Despite the tragedies that occur each day, whether they make the headlines of our favorite international current affairs programs or not, it is important to remember that there is still goodness in humanity. This belief serves to keep the spark lit for hope in our continuing survival as a species. There is greatness in the human collective maximizing their ability to come together for causes greater and external to themselves. There is no situation where this is more obvious than crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is, to put quite simply, the act of gathering funds to propel a project, a cause, or a business idea by reaching out for help on a local, national, and international level. Typically, a large number of people contribute a minimal amount of money, which compounds to realize the creator’s ultimate fundraising goals. The essence of fundraising, that has been in existence from before we are accurately able to recollect historically, remains the same, but now it is notably much bigger and far-reaching with the use of the world wide web.
Crowdfunding has, especially within the past few years, leveraged the increasingly advancing technology available to us, to connect a significantly large cross-section of individuals from varying backgrounds to put support behind any number of requests. There are a number of crowdfunding websites that can be accessed within two clicks. Many have settled into specific niches to focus only on one or two themes, while others invite an open space for ventures of any background to garner support. Kickstarter is one that is particularly popular with small businesses, start-ups, and solopreneurs who just need that extra ‘kick’ to really get their products or other business ventures off the ground. It is hyper-focused in its design on allowing businesses to showcase their products in the clearest, and attractive way possible, that will make viewers and potential ‘backers’ feel intensely compelled to be apart of their journey.
Crowdfunding platforms offer entrepreneurial individuals the opportunity to gain a significant level of success that they may not have been able to access without having their business venture shared far and wide. Kickstarter alone, as of mid-June, has a record of more than fourteen million ‘backers’ that have helped to fund more than 145,000 projects on their platform. Coupled with the fact that there isn’t any conclusive data on the number of crowdfunding sites that exist globally, these platforms are only becoming stronger and more entrenched into the ways that businesses plot out their financial future.
The fast-moving trait of social media can accept much of the praise for how successful campaigns continue to be. With social media, not only are you able to share the campaign and call-for-actions with a new audience, but the viral potential is heightened by potential funders getting the opportunity to become more closely associated with the brand, business, or individuals behind campaigns.
Another major reason that crowdfunding continues to work, is the existence of digital, as well as physical incentives that are offered to those that contribute to the campaign. Many of these incentives typically include exclusive perks for being one of the first to get their hands on the new product, often with multiple free accessories thrown in for good measure. Individuals are given multiple tier options when considering contributing, so there is no judgment or pressure to cough up an exorbitant amount of cash on the outset. Every little bit helps, and not isolating potential supporters due to economic capabilities is important to any campaign’s success.
Below are three inspirational crowdfunding campaigns that garnered full financial backing within their first twenty-four hours:
- Ava Ukulele
It’s no surprise that music is universal, but the jaw-dropping success of the Ava Ukulele crowdfunding campaign on the Kickstarter is proof that there is more to the story. Developed my Novako Music, the Ava Ukulele is an adventure-proof improvement to its traditional counterpart, bringing the ukulele into the hands of adventurers that need a sturdy, crisp musical companion for their travels.
Within just sixteen hours after the Kickstarter campaign went live, Ava reached its $30,000 goal. Now Novako Music can go full speed ahead with the manufacturing plan for their thoughtfully-engineered product that is obviously already making waves. Of course, from a user’s perspective, it should work very similarly to a regular ukulele, but its novel features have definitely sparked a wide interest with instrument experts and amateurs alike. From a Silent Mode that allows for earphone compatibility so that others aren’t disturbed while you’re playing, a retractable forearm rest that enables compact storage for traveling, to amplification facilitated by electric signals to play through a speaker, the Ava Ukulele deserves its resounding early success.
- Pirl Charger
In general, people like novel ideas that are rooted in a dedication to innovating parts of our daily routine, and the Pirl Charger is no different. Borne from frustration with chargers that are either too clunky, charge too slow, or were just merely uninspiring in design, Pirl is a portable four-port charger that charges multiple USB devices quickly and efficiently. This charger has the added feature of informing you on a bright LED-display just how much wattage is being used for power, keeping you informed in a way that your regularly overheating charging ports. It delivers 2.7 amps per port and 50 watts of total power. They achieved their funding goal of $8000 within the first nine hours of the campaign by enthusiastic tech-lovers that are usually on the lookout for the next best thing for their devices. The Pirl Charger is well on its way to global popularity while disrupting the way we think about powering our most important devices.
We all like products that will make different aspects of our lives easier in some way. With Firefly, an “advanced situational awareness wireless earphones” with a Bluetooth 5.0 connection and artificial intelligence controlled by voice, the problems caused by not being fully aware of your surroundings while listening to your favorite playlist are becoming a thing of the past. Jabees, the company behind this accessory that more than doubled its funding goal of $10,000 within the first twenty-four hours of the campaign, were interested in developing a product that tackled the issue of the countless pedestrians living in urban spaces that are prone to walking within their own bubble on the streets, not fully cognizant of the dangers driving all around them with each step. The situational awareness feature of Firefly is dedicated to filtering in external sounds, even while music is playing, to allow joggers and daily commuters to stay alert for the sake of their safety. It undoubtedly has an interestingly sleek design, but supporters are definitely passionate about innovative accessories that can make navigating our world just a bit safer every day.
One of the many reasons that crowdfunding works is its unique ability to build diverse virtual communities that can propel a product engineered with talent and passion, to its fullest potential. The above examples are just a snapshot of the thousands of ambitious business ventures that have been ravenously supported by individual funders that see their potential and are willing to become a part of their journey. Isn’t that what life is really about? Playing your part, no matter how seemingly small, to give support, inspiration, and motivation to the people that need it the most.