Friday, November 23, 2012

Crowdfunding: Disrupting the Old Boys' Network

By David Drake of the SoHo Loft

Crowdfunding for projects and companies is nothing new. In the online arena, however, it is quite young – in 1997 fans of the UK rock group Marillion ran the first recognized internet crowdfunding campaign, raising $60,000 to underwrite the band’s tour of the US. In the years since, other artists have also reached out to their fan bases and successfully invited supporters to finance their recordings and/or tours. Now, the wider business momentum toward crowdfunding is accelerating intensely and is attracting significant attention because the model disrupts the [finance] supply chain and distribution mechanism our Fortune 1000 companies have built and so vehemently protected for a century.

Imagine 200,000 Red Cross blood donors being able to pay $100 each towards the development of the newest leukemia medication? That’s $20 million of funding sourced by the crowd.

Can you hear the vested interests – "No, that’s not possible. Won’t happen. Humbug!"

Really? Get your head out of the sand.

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