The Internet has given rise to many new industries since it’s rapid growth in popularity since the turn of the Millenium. Online shopping, internet marketing companies and digital dating websites are just a few examples, but one of todays heavy hitters is a relatively new phenomenon.
Crowdfunding websites are fast becoming very popular when it comes to providing the means to get an entrepreneur’s dreams off the ground. They offer a platform to get whatever idea an individual or company has seen by the public, and in turn offer them the chance to make it happen through donations. Right now, two companies dominate the landscape – Kickstarter, and IndieGoGo. But these two are certainly not alone, with new crowdfunding websites popping up in every country. So why should you get involved?
5 Reasons Why You Should Support Crowdfunding
1) It’s good to help
Nice and simple. While there is no getting away from the commercial aspects of the campaigns, you are usually contributing to someone living their dream. And if your £5 donation contributes towards that, and you get a little added bonus at the end of it via rewards, isn’t it a small price to pay?
2) Achieving the improbable
You don’t need us to tell you that the global financial climate still hasn’t fully recovered from recession. Investors are cautious to say the least, especially when it comes to backing risky ventures. This is where these type of websites step in. Backers on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo tend to not care about long term growth and profitability, as big businesses tend to be. They are instead solely interested in the product or service you are pushing in the moment. Yes, solely relying on crowdfunding may not be the best idea if you wish to run a long-term business, but it’s a hell of a launching pad if done correctly.
3) Change the world!
Too big a concept? Not at all. The Oculus Rift, a visor that allows for fully immersive virtual reality in HD, has sent shockwaves around the video game world. It first appeared in 2012, and has now been refined ahead of it’s consumer launch in 2015. The possibilities for it’s implementation are exciting to think about – now, instead of playing games on a TV, you are essentially in the game world, surrounded on all side by it. And though it is now owned by Facebook, it was popularised and funded initially by Kickstarter.
And who knows how many more far-reaching projects like this are out there! The gadget you back today could become as commonplace as the laptop in the future, and you can remind people that “you saw it first”.
4) Back scratching
We’ve already touched on some lofty subjects, but here is another – karma. We aren’t saying that helping out a campaign will bless you with good luck for life (though it wouldn’t hurt). But your generosity may help you out later on in life. Lets say you get an idea for a product. You put together a campaign, but a similar campaign goes up at a similar time. People will be forced to choose, but you have a history of backing campaigns, whereas the competition is a new user. Wouldn’t you want to back those who back others?
5) Bringing Community to the Internet
Finally, we’ll show one of the lesser considered benefits of crowdfunding websites. Not everything on these sites is gear towards manufacturing. Some projects are focussed on local concerns. Local community theatre, local markets, local festivals – all of these can find a home on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. And these platforms provide a great place to corral people. Instead of using leaflets or notice boards, now these campaigns have dedicated pages that have simple and directed “calls to action” (e.g. “Donate now”!). So in a way, these sites are bringing local concerns to the big wide world of the internet, and while the benefits of these campaigns succeeding aren’t as far reaching, they can be just as rewarding for the backers.
Below are some really cool, recent projects. Check them out!
Karen – an app that psychologically profiles you as you play.
Pi-Top, a Raspberry Pi laptop you build yourself!
SAM: The Ultimate Internet Connected Electronics Kit
SAM was successfully funded and received very good coverage in the press.