Crowdfunding: Site Indiegogo
What's a Crowdfunding Site?
There are two big crowdfunding sites on the internet one is Kickstarter that I talk about in my next blog, and the other is Indiegogo which I’m going to discuss in this blog.
A crowdfunding site is where you the back the project vision of other people with money. The projects that you back can be almost anything, and they come from anywhere in the world. The Indiegogo site consist of the person or group of people that starts a campaign and the backer who pledges the money. This blog discusses the technology section of the Indiegogo site; however there are other areas were you can either start a campaign or become a backer. A campaign starts with an individual or group of people going on the Indiegogo site to raise money for their project. They tell you about themselves, how the money they receive will be used and how their vision can become a finished product. The campaign owner will setup different tiers for pledge money with a month and year of when that tier should receive the finished product. When you pledge early in a campaign you can be part of the early bird tier which usually means that you will receive a perk for contributing early. The campaign owner will show a process timeline from beginning to end of the project. There’s a section in the campaign for questions and comments for people pledging to interact with either the campaign owners or other backers.
The person pledging money on a project is a backer for that project. A prospective backer will usually look over the information about the person or group in charge of the campaign. He/she then has to decide if backing which tier level he/she can afford. A backer pledging takes into consideration the month and year that the item should be received because no one wants to back a project that they won’t see for 5years. The projects I’ve seen or backed on Indiegogo usually have no longer than a year for completion. When you’ve made your pledge then you’re officially a backer of that project, and then the waiting game begins until you receive your finished product. A good campaign owner during this time will keep his/her backers happy with continuous updates of the project. There are many campaigns that are not produced because backer participation is very low in funding.
Good and Bad Campaigns
My experience with Indiegogo is very few projects actually finish within the projected timeframe that is given. What backers or potential backers have to remember is that most of the campaign owners are novice to what has to be done to bring a project to fruition. They are probably good in their field or complement each other's talent well as a group but having never done anything of this magnitude there are bound to be errors. I find most of the factory work on these projects is being done in China, and campaign owners probably have no experience dealing with the Chinese way of working.
When projects have gone over the date of delivery the backers start to get very nervous because there is no recourse if a campaign owner decides to take their money and run. You the backer can make all the comments you want on Indiegogo or even report the campaign owner to the BBB but the bottom line is you’re out of whatever money you pledged. Indiegogo is testing letting backers buy insurance for projects. I have been party to a campaign scam for a router that could control everything connected device you have in your house. This router had a completion date of December 2014 so we the backers were looking for it as a nice holiday gift. The campaign owners had setup campaigns on two crowdfunding sites and when they were fully backed they setup up a third product website to give all those that hadn’t backed another chance. A campaign owner will usually setup a product website after their campaign is fully funded so that was not unusual. The only difference between backing the project on Indiegogo and backing the product off the website is you’re getting it sooner with any promised perks. The campaign owners for this router provided no updates or any information at all when contacted. There was speculation from the backers on both crowdfunding sites on what happened to their money. I found out that the campaign owners were two brothers who were going to jail for an unrelated matter. You just never know if a campaign owner is legitimate or if he/she can actually complete the project due to variables within.
The item you see pictured is the Scanadu Scout a medical device that is hopping to get FCC approval. I am part of one of the biggest medical trials for data collection with a device of this kind. The campaign owner hopes that one day this device can be used by the everyday person to check his/her own blood pressure, oxygen, heart beats per minute and temperature.
The latest projects I’m backing is new on Indiegogo it’s a projection clock that I’m scheduled to receive in December 2015. This clock is supposed to show you social media notifications; weather, location, short messages and you can customize the projection that you see. You will control all these features through your smart phone from anywhere you're at. Indiegogo has other campaigns areas you can either start or back in music, health, gaming and films.
Who Is Indiegogo?
Danae Ringelman,, Slava Rubin and Eric Schell started Indiegogo in 2008, with a headquarters located in California. Indiegogo is one of the first crowdfunding sites to let people ask for money to back projects. Indiegogo makes money by charging a 9% fee on contributions which 5% is returned if funding is met. Indiegogo also makes money through Paypal and credit card charges.
Indiegogo started another website called Indiegogo life in 2014 where campaigns can be started for personal matters such as rent, tuition and medical bills.
Indiegogo provides a way for new ideas in technology as we move into the smart things era. You will be amazed at some of the projects you will find and some will be hard to resist. I know every time I visit the Indiegogo site I'm opening my wallet to pledge.