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So You've Been Crowd-funded – Now What?

Crowd-funding may answer *part* of the financial equation. But can we find inspiration on the need to think beyond front-end funding from Tiny Lightbulbs?

Photo of Meena Kadri
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So you've rocked the house on Kickstarter and got your project launched with an initial boost of crowd-funding. You got lots of orders and traffic on the site you'd set up but now it's all going downhill.

This is what Matthew McLachlan observed after the initial success of his SoundJaw iPad amplifier. So he teamed up with his brother to devise a solution for folks in the same predicament. Enter Tiny Lightbulbs which hopes to serve both producers and folks who are asking 'I saw this project on Kickstarter. It's ended now. Where can I find it?" 

Tiny Lightbulbs provides a marketplace for crowdfunded projects such as electronic accessories, fashion items, homewares, books and more – extending the aggregating and amplifying effect that platforms like Kickstarter have around creative projects.

Crowd-funding has come up a number of times on this challenge – hopefully this example points to the need for innovative thinking about the ecosystem which surrounds it. Although Tiny Lightbulbs sits in the sphere of products – what can we learn from their approach which might transfer to our challenge topic focusing on supporting web entrepreneurs to grow sustainable ventures?


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Photo of Paul Reader

Good comments Meena.
The sustainability of online businesses is no more secure than bricks and mortar if the appropriate business plan is not in place, particularly if you are going to manufacture as well as market.
It's also a risk for kickstarter-type funding sources too, if funders see businesses nose-dive after initial enthusiasm.
In Australia (about 20 years ago) the make or break period for a conventional business was touted to be 5 years - will be interested to see figures on web-based enterprises if someone has access to them.

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

Yeah this is good.

To your point, I really think their needs to be greater innovation in DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL design, after the implementation of interesting new technology. Or perhaps in conjunction with design? It is kind of sad to see so much VC and Angel money wasted on beautiful platforms, with great designs, that never find their markets and ultimately shut their doors.

1. Perhaps that means better tracking the period when consumer attention / traffic has shifted, but before advertising dollars have shifted, to develop a platform with content perfect for that niche?

2. Or maybe this means finding less invasive, but more effective ways of integrating advertising into a platform? I actually think stumble upon is pretty good/innovative at this.

3. Or tweaking the freemium or long-tail models somehow? Or really any of the other models being used...

4. Or finding secondary channels and ways of monetizing content? Maybe even not digital channels?