I have never backed a single campaign on Kickstarter. Not a one. I have considered the campaigns that produce a book, digital download, or other package of art, writing, or music. I will never consider backing software, or hardware.
Someone can buy the company. People forget this. They forget why Kickstarter tries to stay away from funding companies. A corporate entity will make that Rift, or that Pebble. By participating in that Kickstarter, you are giving them money to make a thing for you to buy. You are founding that company without any equity in it, other than a handy set of monogrammed emotional-baggage.
Oculus can sell to Facebook for money, and there isn’t a thing Kickstarter backers get in return. Nor should those backers feel like they are owed anything. They did not buy a share of the company. They have no say in the company’s independence.
This is very loosely analogous with a writer, a musician, or an artist fulfilling their campaign and then becoming a corporate stooge. Backers have no say in that. Even the Veronica Mars campaign got crap because of the format of the movie. Was that part of the deal? Did they deceive people? No. Ask. Get it in writing. Don’t just assume you are all part of a hippy-dippy love fest and things will unfold along the romantic lines you have sketched in your head.
If backers don’t like this sort of thing, then backers need to change campaigns. It is not credible for them to bemoan these things after the fact. They do not own them.
This kind of thinking is preposterous:
Facebook could buy an awful lot of goodwill for the cost of 3 engineers by refunding the 9500 Oculus Kickstarter backers their $2.5 million.
I snarked today that Mark Zuckerberg bought Oculus because people loved it and he was hoping that would make people love him. That’s not how it works, of course. I kid. Marky Z. is very serious about growing his company and I don’t think he is remotely concerned about people loving him. Mark is only concerned with legacy.