If you think crowd funding is just for rockstars and indie games, think again! Crowd funding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Quirky are changing the dynamics of consumerism and small businesses and are showcasing budding trends in technology and science.
For example, Kickstarter, founded in 2009, has provided innovators with a platform to fund their ideas and wares without the uphill challenge of finding and working with a publisher or distributor. Potential project creators design a tier system, offering their supporters rewards in return for the amount they pledge to the kickstarted project. This model allows for niche groups to support small projects they enjoy, like comics, music albums and tours, and other popular culture activities (even potato salad!). It also allows for new science and technology to be, well, kickstarted into existence. Earlier this year, a very inexpensive, streamlined 3D printer was kickstarted, funded within its first day, and raised 6803% of its goal.
More recently, an Indiegogo campaign (Indiegogo was founded in 2007) was funded for preliminary solar powered driveways with the future goal of repaving whole streets with the energy-creating technology. They made 220% of their million dollar goal. Some crowdfunding projects take off at incredibly fast rates, like the reading rainbow Kickstarter earlier this year. It was funded within 11 hours of creation, and wound up nearly $5.5 million in funding, over 540% their initial goal.
The newest source fundraising site, Quirky, lets subscribers submit concepts, vote on, and contribute ideas about new products. For now, most of their products are household related. However the site has the potential to work on larger scale inventions.
Not only are these sites revolutionary for small businesses and content creators, they also give insight into the technology trends coming in the next few years. In 2012, an early but powerful smart watch was funded through Kickstarter. Today, mainstream companies are competing for their own versions of smart watches. Who knows, maybe in five to 10 years we’ll be constructing solar powered highways and buying $100 3D printers! Keeping track of the highlights of these sites is not only entertaining, it can give some insights into what’s coming next.
To read more about crowd funding projects and their impacts, check out the Guardian’s article on Kickstarter crowd funding and Business 2 Community’s article on current tech trends according to Kickstarter.
Have you ever contributed to a crowd funding campaign? How do you feel about the types of products these sites are creating? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!
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