Crowdfunding is all the rage these days - companies large and small are turning to the crowd to finance campaigns for everything from product pre-sales to capital investments in new equipment. With banks loan availability at an all-time low, the crowd is becoming the next big source for modest funding for companies that don't want (or don't qualify for) VC funding.
However, the crowdfunding campaigns that make the news and cause would-be campaigners to start drooling are the ones that raise thousands of dollars and race past their funding goals. When you peel back the curtain, there are thousands of campaigns that fail to raise anything close to the stated goal. These campaigners may have lacked a clear rationale for their ask, overestimated the size and commitment of their network, or simply had bad ideas.
When we first discussed a crowdfunded campaign to finance a series on the Rise of the Sharing Economy, we were apprehensive. We didn't want to be the sustainable business equivalent of this Portlandia sketch. In the end, we figured give it a shot - after all, it made for a pretty good proof of concept for the series.
We're pleased to announce that we exceeded our goal of $25,000! We're tremendously thankful to everyone who kicked in and shared the campaign page - especially corporate sponsors like Wheelz, HUB Bay Area, Skeo, Saatchi & Saatchi S, uSwapia, Munchery, ISOS Group, EcoSupply, TrustCloud, Collaborative Consumption, hylo, and Profit Through Ethics. We needed every bit of help to get there.
Most excitingly, we'll now be able to deliver a media event in January - a series on the Rise of the Sharing Economy. One of the best things about the campaign was that it throughout the whole month, we were able to emerse ourselves in the sharing economy and we have a ton of great stories to tell and angles to explore. A portion of the funds will also go to support the day-to-day operations of the site and bring you all that fresh content every day.