Crowd funding is all about shifting power back to the masses, moving it from the traditional custodians. Until recently, the final say to the progress of many projects was in the hands of the “grey faced men” – bank managers, lawyers, government officials, and the like. But now, it is not necessarily the projects that tick all the boxes and meet all the rigid criteria that get the funding. Rather those that can engage the crowd, offer the masses the rewards to inspire, and communicate their message broadly that are getting the funding they require to successfully implement their project.
It is a true example of market economics, giving the market the total say in what projects it feels should proceed. In the next iteration of social media, crowd funding not only allows followers and friends to say they “LIKE” the project creator and their initiative, but the can “LIKE” the project with their hard earned cash – a very powerful show of support indeed. With Crowd funding, projects that are successfully funded are not done by the traditional methods of meeting logical criteria or falling within the risk profile of traditional funders – it is by engaging a supportive crowd, a crowd who have the power in their hands to make small pledges of support (and some not-so-small pledges) to help the project creator achieve their funding target. Engage enough supporters, and the project creator receives the funding they need. It is the true democratisation of funding.
Conventional thinking is brushed aside as crowd funding, a classic “disruptive technology”, sees a total mind shift and change in habits. It is not the project that is “judged” by a few to be right, but those that receive the support of the crowd that achieve their funding targets. It is no longer up to a few people to judge, but it is now the ability of the campaign, the project, and the project creator to connect with those who share their passion, and if they can engage enough people to support them, then the project is given the validation to proceed. Some campaigns that appear on crowd funding platforms will cause the reader to shake their head, crack a wry smile, or cock an eyebrow and wonder at the nature of the “zaniness” of some campaigns. Ultimately the crowd will judge it. If it is indeed crazy, then the crowd will not support it. But if the campaign receives a landslide of support, achieving its funding target, and a large number of project supporters engage, then the project may just cross the fine line between “crazy” and “genius”. Again, it is in the hands of the crowd to decide.
For so many years, entrepreneurs, inventors, and the artistic had their creativity stifled by having to conform the “grey faced men” and their need to tick boxes before approving funding (if at all). Crowd funding now allows for the creativity to be retained, even encouraged, as it is the compelling and the wondrous that will engage the crowd to judge it worthwhile to receive their support.
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