Despite raising £290,000 on Kickstarter, the Triggertrap Ada, an 'infinitely expandable camera trigger' will no longer be going into production due to unanticipated costs.

In November 2013, Triggertrap Ada raised £290,386 to go into production, far exceeding its goal of £50,000. It was billed a high-speed flash and camera trigger that used interchangeable sensor modules that could be snapped on and off when needed.

It seems, however, that more than quadrupling its original cost estimation still wasn’t enough, as Triggertrap has updated its backers with a post titled simply ‘It’s the end of the road. We failed‘.

Describing the post as ‘the backer update that no Kickstarter project wants to send’, Triggertrap said that the manufacturing phase of Ada was going to be far more expensive than anticipated, and to deliver the product to all its backers would cause a ‘large probability that Triggertrap would go out of business’.

The firm admitted that the working prototype it created cost five times more than expected, and manufacturing more would cost triple the amount it hoped, making large-scale production unfeasible.

Though the project had been delayed, previous updates to the Kickstarter give no indication that it was in serious trouble. The last update, on 22 January 2015, apologised for delays but talked mostly about an updated software package that significantly improved Ada’s battery life.

The company says it has spent around 80% of the funds it received, and will be offering the remaining 20% as partial refunds for all of its backers. Backers can also choose to refuse a refund, or request it be donated to charity, or request a larger amount as credit in the Triggertrap store.

However, judging by the comments from backers on the Kickstarter page, many seem dissatisfied with these options.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 11.25.41

Recent user comments from the Triggertrap Kickstarter page

Triggertrap CEO Haje Jan Kamps has written a blog post where he goes into greater detail on the failure of the Ada project.

Kamps said that Ada was hit with legal costs from the start from a ‘major camera manufacturer’ who took exception to the product’s original name (‘Redsnap’).

He also included several cost breakdowns that showed the extent to which actual manufacturings costs exceeded their predicted ones.

haje-graph

A graph from Haje Jan Kamps’ blog showing the cost breakdown of the project. Image: Haje Jan Kamps

AP contacted Haje Jan Kamps for comment, the following is his reply in full:

‘The only thing I think I’d add is this: If you’ve seen the comments on our Kickstarter campaign, you can see that there are a lot of very angry backers. However, we are seeing a very different mood behind the scenes.’

‘We’ve asked all our Kickstarter backers to pick the refund they want. The form where they let their preference be known also has a comments box on it. We’ve tallied the feedback, and the vast majority (more than four-fifths) of our backers are happy with our solution – and many are adding words of encouragement to the form.’

‘Also, we fully understand the frustration of our Kickstarter backers, and we’re gutted and ashamed to have failed to deliver. Taking a step back, however, we have to make a choice: Try to deliver on a project that could cause our company to fail, or keep in mind the hundreds of thousands of Triggertrap Mobile customers we have around the world.’

‘If we allow the company to go bankrupt, we can’t support or serve those customers, which would be a second tragedy, in addition to the failed Kickstarter project.’

If you backed the Ada project, you can get in touch with Triggertrap via email at hello@triggertrap.com.

  • Gary Young

    if you havnt enough business ability to calculate your development budget and costs then you shouldnt be going on kickstarter and begging then effectively stealing money from normal everyday people who trusted in you and maybe assumed you had an ounce of business ability. This is legalized robbery. If you can not afford to refund all of your backers 100% of their investment then your company should be dissolved and assets sold off to fund this 100% refund. Disgraceful !!!

  • Isn’t the company going to go out of business anyway? I know I wouldn’t ever buy anything from them just from this fiasco alone.

  • davestavros

    It was RED. Apparently you can’t ever use the word red (as in redsnap) or candy in a sentence or you will get sued.

  • davestavros

    Haje is looking increasingly unreliable. How many people do you really think would be supportive after you have just told them that you have lost £200 of their money after terrible mismanagement. Apparently it is 80% if you believe him.

    There is no way you can spin this for PR, Haje. You book reviews on amazon are going to get torched, your facebook page is going to get defaced and any goodwill for your brand is as good as finished.

    It’s a shame. I used to really respect your brand and your ethos, but if this happened in a larger company, you would be on the news for gross mismanagement.

  • Dominik Deobald

    They have a strange definition of “backers being happy”… I’ll take back what I can get – but I’m not happy…

  • stuguy1

    Interesting that the graphs have no scale on their Y axis, they’re sort of meaningless without. Does anyone know who the un-named camera manufacturer was that objected?