Kickstarter and Indiegogo are home to some of the most innovative tech ideas around, and there’s plenty of choices if you’re looking to invest in something cool, useful, or cutting-edge.

Just before you part with your hard-earned cash, though, we’ve got some warning signs and red flags to help you tell the difference between a viable proposition and something that’s likely to crash and burn.

Trying to put a unique twist on the iPhone case concept is one thing, trying to develop a smartwatch platform and hardware ecosystem from scratch is quite another.

There’s nothing wrong with projects being ambitious, of course, but weigh what the crowdfunders are attempting against what’s already on the market, and the way the technology winds are blowing.

Take a long look at the people behind every project you’re thinking of backing: What have they done in the past (on and off Kickstarter and Indiegogo)?

Everything is relative to what’s actually being developed, but obviously, a high funding target is going to be harder to hit and involves more risk and more variables than a lower one.

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