The difference between Perk Hunting and Equity based Crowd Funding

I’ve written about it before, but I feel like doing it again: Crowdfunding.

Just after Kickstarter changed its rules so backers of projects can sue the project owner for not delivering we are bombarded with the Greatest Kickstarter Project Ever. Because I’m very interested in CF I checked out what was going on. It … Was ….. A … Coolbox.

I turned the video upside down, but it was still a coolbox, I reversed it, it was still a coolbox. 13.3 million dollars. For a coolbox. I used to have respect for American entrepreneurship but this Kickstarter hype puzzles me totally.

Can someone please explain me why you are willing to pay hundreds of dollars in advance on “the greatest wet fart ever” only to get it delivered sometime in the future in a version 0.1 alpha. You are allowed to pay extra. This gets your name on the wall, or you get a T-shirt, or if you pay double you get your name on the wall AND a T-shirt. Why is it that Americans totally loose their mind once somebody hypes something and declares it the next greatest “gottahavethis”.

What confuses me even more is that the whole financial industry is so intrigued by all this perking. Because what happens : Some dude has a brainwave and his friends tell him to try to Kickstart it. Without any experience, just reading the intro of “Kickstarting for Dummies” a business plan is made and for 300$ they have a flashy video made in India. And there we go, 25.000, 50.000, 100.000 dollars, maybe even 1,2, 5 or 10 million is collected.

And there is the young entrepreneur with a trunk full of cash and no experience who needs to suddenly build an enterprise, delivery channels, manage suppliers. So Kickstarter just released new contracts that rids Kickstarter from any responsibility if projects go bust. And when the the project succeeds? Then the young company gets bought for an obscene amount of money and everybody who backed the project is left behind empty handed.

That’s all pretty negative isn’t it? I’ll cheer you up with how we CrowdFund in Holland.

We have Equity Based Crowdfunding….. Scary isn’t it? You give money and you get shares. Period. You don’t want to lose your money? You do due diligence! You read his business plans, you try to understand how he is hoping to monetize his ideas and what potential shareholder strategies could be to convert the shares back to money. If you have questions you call the entrepreneur. This should lead to a lot of rejections, making good plans is difficult. That’s good, it means the plans fail before money is seeded.

But some ideas are genuinely unique,may be even market disruptive, and if these ideas are managed by experienced entrepreneurs, we might have ourselves a new Apple or Google at hand.

So if your beer is cold enough and you are looking for a thrill seeking adventure where YOU can be the angel investor, and not some Silicon Valley hotshot, go look at Symbid projects and start reading and see if there are ideas that trigger you.

I invested in Bstriker.com in January. The founders are very experienced entrepreneurs and they used Crowdfunding to pay for the development of a revolutionary software test manager form alpha to 1.0. Features are added on a predefined schedule, no deadline had been missed and “we” are monetizing already, 9 month after the formation of the company.

Good hunting!

Lars

P.S. I’ll buy coolbox 2.0 with a bread toaster in stead of the mixer, so I can roast Pop-tarts. And have you seen that it also doubles as a portable toilet? It’s really remarkable versatile!

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