I still don't understand Kickstarter. If its not a store, why does it list all the items I'm getting for my money? If its an investment, why don't I get a shares and a dividend from the companies that are built? If its a charity, shouldn't it simply ask for money and send me a tote bag and PAL radio for my trouble? If it's high-tech begging, why is celeb Kristin Bell there, asking for my help?
I've seen some projects that interest me, but I haven't "bought" anything because I can't figure out what it is.
I've participated in a few kickstarters, and I have to say I largely agree with you. I tend to bite on more grass roots type projects.Bands trying to scrape up money to put out an album and tour, independent film makers, or new products that didn't get corporate funding elsewhere. I have a hard time kikcing into larger profile things like Kriten Bell's Veronica Mars thing, or when David Fincher was looking for cash to fund a Goon cartoon. If you're in the hollywood system or a legitimate recording artist, it still twangs a bit wrong to be going this route. I'm willing to bet that the Mars movie will flop and if Trent Reznor or Radiohead can go truley independent then I don;t see why Amanda Palmer needs some money on kickstarter.
As far as the rewards go, I see it like getting a $15 DVD for a $100 pledge on PBS. The real reward is the final product that you're basically buying in advance to it being created.