And it’s open source only! Here’s the story behind Bountysource.
The basic idea behind Bountysource seems easy enough to explain—it’s a crowdfunding site for open source software. But when the site first launched about a decade ago, those were still fairly esoteric concepts for potential users and investors. Even the founders, then fresh out of college, had never heard the term “crowdfounding,” says cofounder and COO David Rappo. The project died fast.
"Nowadays, we can say it’s a crowdfunding platform for open source software, and people are like, we get it," Rappo says. "The time is right: people not only understand crowdfunding, but they love it."
Meet the world’s fastest hot tub and Furby’s slightly less evil cousin, among others.
Kickstarter and Indiegogo are home to some awesome new products, and many more strange ones. After taking a deep dive into this month’s crowdfunding campaigns, we were left incredulous at the sight of some of these projects—for reasons good and bad. Some of these are incredibly well executed by really smart people; others are scams that would make Bernie Madoff blush. The main qualifier: a certain amount of head-scratching perplexity.
A few days ago Fast Company wrote about Jacob Tillman, a young skateboarder who is attempting to raise money on Indiegogo for his sister Lydia’s reconstructive jaw surgery. Lydia was raped, beaten, doused with bleach, and nearly burned to death—but because of her grace and resilience, she survived the horrific attack and helped convict her attacker.
Since our story about this initiative to crowdsource social justice first ran on Monday, other media outlets have followed suit—and Jacob’s Indiegogo coffers have grown from under $4,000 to over $36,000.
Jacob still has 87 days to reach his $65,000 goal.
When faced with the reality of these products, disappointment is inevitable—not just because they’re too little too late (if at all) but for even weirder reasons. We don’t really want the stuff. We’re paying for the sensation of a hypothetical idea, not the experience of a realized product. For the pleasure of desiring it. For the experience of watching it succeed beyond expectations or to fail dramatically. Kickstarter is just another form of entertainment. It’s QVC for the Net set. And just like QVC, the products are usually less appealing than the excitement of learning about them for the first time and getting in early on the sale.
On the surface, Rock the Post follows the same reward-based formula as Kickstarter: entrepreneurs post ideas, fans offer support, and if the pitch is successful, prizes are handed out (and the platform takes a cut). But Rock the Post’s emphasis is on helping small businesses facilitate connections not only to funding, but also programmers, designers, and anyone else who can help get their idea off the ground. “At the early stage of a business, the most important thing is not the product,” says Cremades. “It’s the people behind it, and how they’re going to face challenges.”
Although the book is geared towards the activist community, many of the tactics and ideologies discussed lend themselves to startups—and even the corporate world—quite easily. At various points in the book, “creative disruptions,” publicity stunts, mediajacking, balancing art and message, and the importancestaying on message, are all discussed. Some sections of the book, such as “Putting Your Target In A Decision Dilemma,” and “Simple Rules Can Have Grand Results,” even fit in perfectly with the corpus of business leadership literature.