I'm dope like PNP transistors, and I'll saturate your junctions
By the time you rhyme one line, I've already busted ten;
You rap in exponential time, and I'm Big-O of log(n).
-- Monzy, "Drama in the PhD"
I'm going to hope that was a joke. I don't have the heart to explain all of economics tonight.
Dude, I get it. This and other Kickstarters aren't typical venture-capital investments. In fact, I think that is by design; I think that in the U.S., there are regulatory issues with crowd-funding venture capital, and so Kickstarter is intentionally structured this way.
I see below where you replied to an AC with:
But buying an item at a discount isn't an investment. It's like coming home from the mall with 20 shirts you didn't intend to buy and saying "but I saved money, they were on sale!"
That is not what happened in the case of Pebble. What happened is: I ponied up $110 in a "pledge" (read: angel investment,) for what amounted to a 0.001% stake. Then, prior to the first VC round, the future value of my equity was discounted back to present value, and paid to me in the currency of a Pebble watch, currently valued at $150.
Yes, I am saying the above somewhat tongue-in-cheek. But my primary point is: the only reason it is done this way is to work around regulatory issues.
Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries