Most of the Kickstarter campaigns are "all or nothing", which means you have little risk involved unless they just don't make their product. The company wants to make something, in this case a pen, but need financial backing for equipment, materials, etc. So, they raise money by pre-selling the item to backers who are willing to wait while they raise the money and then go off and make the product and then distribute it. I have backed about 13 or 14 projects - watches, pens, knives, etc. and have always been more than pleased. You usually get a pretty good discount by being willing to wait to receive the product until it is produced.