe 500 of over evenings and weekends using shop-made jigs suddenly turns into something that needs factory tooling and production to get out there, adding $100K up-front costs and engineering problems you wouldn’t even have to consider for handwork in the garage. In this case, money was needed to create a reliable working system *and* design it to production at a price point. They were never dishonest about that. Sometimes in practice, the answer to “how hard can it be” turns out to be “about ten times harder than we thought it would be”.

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  9. Patrick Shipstad

    That’s a shame.. Glad I decided on the Miops camera trigger.. it took a while but they finally came through and I received mine the other day. Good article (thank you!) to remind us that nothing on Kickstarter is guaranteed!

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