Venture capital goes ‘public’?

Elite_Dangerous_artwork

I recently wrote a blog post about crowdfunding (‘Kickstarter capitalism‘). In that post I largely reflected the perceptions of a typical ‘backer’ (or, one might say, ‘investor’) in crowdfunded initiatives – that is, someone like me. I’ve become enthused about how crowdfunding can help bring new creative ideas to life, when otherwise they might never have been funded; I’ve also bascked a number of such ‘projects’.

Once that post was published, I realized that there were still aspects that I wanted to address, particularly relating to the perspectives of crowdfunding from the view of a potential raiser of funds / project ‘creator’. I’ve not yet ‘created’ my own project on Kickstarter, but I have ‘participated’ in the creation of a project with a group (a consortium?!) of other individuals (more on that in a another post at another time!).

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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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Translating the web, and free language training

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Duncan1890

“How can we get 100 million people translating the web into every major language for free?”

Does this sound like a crazy question? I thought so initially, and I still have a few caveats, but I’m very impressed by the outrageous ambition of the ‘duolingo‘ initiative that follows …

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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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“The Story Behind the Still: The Cabbie” (Vincent Laforet on Vimeo)

The Story Beyond The Still: The Cabbie from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

I’ve decided to include a post on this video that I came across on Vimeo – it intrigued me for several reasons, and as a result I’d like to help promote it:

  • The video / short film is well made and engaging, and at the end leaves you wanting more, but just a little creepy also …
  • Vincent Laforet is roughly the same age as me, but in an entirely different career, and half way round the world from me (you can read his bio here)
  • I’m also interested in DSLR photography, but only on an amateur level (sadly not having the time to let this hobby develop yet … no pun intended)
  • The video is the initial step in a social network / crowdsourcing style contest, not too dissimilar to the exercise you might have done at school, where everyone wrote a different chapter to a book in their English class … in this case Vincent has filmed the first chapter in a film and contestants will submit subsequent chapters starting where the last one finished (given the ending to “The Cabbie”, it will be interesting to see where the contestants and judges take it next)

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