App.net is not vaporware
We shipped an alpha version of App.net. You can browse the global feed at alpha.app.net. This is a webapp that we built in the last two weeks on top of our documented API. Think of this web application as a “proof of concept”.
We also released a dev API that allows 3rd party developers to begin building App.net applications. In the 12 hours since we released the dev API we have already seen several app developers start working on projects. Here is a screenshot of an iOS app that an alpha tester is building. We also have had an alpha tester successfully post messages from an Android app.
We're opening up the alpha to all backers of join.app.net that want to be included. There are still some rough edges, but feedback has been positive.
Some thoughts on the funding goal
We are currently 43% of the way towards our goal, with 5 days left. A lot of folks think that we will never hit the goal. I disagree.
One of my friends that works at Kickstarter explained to me that projects succeed or fail based on the first and last 24 hours. For that reason, we are not making contingency plans. Rather, we are trying to put ourselves in the best position we can be for the last 24 hours of the project.
Additionally, if you take a look at Kickstarter's official stats, it would appear that of 35,138 unsuccessful projects, only 2,026 of them ever reached 41% or more of their funding goal. In other words, only 5.7% of Kickstarter projects that don't succeed ever manage to reach 40% of goal. That is not to say that join.app.net doesn't need a great deal of support to succeed within the next 5 days, I am simply pointing out that the data would suggest this is not a “lost cause”.
If you have been considering backing App.net, but have stayed on the fence because you are afraid that App.net is “vaporware”, or because you think that backing us is a waste of time (because it will never succeed), I would encourage you to question those assumptions.