I’m not fond of this quote, because I love trains and I don’t like seeing people get hurt, however there is truth to it in the figurative sense, especially in social situations where most everyone has a great idea, but far less people can successfully execute on them. A recent example is FYRE, the much hyped, but miserably failed concert festival in the Bahamas where the founders claimed no fault in the same breath as they claim to be responsible. However, the most wrecks per capita comes from a place where accountability has been almost non-existent.
Kickstarter, the website where ideas get funded has allowed many “entrepreneurial creators” to build big bank accounts and then not deliver on their promises or products. Whether it’s greed, ego, or incompetence or a combination of the above, there is a long list that gets longer every year. A high profile example is the “Coolest Cooler” which raised an astonishing $13 million and 62,000 backers. Fast forward 2 1/2 years later and there are complaints, lawsuits, unsatisfied refund requests, physical threats and a large amount of people that have had their hopes and expectations squashed. The worst part is that the same cooler appeared on Amazon by the same company, and most Kickstarter backers, who’s money allowed the product to be made, still hadn’t received their product that they funded two years prior. Zano, the nano drone was another epic failure raising almost $3M among 12K backers. No products were delivered, nor refunds offered before promptly declaring bankruptcy. They “strongly refute” misappropriating funds, but who will ever know. They certainly won’t disclose it in their “unaudited company accounts”.
Don’t get me wrong, lots of great ideas come from crowdfunding sites. Kickstarter is still one of my favorite and most frequently visited sites on the internet. My point is that even with the best intentions, things sometimes go awry and there is usually no shortage of people to crowd around and stare.