Fun with Crowd Funding
Imagined this. You came up with a brilliant idea, an invention, an investment proposition, a discovery or breakthrough that needs patent, a cause..... a..... NUMEROUS amount of reasons why you think, you can work your ass off for the next two years, and save up the thousands needed to buy the research equipment, hiring lawyers, building that conceptual model, or prototype. etc. in pursuit of your deam. OR, use the platform that is now available, acceptable, expected to be used to raise money to do what it is that you think is worthy, and of course the 'crowd' to have to agree, coz THEY are the one forking out their bucks to help your dream come true. EVEN if it's used to raise money so you can live and eat whilst building whatever that is you're raising money to build.
Imagine then, when I launched my Pozible campaign, for the second time (first one was a massive learning curve, didn't reach the target, and no one was out of pocket). This time with all consideration that I'm using the platform to fast track bookings, sales. There is absolutely NO option to 'donate'. There's no handouts. I refuse to accept money for nothing. Only that when it was shared on good ol' facebook, that for the first time ever, I was at the receiving end of a cyber hater. He absolutely hated the idea of crowd funding. He says (quote) ".. your self worth and repect as a professional diminishes as it's only a financial issue."
He refuse to accept the idea that I am actually selling things, NOT accepting donation. But the fact that I have stated in my campaign funds raised for equipment & living. THAT is where he lost his shit. If you sell a product or service at a street shop, and you take that money home, and you then use it to pay your bills and buy new gear, is that not the same thing ? What am I missing here ? The attack was relentless. I was flabbagasted. This was from a fellow photographer that I had nothing but admiration for and support in the past. I even looked back at old private conversations to find that I have in fact been there to him support and advise.
(Photo: Crying baby. Source: http://thebirthinglady.com) Anyway, this isn't even what this blog is about. It's about CROWD FUNDING !! There are countless number of crowd funding websites. From gofundme, Kickstarter, indiegogo, Pozible, Crowdwise... The list is endless. In the US alone there's nearly 200 different websites & platforms. As of Oct 2015, there were over 262,000 active campaign/projects. Forbes.com quoted: : "...By 2016 the crowdfunding industry is on track to account for more funding than venture capital,..."
Indeed, in 2015 alone crowd fund exceeded $34 Billion..... BILLION ??. There are Crowdfunding for Startups, Equity Crowdfunding, Crowdfunding for Charity, Business Ideas Crowdfunding, Crowdfund Medical Innovations. The categories are also endless.
For the millions of reasons, from 'Upgrade Spoz's (Crappy) Camera' , 'Someone robbed my car' to the countless actual plea for donation to get to NYC 'Agent for Change', Charities, new busienss venture, 'Building Vaccines', 'India textile factory study tour for new business', there will be millions more. All as legitimate as the pledgers wants to believe and part their money to.
However you look at it, a hand out, charity, donation, grants (goverment or private), at the end of the day, is it not simply like standing on your roof top, telling the world what you want, why it's worthy of doing, and hope someone somewhere supports your view ? Is it professional to stat what you're doing with that money raised ? To buy some bread and pay some rent, so you can continue your reseach, study, building, whatever it is you use this money for towards that dream ?
I stand by my decision to go down the crowdfunding path. I made no lies or claims. It's stated clearly this is my second shot at it. It stated clearly pledgers are buying services or products, that there is NO donation. and when these 'sales' comes through, just as they would via my other marketing source, facebook, website, instagram, phone enquires. I will use the sale proceeds to live, and to buy equipment. Again, there's no secret or anything unusual or unprofessional about this.
I welcome any feedback and comments, and of course, there will be haters. But here's my crowdfunding campaign. I do it because I can, because the platform is avaialble, but more importantly, because I need to.
Data source: https://www.crowdfunding.com/ http://www.statista.com/topics/1283/crowdfunding/ http://www.forbes.com/sites/chancebarnett/2015/06/09/trends-show-crowdfunding-to-surpass-vc-in-2016/#2e771c41444b http://www.pozible.com/