“Crowd funding is something I have always been interested in,” says design entrepreneur Dario Antonioni. “The idea that customers fund projects gives us direct feedback into whether we should produce a design or if it should be shelved.”
The idea of crowd funding has existed since the beginning of time, but since the Internet we have seen an explosion in the possibilities of crowd sourced funding.
“Kickstarter is an amazingly powerful tool not only to reach out to a global test audience to validate the popularity of a design but also to raise funds without ever leaving the studio. Creative types should be making stuff not worried about business plans, loan documents and venture capitalist funding. This helps us do what we do faster with less distractions,”
Websites like Kickstarter have changed the field in getting capital behind projects. Crowd funding on websites may be something as modest as an anonymous donation button, or it may include thank you gifts, special privileges, special recognition, products etc. However, there are a few key factors that make this type on funds particularly interesting:
* Funders may contribute as much or as little as they like minimizing the risk.
* There are minimal intermediaries;
* Funders can make a real difference in companies and products which they believe in.
* The projects must meet a minimum funding goal in order for the funds to be withdrawn.
* No banks, No Loan Documents and No Venture Capital is needed to get projects and businesses off the ground.
“If you have a good idea, whether it is a service or a product or something else, crowd funding on websites like Kickstarter is definitely the way to go.” Says Antonioni, “For Botanist it was a no brainer. We wanted feedback from our customers, we had a product we believe in and we wanted to get it into their hands as inexpensive as possible. And, that’s exactly what we did!”
The power of the crowd is the foremost dynamic in crowd funding. Crowd psychology often plays a part in the failure or triumph of a crowd-funding campaign. Normal citizens are commonly able to acquire control by acting as a group. It has been shown through history that large groups of citizens have brought about abrupt and remarkable public changes in a way that sidesteps conventional processes.
“If Botanist Minimal does not sell well we still benefit because it would have saved us the cost of tooling, materials, labor, shipping and storage for a product that would have sat in our warehouse. Luckily for us, it is turning out better that we thought.”
For designers, crowd sourcing is becoming one of the most substantial ways of getting a new idea into people’s hands without the need for a large amount of capital investment.
“We probably will not use this type of approach for all of our designs but their will be times when we want to test out how a product is received by design enthusiasts or maybe some experimental work for a niche crowd.”
Online crowds come together virtually. They take action and act cooperatively, producing effects that would not otherwise be possible without the Internet. The dynamics of online users make it possible to make money with little effort involved. For Botanist and others who use websites for crowd funding, these characteristics help to get their projects and ideas funded. All it takes is a great idea and the cloud.
For more information on Botanist and Kickstarter go to:
For more information on Orange22 Design Lab and design entrepreneur Dario Antonioni go to:
Orange22 Design Lab LLC
Los Angeles, California