Kickstarter capitalism

Screen shot 2013-01-10 at 11.16.57 PM

Extract of screenshot from Kickstarter project “CST-01: The World’s Thinnest Watch” by Central Standard Timing [screenshot taken on January 10, 2013]

Crowdfunding‘ (or crowdsourced funding) isn’t new, but it took a leap forward in 2012 as people became more familiar with websites like Kickstarter (possibly the most well known crowdfunding site), Indiegogo, Pozible, Rockethub, Sponsume, and others.

The pure concept of crowdfunding is very interesting. In some ways it goes right to the the very core of capitalism, using the internet to apply specific marketing concepts. In other ways it raises ethical questions about financing of projects. On the face of it, it’s a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs, artists, individuals, and dreamers.

I’ve recently ‘invested’ in a number of crowdfunding projects, and have for a while wanted to note down some of my thoughts about the emotions that it evokes.

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Links to “Everything is a remix”, by Kirby Ferguson

For a while I’ve been following Kirby Ferguson’s excellent short, 4-part series Everything is a remix. The first part (above) is over two years old now; the last part was completed earlier this year (Kirby’s now moved onto other topics, including “This is not a conspiracy theory“). “Everything is a remix” is beautifully curated/produced, and I wanted to share that further. See below for parts 2 to 4.

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“Brainstorming doesn’t work”?

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/DrAfter123

I recently wrote a post titled “Thoughts on ideas, brainstorming, facilitation, and crowdsourcing“.  In that I wrote “I love brainstorming”. And I still do (for the reasons given in that last post).

Interestingly however, since writing that post, I’ve come across a number of opponents to brainstorming, most recently with the recommendation to search for “brainstorming doesn’t work” in Google – in true Google style, there are “About 7,030,000 results (0.21 seconds)”. In contrast, Googling “benefits of brainstorming” yields only about 4,200,000 results …

So what’s wrong?

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Thoughts on ideas, brainstorming, facilitation, and crowdsourcing

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/DrAfter123

Having an “idea” is a uniquely human thing.  It can be fun, beautiful, empowering, motivating, exciting, artistic, valuable. *

Through personal reflection, brainstorming, facilitation and crowdsourcing ideas can be leveraged and improved upon, to the point that the outcome is far better than the initial idea.

Ideas come from creative thinking, considering the previously unconsidered, often referred to as ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking or ‘strategic’ thinking (albeit strategy in many businesses seems, disappointingly, often not to be that creative).

I enjoy the creative process of originating and developing ideas, and so wanted to pull together some thoughts on this.

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Current interests

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/DrAfter123

Beyond work related topics, there are a number of other topics that also interest me at the moment, including:

  1. Ideas, innovation and creativity, both individually and collectively, including crowdsourcing
  2. Disruptive technology and disruptive business strategies
  3. Social media developments, and how they impact communication and collaboration
  4. Globalisation and Capitalism 2.0 (or 3.0, etc. – whatever you want to call it …)
  5. ‘Popular sociology/psychology’ (eg, topics raised by Malcolm Gladwell and others)

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Thoughts on Clay Shirky’s concept of “Cognitive surplus”

I recently came across various reviews and marketing for Clay Shirky’s new book ‘Cognitive surplus‘.  While deceptively simple, I love the “concept” of ‘Cognitive surplus’ – in two words it sums up intellectual and creative potential, and the question as to what we do with that.

One of the key points of Clay’s argument is the disparity between time spent watching television (‘consuming’) and time spent ‘creating’ / ‘contributing’, and the consequent waste of our intellectual and creative potential during this time (he compares the “200 billion hours spent by Americans annually watching TV“, and the “100 million hours so far invested in creating Wikipedia“).

David McCandle has a prepared a brilliant, simple visualization of this on his excellent website ‘Information is beautiful’ (which I see as a sort of artistic version of my thoughts on ‘Killer charts’, which I blogged about a while ago).

It was that graphic, sent to me in a link in an email from a friend, that prompted me into this post, and the following thoughts.

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