Assessing the merits of sports-themed crowdfunding projects using only the information provided by those parties who are requesting your hard-earned cash.
Project: Gbag: The new Bagolf bag, on Indiegogo
Cash ask: $50,000
Concept: The Bagolf bag markets itself as the next generation of golf bags. It’s described as a "hybrid, lightweight, compact bag that can be carried, or used on push/pull carts and golf cars." It incorporates new technology that secures your clubs in place while inside the bag so as to protect them. As Bagolf puts it, the Gbag possesses a “revolutionary sorting system” and “groundbreaking design.” Pretty heavy stuff.
Creator: Bertand Jacquelot. The French inventor and founder of Bagolf also dabbles as an online poker player, an iPhone app creator, and the owner and CEO of a plumbing and heating company. In other words, this guy knows a thing or two about golf bags.
Worth funding? In a word, no. In a more long-winded and colorful explanation, this “Next-Gen” golf bag offers as much "evolution" as a modern-day toaster. It’s remarkably similar to golf bags of today, with the exception of the exorbitant $350 price tag. The one redeeming quality of the Bagolf bag is its ability to neatly lock your clubs in place inside the bag. That’s kind of cool. Whether you carry your clubs or strap them on the back of a cart, you know your clubs tend to clank against each other throughout the round. With the Gbag, you’ll no longer have that problem.
But just how much of an issue is that, really? Your clubs don’t get damaged when clanking—do they really need securing? And how much extra time is added to a round by having to carefully place your club in its respective divider?
Beyond that, I have no idea how this bag is "revolutionary" or "groundbreaking." One of the biggest problems with this bag is it’s not clear who Bagolf is targeting. Do they want young golfers to buy it? Presumably not, becuase otherwise it would be better designed for carrying your clubs. (The bag comes with backpack straps, but the straps are the 26th and final feature listed on the description, which can’t be a good sign). Old golfers? It's not attractive or big enough to be a bag exclusively for carts. And the equally hyped GCart ($190) that you can attach to the bag? Well, pull-carts have been around for decades and the only "new" feature about this one is that it's shiny.
Then there's the red flag raised in the description. Bagolf tries to reel you in by noting the bag has "a stonking $130 USD+ value," which is the most confusing thing I've ever read for a number of reasons:
- Why am I paying $350 for something YOU YOURSELF value at $130?
- What's that plus sign doing after the abbreviation for U.S. dollars? Are you promising me the bag is worth at least 130 U.S. dollars, but possibly 130 of a greater currency? Is it worth 130 Bitcoins?! Tell me it's worth 130 Bitcoins. Look, if you’re offering me 130 Bitcoins, I'll Bagolf your entire inventory.
$0. Because there's an adrenaline rush associated with facilitating entrepreneurship, I was going to suggest the lowest pledge amount—$5 gets you a "Virtual High Five"—but that also gets you a place on the Gbag mailing list, and who needs another spammy email to delete from their inbox every morning? Not this guy.