I’ve known about Kickstarter for quite some time, but never really delved into it. Kickstarter is a ‘crowdfunding’ service, whereby people can contribute cash to upstart projects with a promise of some arbitrary form of reward if the project succeeds. In my mind, crowdfunding takes venture capital (VC) to the next level. VC is very much a lotto game – you approach venture capitalists, give a presentation, and they decide whether or not to invest into your project. Crowdfunding is very similar, but it’s community based, and any number of people can contribute any amount of funding to the project.
One of my favourites is the LIFX lightbulb, which has been funded to more than an order of magnitude than their goal. The other, which I contributed to yesterday, is Sui Generis, an open-world role playing game (watch the video), which was single handedly written by one of the most talented programmers I have ever seen. The game looks absolutely remarkable, adopting technology well beyond anything I’ve ever come across before in a game. I sincerely hope they reach their goal. Because, if they reach their funding goal, my reward is to meet and have dinner with the developers, visit their studio, and contribute some game content. An awesome reward for the amount I pledged. Another great game under Kickstarter development is Star Citizen. Of course, crowdfunding is for more than just games and lightbulbs – it can be used to finance virtually any kind of novel project.
Crowdfunding is really beginning to take off, and I look forward to seeing what great new projects come of it. Crowdfunding is definitely the future of investment. The days of traditional VC are coming to an end, and it can’t happen soon enough. Crowdfunding democratises VC.