Here is a new batch of crowdfunding tips and ideas for and about practicing the fine art of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding – that is, the concept of getting a lot of people together to donate money to make something happen – isn’t a completely new idea, although the term is very new. The Statue of Liberty was constructed using “crowdfunding”, spreading the word through the fast medium of the day – newspapers.
The first recorded use of computerized crowdfunding was by a British rock band that used computerized donations to finance a reunion in 1997. This spawned Artistshare, which launched in 2000 – a company that is also a record label, and serves as a business model for creative artists, according to Wikipedia. Of course, no good idea goes uncopied, so a series of crowdfunding platforms and companies followed:
- Sellaband in 2006 – works with iPlugger, and is specifically for fans to finance musicians.
- SlicethePie 2007 – Again, finances musicians and fashion designers. SlicethePie also pays for reviews, many of which go back to the musician or designer as a critique.
- Indiegogo 2008 – founded by Danae Ringelman, Slava Rubin, and Eric Schell. First to expand beyond artists and designers, funding all kinds of ideas and concepts. Indiegogo uses a flexible funding model, which allows participants to receive their funds as quickly as they are pledged.
- Kickstarter — officially founded in 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler. The process of setting it up began in 2001 when Perry was frustrated with funding a music event. Yancey met Perry in 2005 at a restaurant where he was a regular and Perry waited tables. They started talking about creating a crowdfunding platform. But it was not until Charles, a designer, joined the team that it really took off. Creativity, as essential as it is to any project, benefits from having someone who can pull it together into an organized format.
Crowdfunding has not been without its bumps, potholes and snags along the developmental road. Almost immediately, it became subject to lawsuits – some of which have been launched by individuals or entities who have been termed “Patent Trolls.” You might recall from a certain familiar nursery tale, that a troll might live under a bridge and stop others from accessing beneficial resources – such as grass for little goats to graze upon. A patent troll either buys up patents from bankrupt companies, and then files infringement suits; or does just enough research to claim “I did it first, it was my idea.”
New legislature, the Innovation Act, could put a stop to such behavior. Not only would crowdfunding – which has had its quarrels about who came first, and who has rights to the idea of crowdfunding – benefit from this, so would many new companies that are trying to create concepts that build on older ideas. The Innovation Act would not block legitimate suits for patent infringement; rather, it would put an end to posturing and grabbing ideas in order to block competitive development.
You might ask what does this have to do with your crowdfunding campaign. First of all, you can thank the CEOs and legal staff of Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowdfunding organizations for hanging in there and defeating the legal allegations against them. Kickstarter won a case in early 2015. It was ruled that crowdfunding is too broad a concept to be patented. This derailed several smaller suits of the same nature against other crowdfunding platforms. Thanks to this ruling, you and other crowdfunders are able to choose from a variety of platforms from which to run your crowdfunding campaigns.
Second, take note of the statement that the Innovation Act will not eliminate legitimate suits against patent infringement. If you are developing a product, double and triple check that you are not stepping on someone’s intellectual property toes. If you are using an established technique or idea, contact the person who holds that patent or copyright, and make legal arrangements to use it; or develop a different way to achieve your goal.
To reiterate often repeated advice about creating a crowdfunding event, start early – at least six months before you plan to create your crowdfunding campaign – and make researching copyright and patents part of your entrepreneurial homework. That research will save a great deal of effort and heartache, should you find that your “idea” isn’t all that new.
Also, remember that articles and press releases attract far more attention than advertisements. You can locate help at Best Crowdfunding Websites homepage, which is powered by SMT Agency. Eyal Bujvaj, the CEO, is committed to promoting crowdfunding campaigns and helping you to gain the coverage you need to get the word out about your particular campaign. At SMT we have the experience and the expertise to create articles and press releases that will help gain positive attention for your endeavor.
If you need tips and ideas for the fine art of crowdfunding, there is no finer place to visit to promote your crowdfunding campaign than www.best-crowdfunding-websites.com. After all, your success is our success.