Kickstarter Gives KickMaterial The Boot

Kickstarter Gives KickMaterial The Boot

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Remember KickMaterial, the android app that promised to bring Material Design to Kickstarter made by Grzegorz Oksiuta in collaboration with Outline? After contacting the developer on behalf of one of our members for a progress update it was revealed that KickStarter had put an end to all hopes of a release.

There was an issue back in May causing significant delay to the app’s release relating to the publishing of materials with trademarked names and images which was handled with the removal of all offending material. It has since become apparent that KickStarter did not stop there and has since quashed all hopes of the app being released by not allowing the use of the API, an obviously integral part of the app. Not wanting trouble over the app, the developers have since halted development and have refocussed their efforts elsewhere.

“To be honest, we could release it even tomorrow. Unfortunately folks from Kickstarter wrote to us and said that we cannot do this and now we actually don’t know what to do … … They were very clear that we cannot publish”

This is not the first time the owner of an API has caused the downfall of apps; in 2013 changes to Twitter’s API resulted in the popular apps TweetDeck and SilverBird being shut down for good, likewise Netflix closed their API last year resulting in several apps disappearing. It is certainly not the last time a developer’s hard work will go unrewarded or the last time we hear of changes to an API affecting their work. Many developers understandably believe that this type of behaviour damages innovation and is usually the direct result of a desire for increased monetization. In an article written in 2012 by Nova Spivack, he states that their are many options companies can choose from when adjusting their APIs that will in turn increase revenue. Whilst running the figures on how economically beneficial an open API can be to a company, giving several different methods they could benefit financially from he concludes his article with:

 “If I was a board member, or an investor, I would want the company to run the numbers and be logical too. I have yet to hear from anyone any cogent argument that can convince me that closing the APIs makes more money than keeping them open in the scenarios above. Instead of all the hype and fury, run the numbers. Then let’s discuss it rationally.”

At the current time we can only presume that this is likely the work of an over zealous legal department. Unfortunately KickStarter could not be reached for comment, however as always we will continue to keep you updated as the story unfolds.

The original app concept can be found over on Medium,
Our previous coverage can be read can be read here.

Should KickStarter allow the app? Leave a comment below!