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Welcome to my special traveling blog series! At the end of this article, you’ll find a links to all the articles in the series, some located on other blogs I find valuable for mental health professionals. You can also view the successful crowdfunding page for Describe or check out the live product page!
The line of Describe Cards products (the Most Versatile Conversation Starter) has continued to grow since this article was originally published. Find out more!
I’ve Got an Idea!
Many of us have experienced it. We’ve hit upon a wonderful idea for a product. Something we’d like to have; something we know our friends and colleagues would value. We’ve even figured out what it would look like and how to use it. The truly entrepreneur-minded even calculated what it would cost to develop and produce this wonderful new thing. And that’s when reality sets in. It will cost money to make this idea become a reality; money that’s not readily available. Traditionally, this would be the point in our story where we would develop a business plan in order to attract investors or acquire a bank loan. The prospect of doing all of that work, only to still not realize the dream, would scare many of us off. Another wonderful idea, never to see the light of day.
However, there is a plausible alternative; crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is the process of raising money for a project in relatively small increments from a large number of people, typically through the Internet. It is being used successfully to raise money for ideas, personal expenses, artistic endeavors, start-up capital and more. In the case of a tangible product, like a book or game, crowdfunding is a form of pre-sale. Consumers (called Backers or Patrons) have the opportunity to order the product before it actually exists. And the person or company with the idea can pay for the manufacture of the product through the funds raised, while also making a profit.
Crowdfunding is not a new concept. In fact, it was used to facilitate the completion of the Statue of Liberty in 1884. Crowdfunding has, however, experienced explosive growth in recent years due to the ease of facilitation provided by the Internet. There are over 500 online crowdfunding platforms in existence and, in 2013, over five-billion dollars were invested in projects on these platforms. Kickstarter, one of the most notable platforms, has had over 8-million people pay over 1.6-billion dollars to fund over eighty-thousand projects during its existence.
Crowdfunding is not an automatic pathway to funding, however. In this series of articles, I intend to discuss the options available, and provide tips and tricks to help make a fund-raising campaign successful. As an added bonus, as I launch this travelling blog series, I am also launching my own crowdfunding project. You can learn about the process first hand by following campaign for Describe. To get the most out of the experience, be sure to sign up for updates at the Describe site and pledge to the campaign. All who pledge will get an inside look at the project through exclusive updates.
Crowdfunding Your Product – Traveling Blog Series
Part One – Crowdfunding Your Product (An Introduction: This article)
Part Two – Understanding Crowdfunding Lingo
Part Three – Choosing a Crowdfunding Platform
Part Four – Musts for a Successful Crowdfunding Project
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Imagine going to your favorite restaurant or store one day and seeing a new two to three percent surcharge on your bill? When you ask, they inform you of a new policy that calls for passing credit card merchant fees on to the customer. How would you feel?
About the Author
Rob has been covering technology and business news for mental health professionals since 2011. His extensive experience in IT, business, and private practice allow him to synthesize information in a friendly, digestible manner. He also enjoys time with his family, ultimate frisbee, and board gaming.