Monday, July 07, 2014

Crowdfunding:  What's the Big Rush?

I'm in the last week of another Kickstarter crowdfunding project and was thinking about why these projects are so intense. Crowdfunding is new and strange still, as it was two years ago when I did my first successful Kickstarter program, and much has changed as it gains visibility, but one thing about it has not changed from the beginning. It needs to be urgent. It needs to go fast.

What's the big hurry to raise money in a very short month and jump into #making and #prototyping so quickly? Well, #makers understand something it took me a while to learn. There is no limit to problems in this world and equally no limit to great ideas, smart people, capable makers and money in this world.

You've heard it before: the only limited resource is time.  Time. Why are we rushing to get things built and invented and in the hands of customers?  Because these things are solutions to problems.  And these problems need solving as quickly as possible. Because there are many more problems to solve after we solve these. Why do we keep asking for your financial support?  Because "With a little help from my friends" is the leverage point that makes crowdfunding take off fast.


"WrightGlidersSideBySide" by Wright Brothers -
Library of Congress. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

With the impatience of youth and the wisdom of age, we need your help to fix things now because time is wasting. And it is a rush to hit your goal and then fly into #maker mode. And backers can be equally proud that they are changing the world.

My first project was raising money to write a book about women entrepreneurs. I felt it was urgent to get more women into technology, make them believe they could be founders, show them it wasn't such a mysterious business, encourage them to join startups and accelerator programs. If I convinced one woman to start a startup, I'm thrilled. She's out there solving more problems just like us!

This project is about #LED lighting adoption. It's not going fast enough. My team at MIT has integrated #LED light with sound and made a beautiful way of marrying the two called The Q by Belleds.  It's important that people start using this amazingly low-cost, green, beautiful way of lighting their lives. We also want hackers to join us in developing new ways to use The Q.  We need this to happen fast!  As we reach our goal, we feel an enormous rush, just to see our ability to fix things in this world take hold.  Please don't make us wait!