Cool Tech is subjective I know. It is stuff that I find cool not always stuff that other’s find fresh. Or, it is stuff that I use all the time because, well I am a geek after all. So I wander from weather gadgets to radio’s and back again. I am a boating fan, so boat tech also comes up for me. One of the things that I am intrigued by is the reality of drones.
In fact, I posted about that on CloudTweaks yesterday. I did add a little humor in the post, creating a vision of a beach with the sun blocked by metal detecting Drones hovering over you because you have a pocket full of change.
It is something I like to think about and consider. First off the capabilities of drones is amazing. The ability to send a drone in, that is metal and much more stable, as well as not currently human and therefore not as likely to get injured, into rough situations is awesome. From defusing bombs to wandering around inside of collapsed buildings finding survivors drones are incredibly cool tech!
But the reality of cool tech is also the reality of failure. I back a lot of things that I think are cool that just never come to pass. Ideas that take a lot longer to make it past the front door and into the market. Or, well that last or is that they never make it from the whiteboard to reality. They fall into the great abyss that is despair.
I decided with the IBM/Indiegogo partnership that I was going to take a hard look before backing an Indiegogo project again. I was already worried, due to the much higher percentage of project failure on Indiegogo than on any of the other Crowdfunding sites I visit. But in reviewing all of them on IG, the failure rate is higher than I thought.
People have commented and posted about the reality of crowdfunding for a long time. One of the interesting questions I’ve gotten that I probably should dive deeper into is what exactly is crowdfunding.
Crowdfunded projects are dreams, ideas, and innovations that aren’t on the market yet. Or they are massive improvements of and for projects that are on the market but need more. What happens is this, the creator (or creators) of an idea decide to propose that idea. They come to Kickstarter, and they create a project page. Now this project could be a movie, a podcast or a new version of tech. In all cases, the project team (creators) get together and come up with a goal. What amount of money will it take to get our project from inside our heads to, well everyone else? They then post the project and pick a timeline for funding (projects have lives after all). Then they begin advertising their campaign. Sometimes if they are lucky, the site puts them on the SuperBacker newsletter. This gets their project in front of people that fund a lot of projects and influence others in that process.
Simple right, post your project, get funded and start your project. Except it isn’t that simple. If you don’t meet your published goal on Kickstarter that is it, you don’t get any of the money. It (the money) all goes back to the crowd. The concept is simple, get a crowd interested in your dream. If the crowd agrees with you, then you will get money and move on!
I wrote a book about innovation a few years ago now (nearly 3 in fact). In that book, I talked about the concept of building and moving ideas in an organization. In that book and my book on Inter-generational knowledge transfer, I talk about building systems that support not only innovations but also support the new model of innovation in the wild today. You see, people don’t do what they used to do. Many years ago people would go to work for the R&D department of a large company. With the reality of crowdfunding, they don’t have to do that anymore. They can take their idea to a crowd and build it without the knowledge systems of the large company.
It means project take longer than projected. Every time by the way, unless this is v2 or v3 of a product it will take more time than projected. But, in the reality of crowdfunding, it also means there are more chances to change the world with your dream!