“Crowd-sourcing,” also called “crowd-funding” is like found money. Instead of one sponsor, you have hundreds, perhaps thousands of strangers donating to your cause, with few strings attached. A new book, “The Crowd-sourceress” by Alex Daly, ($17 at PublicAffairsBooks.com) offers advice on how to do it. Over 100,000 projects have been funded by Kickstarter.com, one of several crowd funding services, since it began in 2009. We are talking big bucks here. It’s common to hit a couple hundred thousand and can sometimes bring in a couple million. This has even drawn the attention of major corporations, like Samsung, General Electric and Hasbro. Because after all, there’s no interest charge, unlike borrowing from a bank. Sometimes there’s also no accounting. When you […]
Raising money from strangers is all the rage these days. It happens online.
Kickstarter is the most well known “crowd-funder” and Indiegogo (pronounced Indi-go-go) isn’t far behind. Do the strangers get their money back if the product doesn’t succeed? Good question, for which the answer is: sometimes and mostly no. The answer is blowing in the crowd. Here’s our experience.
We never take our favorite umbrella out because we’d probably lose it. (We’ve lost at least a dozen over the years.) It’s decorated with “Peanuts” and other comic strips, and we’d never find another like it. But coming soon is a smart umbrella that tells you where you left it.
“Tidy Dog” trains a dog to put away his own toys. It’s not for sale yet, but if enough people back it on Kickstarter.com, the crowd-funding site, you’ll see it in stores.
It’s worth watching the Tidy Dog video. A dog figures out that every time he drops a toy into the bin, it dispenses a treat. Smart dogs will soon figure out that they can drop in your shoes, wallet, newspaper and anything else lying around. Some people will be ecstatic over a tidy home; others will notice their dog getting fat. Of course, lazy dogs may not care about the treats. In that case, if you want the toys picked up, you do it.
Healthline.com is a top site for medical information and they’ve recently launched a new tool called “FundRazr.” It provides a way for cancer patients to “crowd-fund” money to cover their medical bills. Read more about it at healthline.com/health/cancer-crowdfunding.
Every so often, a project at Kickstarter.com gets our attention. Kickstarter projects invite the public to chip in with money to help a product get launched. In return they get one of the first units. The “EVO ONE” is a basketball with a digital sensor inside that tells you how to adjust your shot. The micro-sensor weighs less than half an ounce and sits inside the ball. It emits a sound that can be used to judge how good your shot was. You’ll hear something only when your shot has the ideal backspin of plus or minus two revolutions per second. (Or you could look up at the basket and see if your shot went in.) A wobbly, slow or […]
A new product still a bit down the road is a cell phone case that charges your phone by shaking or just walking around. This will be one of those cases where every little movement has a meaning all its own.
FundersClub.com is a new crowd-sourcing site, like the better known Kickstarter. It collects investments from individuals who kick in for the manufacture of some product they think should be made or a cause that should be helped. Unlike Kickstarter, however, each investor gets a share in the company or project they invest in.