Tom VanAntwerp

Unusual Preferences: Crowdfunding

I love crowdfunding. For all the trouble that many individual projects have gone through, I think it’s a fantastic new way to let ordinary people contribute to the creation of new ideas, products, and services. (And whenever the SEC stops dragging their feet on the crowdfunding rules in the JOBS Act, we might even get some equity out of it!) My keychain was funded on Kickstarter. I now drink Soylent version 2.0 almost daily, and that too was crowdfunded. Lots of cool new things that come into my life have gotten started with a crowdfunding campaign.

I was browsing Kickstarter earlier this evening, and it suggested I follow my Facebook friends to see what they’re backing. I’ve backed a lot of projects myself, so I was eager to see what my friends might be backing. As it turns out, not much.

Friends back nearly nothing

While I’m not the top backer in my friend group (or maybe just acquaintance group), I’ve still backed far more than most of them. I’ve backed 20 Kickstarter projects (not counting 2 that didn’t meet their goal, and another 9 Indiegogo campaigns). The average number among my friends was less than 4; the median was just 1. Clearly I like contributing to crowdfunding campaigns a lot more than most people I know.

I constantly remind myself that, deep down, I’m a very weird person. What I love, and what others love, often don’t align. This is just one of many examples.


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