In the past year or so, crowdfunding via sites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo has been generating tremendous buzz, and rightly so. They’ve proven to be a viable way to raise funds, gauge consumer interest, and refine the offering per their feedback. To have dozens, if not hundreds of people who have put money towards your product and are likely to be vocal supporters of it in their communities is no doubt quite helpful. It means a built in foundation of customers once your product launches.
But what if that’s not enough? Where does this product get sold? How do people who are casually interested that heard about it via a tweet months back find you? For all but those who are savvy with marketing and have the means/ability to build an attractive site, their innovative creation may languish in obscurity, falling far short of its potential.
TinyLightBulbs aims to be a remedy to this problem, serving as a hub for crowd and independent funded products. It makes intuitive sense: Create a destination for the products people have loved on the various crowdfunding sites, and by its gravity, pull in people who are drawn to such products. Add to it that TinyLightBulbs does video reviews of products, and provides clean storefront for products.
I don’t yet see TinyLightBulbs being the one place for all crowdfunded products, at this point it seems to heavily focus on low cost home & electronics accessories and trinketty fashion. I see room for creative products (books, music, film) focused sites, higher ticket item products in a glossier execution, and more.
TinyLightBulbs however is off to a great start, and is an example to build on, further establishing the viability of launching a successfully crowdfunded product.
Readers: What would you like to see in a crowdfunded goods site? How could TinyLightBulbs be improved? Should Kickstarter itself launch a store? Chime in, below.
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, global trend tracker, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing.