July 23, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
It’s probably obvious by now that I’m a believer in crowd-funding. It’s a marvelous new ability made possible through a human network that in turn makes almost anything possible. Almost anything? If there’s a demand, be it material or metaphysical – if people see sufficient value in its design and creation, it can be done. Through this democratic model of production, the world is a much more welcoming place to ideas too imaginative, too unprofitable or just too risky for the old, industrial infrastructure. Now, if it’s good (enough), it can be made, and those first risky steps from imagination to reality are followed by a swarm of activity and sometimes innovation from makers waiting in the wings for proof of concept and market validation. A lot of things we see on Kickstarter are the first of their kind, but few will be the last. And we’ve yet to see the limits of what crowd-funding can bring to life. Music and theater, movies, art and fashion, books, magazines, websites, blogs, vlogs and TV shows, video games, software, hardware, prototypes, tools, toys, rocket ships, satellites, summits, conventions and dance parties…if it’s creative, cool and well-communicated, crowdfunding can make it so.
In this age, with these powers, we are all makers, all artists and designers and creators if we want to be. One needs only to learn to express one’s passion, commitment and credibility in order to bring massive support to ingenuity and imagination. It’s that communication – that knack for persuasion – that serves as a critical factor in this age of winning hearts, minds and pledges, and it’s that communication that poses perhaps the biggest barrier to entry into crowdfunding one’s idea. That’s why today’s project is dedicated to teaching that language and helping any could-be maker put their best foot forward.
Crowdfunding: a Guide to What Works and Why is an exploration of the best practices in a new world of making things. From conception to launch, through the long and scary funding campaign just to get to the first step in the production process where dreams become real, this guidebook highlights what’s worked to inspire new ideas about what’s possible.
My book, Crowdfunding: A Guide to What Works and Why, will cover planning a project, carrying it through its funding phase, and fulfilling goals by offering a combination of case studies of successful (and unsuccessful) projects and detailed, specific guidance on each phase. Accompanying the book will be extensive video interviews with people and groups that figured out the knack of making crowdfunding work for them.
It’s a beautiful and easy-to-believe lie that “if you build it, they will come.” Now more than ever, each one of us is capable of building more with the help of others, but enlisting that help in sufficient quantities is still the limiting step in the synthesis reaction. The fight for attention is fierce and can be exhausting, and it’s a fight for only the first step in a long journey in creation, but it’s a fairer fight now than it ever has been before, and if you’re passionate about your idea, it’s a fight worth fighting. This book and the series that accompanies it will train, teach and inspire those who can to learn from those who did, ultimately to become those who do. It’s a book worth keeping on your shelf for the day you decide to take your dream out of the clouds and bring it into the lives of thousands of others who think its almost as cool as you do. Enroll in this course on crowdfunding to find out what it takes to capture the imagination, the attention and the support of the crowd by backing this project before August 10.