Crowdfunding: how the little guy wins
In 2013, 3million people pledged $480million USD to about 20,000 projects on Kickstarter; Google Ventures invested just over $550million USD in 70plus early-stage companies. Crowdfunding as an industry has flourished, offering new and expanded models, from a pre-sale proposition to equity investments that simplify the complex loan systems of banks and VC.
But the greatest result may not even be of moneys raised, but the open and transparent conversation early-stage companies can have with their customers, reducing risk and sunken development costs through what is effectively a crowd-sourced proof of concept. It is opening up whole new ways to conduct market research, source professional advice, test prototypes in real world scenarios, all the things that robust budgets used to be spent on.
The win-back? Services and products tailored specifically to their target ready-made audiences, and loyal customers that believe... actually, who KNOW they have a personal stake in the 'community'. We have been speaking about the democratisation of the investment stream. I am suggesting we are democratising the creation process!