Last month, a Swedish duo introduced the world to the Skarp razor, a 3am-on-a-Tuesday infomercial-type of instrument that promises to remove hair with a laser.
It took the Internet by storm and raised $4 million despite producing no evidence of the technology’s existence beyond a shoddy demo video that demonstrated it was no easier, quicker, or safer than using a regular razor. The YouTube video was also curiously closed to comments.
Unfortunately, having evidence of a product is important when you’re asking people to invest money into it – and it didn’t take people long to raise suspicions on reddit.
Yesterday, Kickstarter officially put an end to the campaign when they suspended it on the grounds that Skarp’s creators didn’t have a working prototype. Here’s the email they received from Kickstarter:
This is a message from Kickstarter’s Integrity team. We’re writing to notify you that the Skarp Laser Razor project has been suspended, and your pledge has been canceled.
After requesting and reviewing additional material from the creator of the project, we’ve concluded that it is in violation of our rule requiring working prototypes of physical products that are offered as rewards. Accordingly, all funding has been stopped and backers will not be charged for their pledges. No further action is required on your part. Suspensions cannot be undone.
We take the integrity of the Kickstarter system very seriously. We only suspend projects when we find evidence that our rules are being violated.
In the end, everyone learned that you can’t trust everything you read online and was completely cool to continue shaving with a blade like we have been since 3000 B.C. Surely. Right? Not quite! A few hours after the project was suspended, it re-emerged on Kickstarter rival Indiegogo and was fully funded in under a day. As of this writing, the campaign has raised almost $300,000 for a product that may or may not exist.
The internet is fascinating.