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Crowdfunding 101 with a Capital C

Updated on May 8, 2016
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Crowdfunding, So what is it?

I thought it was pretty common knowledge for most people to know what the term "crowdfunding" meant, especially with the rise of crowdfunding platforms like KickStarter and Indiegogo over the last few years. However i was very surprised to discover that is was not the case and the concept is still relativity unknown in the mainstream community.

Simply, Crowdfunding is a method of funding a project or startup venture by raising money from a large group of people via the internet. It is an alternative form of financing outside of the traditional financial system and used by individuals who are not able to fund their project or startup by traditional other means. For example with consumer products ideas such as those on Kickstarter, Crowdfunding can be thought of a pre-selling or pre-ordering of a product before an product is produced.

However as a result of the popularity of Crowdfunding it has become more then just the pre-sales of a product and instead become a social phenomenon that changes individuals lives and fosters innovation. This is highlighted in perfect detail in the worlds first documentary film on crowdfunding "Captial C" released in 2014. Which was also in part crowdfunding on kickstarter.

So this hubpage was created as a general introduction to crowdfunding for the wider community as well as for others to share their experiences. Using my own insights within design and my experience on a Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign i have come up with 5 simple rules or lenses when thinking about crowdfunding campaigns for the purpose of helping individuals to evaluate a campaign idea and whether or not to participate. To that end i will begin to offer reviews and thoughts here in future on various crowdfunding campaigns.

Capital C - The Documentary

In just a few years, crowdfunding has empowered a whole new generation of artists to create things in a way that's never been done before. CAPITAL C is the first feature length documentary dedicated to crowdfunding, focusing on the hopes and dreams as well as the fears and pitfalls of independent creators in the wake of the digital age. Over a period of three years, the film is following the endeavors of poker card designer JACKSON ROBINSON, hippie ZACH CRAIN, and video game veteran BRIAN FARGO, all of whom reach out to the crowd in order to change their lives forever.

5 stars for Capital C - The worlds first crowdfunding documentary

Capital C The worlds first crowdfunding documentary a summary

Capital C is a documentary feature film that was released in 2014 about crowdfunding by German directors Jørg Kundinger and Timon Birkhofer. The movie is the world's first feature-length documentary on the topic and was in part crowdfunded on Kickstarter.com.

Capital C is a light hearted and inspiring look into the worlds of crowdfunding. It follow the lives of three individuals from various grounds and projects over there period of their crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter.

Brian Fargo, is a veteran video games designer who created the cult classic '90s-era sci fiction post-apocalyptic roleplaying game Wasteland by Interplay, It has been 20 years since the release of Wasteland and while the games has a cult following of fans Brian has been unable to find the funds for a sequel. That is until crowdfunding came along.

Zach Crain, is a bearded hippie from North Carolina and with several partners created the Freaker, a knitted beer bottle insulator. In the process he helps beings life back into a local sock making business by work nights and sleeping over at the factory. Soon Freakers are so popular copy cat products begin to appear on the marketing.

Jackson Robinson, a graphic designer and family man who in his spare time works on his passion of designing playing cards inspired by the U.S. currency. Struggling to make ends meet for his young family, Jackson shares his passion for his art and emotional journey for independence and to support his family.

Capital C is a entertaining film with great stories and inspiring personal journeys, i highly recommend it if you are interested in the topic of crowdfunding as well as if you are starting your own crowdfunding project. While not a criticism of the films Capital C does have its limits in terms of not mentioning the flip side of crowdfunding and that is not all campaigns succeed.

However, for what the film was intended for Capital C delivers a good introduction to the subject and heart warming inspiring stories. For anyone serious about crowdfunding i am sure they would be doing their researching and an in depth analysis.

Crowdfunding insights & future interests

It was early in 2015 that i started my research into crowdfunding, i have heard about both Kickstarter and Indigogo for years before however the concept and its impact never hit home or made much of a difference in my life until i was asked to be involved with a Indiegogo campaign for a NGO to launch a designer product. Having finished the one month campaign and not meet our target funding, I was a little disappointed however a general rule of thumb is its can take about three unsuccessful crowdfunding campaigns as a learning curve before most succeeded.

This hub is not mean to be one about how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, there are hundreds of article on the web for that and from experts. but from my experiences i've found a few basic criteria for reviewing and looking at campaign. They are as follows:

  1. The Idea
  2. Features
  3. Price
  4. Do i need it?
  5. Will it change the world or my life?

In the coming weeks i will explore a few campaigns using this lenses for the purposes of determining if a campaign idea or product is sounds and if consumer really need a better mouse trap. That is does it change the way we live or have any social impacts.

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